James Slocum, CIO, interviewed on UNITY Visa Technology Platform

OneUnited Bank was recently featured at the Salesforce1 Tour in Boston for the rollout of the UNITY Visa Secured Card program.

Watch the interview with our CIO

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Transcript Follows:

Jim Sinai:We’re going to close with one final interview about a customer from OneUnited Bank. Now, OneUnited Bank, you’ll learn in a second, is based here in Boston and they have an engaging story about how they use Salesforce to really transform their go-to market strategy, not just for an internal application but for their customers. I’m going to invite Jim Slocum up, he’s the Chief Information Officer of OneUnited Bank and Jim, welcome to Salesforce or welcome to the Salesforce1 Tour, I guess – we haven’t hired you so… So, you know, give us an overview. Who is OneUnited Bank?
James Slocum:Sure, OneUnited Bank is a Community Financial Development Institution. We’re located here in Boston and also Miami and Los Angeles. We’re a community bank so we’re small but we’ve been over, the course of the last seven or so years, building out our online services so now we extend our deposits ,loans and our new program, our credit card program, out over a nationwide footprint.
Jim Sinai:So a small regional bank with a nationwide footprint – tell us about this this new program that you launched, it was very briefly alluded to in the slide but I thought to be better if you shared it with us.
James Slocum:Sure, the Unity Visa Program is a secure credit card program that is designed to help our customers rebuild their credit. As everyone knows, during the financial downturn, a lot of people’s credit was damaged, specifically in the urban communities that we serve. We saw a huge need for us as a financial institution to step in and help our customer by giving them a product that will help them rebuild their credit so we designed the UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card Program to take applications for our customers online in real time and get them a decision on any device.
Jim Sinai:So you guys use Salesforce for this customer-facing applications. What is it? How does it work?
James Slocum:So we started out looking for a commercial solution as most community banks do. But we quickly found out this particular need couldn’t be customized the way we wanted to, to help our customers. So we actually looked to Salesforce as one of our strategic partners and their platform to go out and build this online application.
Jim Sinai:And so you have a front-end application that’s a web application…and it’s integrated into your systems?
James Slocum:Yes. We built out the front end using the Salesforce.com Sites technology so we actually are presenting our customers with a dynamic application that responds to their specific personal needs and collects their data. We compile that within a custom object in Salesforce and then we package it up and ship it over to you our underwriting platform where we do a bunch of data pulls to analyze credit and OFAC checks, background…
Jim Sinai:Stuff that Salesforce would never do…
James Slocum:Stuff Salesforce wouldn’t do but Salesforce is the foundation for the platform that gave us the technology to be able to interface with that particular backend enterprise system and then immediately in real time, present our customers with a decision.
Jim Sinai:So you mentioned something that I want to touch on, which I found really interesting, which is this concept that all the customer data goes into Salesforce. So how are the teams inside of OneUnited looking at that data? What’s experience been since you went live? When you told to me, I kind of fell out of my chair, I thought it was a cool story.
James Slocum:Sure, so you know this is a big endeavor for us. I mean you know, we’re a small institution so this was big and there was a lot of tension around the office as we rolled out. There was a lot of concern over how was going to go? Where was the data going to be? How was it going to perform? Within the first couple of days, the President of the bank, Teri Williams, pulled out the Salesforce1 mobile app and pulled up the dashboard we had built to comprise the data and what was happening and in a moment, it was like lights went on. She realized all the sudden that she was going to be able to have her fingers on the data and know what was happening with the operation and kind of feel the pulse of how it was going during the rollout.
Jim Sinai:Teri’s over here smiling because there’s nothing better than being an executive with all the data at your fingertips every morning so I think it’s a phenomenal story. I love the fact that you can take a customer-facing site, give it its own look and feel, make it mobile-responsive, have all that data flow into our platform and have a mobile app that you don’t have to build, it just works and everyone can have access to it.
So what’s next for OneUnited? What are you guys thinking about investing in next?
James Slocum:We’ve found through this experience that we are really able to connect with our customers and bring them a really quality product and service and deliver the expertise in the financial industry that we know we have. What we’re going to do is use more of the Salesforce platform to extend out to our customers and really hope to interact with them and work with them on scheduling on-site appointments or engaging them by providing better customer service.
Jim Sinai:Very cool. Jim, thank you so much, that’s a great story. He’ll be around after if you have questions for him. Big round of applause for Jim Slocum. I love the story of the small company with a national footprint and really leveraging technology to get a bigger footprint and that’s really the beauty of any technology and really what we’re aiming to help you with in your business.
OneUnited Bank

Our community’s dream is now a reality! OneUnited Bank is fulfilling the hundred year old civil rights dream by garnering the savings power of our communities and channeling it back into urban communities for economic development. With your support by simply opening an FDIC insured account with great rates, we will continue to accomplish this dream everyday!

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