July 11, 2023

A Q&A with Credit Union of Texas' Head of Digital, Data & Analytics

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Victoria Margolin
Product Marketing Manager, Plaid

Victoria is passionate about transforming consumer needs and trends into products that deliver meaningful value for everyday consumers and businesses. Her most used Plaid powered app is Venmo.

In an exclusive conversation with Revanth Reddy, the Head of Digital, Data & Analytics shares how Credit Union of Texas uses Plaid to gain insights from transaction data and provide a more personalized digital banking experience for their members.

Credit Union of Texas’ (CUTX) mission is simple: to provide exceptional experiences and frictionless financial services to their members. This straightforward objective has helped them grow to more than $2 Billion in assets, today serving more than 160,000 members in all 50 states. 

At the core of CUTX’s success is a relentless focus on providing their members with the best experience, value, and solutions suite for their financial needs - including a deeply personal user experience. In a world where consumers are inundated with promotional messaging, 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging. CUTX recognized an opportunity to better understand members’ spending patterns and preferences based on transaction data insights.

That’s when CUTX turned to Plaid. Here, Reddy shares how Plaid Enrich helps CUTX provide more personalized offers to their members and optimize the user experience - ultimately empowering their members to achieve their financial goals.

Plaid: Can you tell us about CUTX and the services you offer?

Revanth: CUTX started during the Great Depression as a way to aid teachers with loans that would help them feed and support their families. In the beginning, our assets totaled just $65!  Today, we offer everything from checking and savings accounts to mortgage loans, auto loans, HELOC loans, personal loans, credit cards, investment accounts, and more. A lot has changed over the years but our mission is the same: to make a difference in the communities and lives of our members. 

When you first reached out to Plaid, you were looking for insights into the transaction data you generate from debit and credit cards. What was the driving motivation behind that? 

Revanth: Gaining more insights from transaction data enables us to serve our members better, provide personalized services, and ultimately accelerate business outcomes for Credit Union of Texas. 

So an example of that would be enhancing the digital banking experience for our members. By scrutinizing our transaction data, we can identify trends, behaviors, and patterns and use those to customize the entire digital banking experience–including more relevant and timely offers.

We’ve also been exploring developing a subscription management feature that can allow our members to manage recurring payments and subscriptions more efficiently. By analyzing transaction data, we can easily identify recurring payments and give members the tools they need to make more informed decisions.

Why is it so challenging for businesses to get these insights on their own? 

Revanth: The transaction data you get from processors is unstructured and inconsistent, which can make it difficult to analyze. For example, the raw transaction data often leaves out vital details such as the type of merchant, which makes it hard to gain insights into customer behavior. On top of that, many merchants don’t categorize transactions consistently, making it hard to identify spending patterns. 

I’m curious–before Plaid, did you try to solve this problem internally? 

Revanth: We actually explored building our own cleansing and enrichment solution, but quickly realized that building internally is costly and difficult. If we were to build in-house, it would take huge amounts of resources, including personnel, technology, and not to mention the burden of ongoing maintenance.

Partnering with Plaid saves us a considerable amount of time and money and overall, it’s just an easier-to-maintain solution for us. Plus, it allows us to stay focused on meeting our members’ needs and driving better business outcomes. 

Why was Plaid the best choice for a data enrichment partner?

Revanth: We chose Plaid as our data enrichment partner for several reasons. First, Plaid consistently delivered accurate and reliable data, which we deemed critical to our ability to provide our members with the best possible digital banking experience.

Second, Plaid offers a wide range of integrations with various financial institutions and data sources, making it easier to access and analyze transaction data from multiple sources. And because their platform is so flexible, we’re able to scale up or down anytime we need to.

What kind of impact has Plaid had on your business? 

Revanth: With Plaid, we’re able to understand how money flows in and out of our institution. As a result, we can always stay one step ahead, quickly responding to market changes and delivering value to our members.

Plaid: How does this help your members?

Revanth: We can now deliver a more personalized and relevant digital banking experience to our members. By analyzing the enriched data, we can tailor our services to meet the unique needs and preferences of each member, which at the end of the day is what they all want. Looking for personalized offers? Only want to see the most relevant services? Plaid makes all of that possible. As a result, it’s helping us boost member satisfaction, engagement, and retention.

What was the implementation process like?

Revanth: Smooth and efficient. Plaid was always there to answer any questions we had throughout the process, which made it a collaborative and positive experience. And because the documentation was so user-friendly and straightforward, the integration process was easy to manage from start to finish. All in, it took us a week for development at most which meant the return on investment was almost immediate. 

What advice would you give to other companies struggling with messy transaction data?

Revanth: Start by identifying your business goals and objectives for analyzing transaction data. This will help you determine what insights you need and how best to organize the data.

Invest in the right data analytics tools and technologies to extract and analyze transaction data. This might include partnering with a third-party provider that specializes in data enrichment and analytics–such as Plaid.

Next, standardize your data collection processes as much as possible. This will help ensure that your data is consistent and organized, making it easier to extract insights.

Then to make it easier to group transactions into specific categories or identify patterns in customer spending, make sure to categorize and label transaction data consistently. 

Finally, always monitor and evaluate the quality of your transaction data to uncover growth opportunities. This might mean establishing a data governance framework that outlines data quality standards and processes.

What’s next for the team at CUTX?

Revanth: Besides continuing to leverage the insights gained from Plaid so that we can tailor our services to the needs of each member, we’re going to continue to invest in new, innovative technology that can help us provide the latest digital banking tools and services such as subscription management tools and personalized customer services. 

Our vision at CUTX is to be a trusted partner in our members' financial lives. To do that, we’re going to continue to give them the tools and services they need to reach their financial goals. Plaid helps us do that.

Ready to turn messy internal transaction data into user insights?