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How Credit Union Call Centers Are Reducing Average Handling Times

Here is an article that appeared in the Northwest Credit Union's Anthem newsletter.

Strategic Link partner, Cozera, shares ways their credit union customers are reducing average handling times in the contact center.


Over the past few years, the pandemic has fueled a serious increase in identity theft. According to the Aite Group’s report, U.S. Identity Theft: The Stark Reality, 47% of Americans experienced identity theft in 2020. Over the past two years, 37% have been victims of application fraud and 38% have experienced account takeovers.

It’s no surprise, then, that financial institutions everywhere are quickly adopting additional layers of security to protect consumers from this increase in identity theft. The problem is that many consumers find the process of having to prove their identity every time they call or visit their financial institution incredibly frustrating. How much time can they reasonably be expected to take out of their day to repeat the last four digits of their social security, birthday, home address, or mother’s maiden name, etc.?

Last year, Strategic Link partner Cozera, worked with three Portland-based credit unions to solve this problem, launching a pilot program for private and portable digital identity credential service called id-go. During the program, Rivermark Community, Advantis, and Unitus Community credit unions helped refine id-go to save time and stress for credit union members and staff while ensuring top-of-the-line account security.

Since participating in the pilot program, all three credit unions have incorporated id-go as their member authentication resource, and other Northwest credit unions are quickly following suit.

Pioneer Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Mountain Home, Idaho, launched id-go in October to authenticate its 55,000 members in the call center and when using video teller machines. After implementing the cutting-edge solution, the credit union saw a 90% reduction in average handling time (AHT).

“We have found that id-go has enabled us to reduce call time in the call center by 20-30 seconds per call and we anticipate seeing efficiencies in our other channels as well,” said Tracey Miller, SVP of Operations at Pioneer Federal. “We were looking for a way to be able to authenticate member identity and begin by greeting them by their name. id-go lets us do that and enables a better member experience while still providing the security the credit union and its members need.”

Rivermark CEO, Seth Schaefer, explained that member authentication presents an odd issue for credit unions because the process can feel cold or impersonal. After all, many members are drawn to not-for-profit credit unions because of the personalized service they provide.

“We want to treat you like a member but up until now, we go through this rigorous process of asking for social, third aunt’s last name, etc. That’s not very friendly,” he said. But after implementing id-go across all channels, Schaefer said, “We are giving a member experience that is similar to TSA PreCheck or Disney Fast Pass — we can expedite them to the front of the line. Members call in and we immediately recognize they are a member and address them by name — it’s what they should expect, and it saves us a lot of time.”

Unitus Community also experienced a 90% reduction in AHT after integrating id-go with its Genesys phone system, taking member service to the next level.

“Now, when a member calls Unitus, they will receive the signature welcome message and the ability to select from our existing IVR tree options. If the member is an id-go user, they will be prompted to authenticate via the id-go for Unitus app. Not only has this improved our member’s experience, but it has also amplified our agent’s confidence and support of id-go within our Call Center.”

Click here to learn how Northwest credit unions are leveraging id-go to streamline the authentication process, reduce fraud, and better serve their members.

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