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June 22, 2021

First Tech makes funding new accounts fast and convenient

Mary Caballero

When you serve the world’s biggest tech companies—firms like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft—as well as their employees, you’ve got to provide a best-in-class user experience. After all, these tech workers know a good UX when they see one.

Established in 1952, the San Jose-based First Tech Federal Credit Union provides banking, investment, insurance, and tax services to more than 700,000 members, most of whom live in the western United States.

Since its inception, First Tech has emphasized technical innovation. Recognized as one of the first financial institutions to offer online banking, they were also an early adopter of omnichannel. And, in 2019, Forbes named First Tech one of Oregon’s best credit unions, giving them high marks in consumer trust and digital services.

Still, one critical aspect of their new-member onboarding flow lacked innovation. To fund new accounts, members were required to manually input financial information such as the name of their bank, account number, and routing number. This process was not only error-prone but slow: once new customers had completed their part of it, the money would still take the better part of a week to appear in the new account. Even worse, fraud had become a major issue.

“Our risk management team made us cap initial funding amounts at $500,” explains Sandeep Reddy, Manager of Digital Products at First Tech. “For a company that had built our reputation on an excellent UX, this reflected poorly on us, while also limiting new account deposits.”

To meet their customers’ high expectations, First Tech needed a more intuitive way to fund their new accounts. For that, they chose Plaid.