Best Innovation Group (BIG) Announces the Addition of Three More Credit Unions to Voice-First Banking Platform, FIVE


At the end of January, Best Innovation Group (BIG) announced the addition of three more credit unions to a growing list of those who have implemented BIG’s voice-first banking platform, FIVE. The addition is a result of a partnership between BIG and Connect Financial Software Solutions (Connect FSS), a company that provides online and mobile banking solutions for credit unions. The credit unions that will be implementing FIVE are existing Connect FSS clients, One Nevada Credit Union, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, and Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union.

FIVE gives credit union members the ability to perform voice banking using their credit union’s certified Alexa skill or Google Assistant action. Members can transfer funds between accounts, make loan payments, and access balances as well as account histories for checking, savings, and loans. It also offers member engagement capabilities, such as educational audio clips on security and financial literacy. BIG’s FIVE platform currently supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice services but is extensible to allow financial institutions to expand to future voice-based products.

Each credit union is able to fully customize their Alexa skill, down to the transaction options and account options offered. The press release states that each credit union “will provide members full access to their credit card accounts using FIVE’s intuitive voice user interface.” This announcement arrives at a time in the voice industry where are seeing a lot of growth in voice-activated banking. Grant Perry, President, and CEO of Connect Financial Software Solutions commented on the partnership saying,

At Connect, we recognize that voice-activated activities through smart devices and digital assistants is a convenience factor that consumers are using to conduct their everyday activities. We see voice-activated banking as an important next step in a truly mobile and frictionless banking experience.

BIG, the Credit Union Innovation Catalyst

In 2017, BIG created the first Amazon Alexa skill specifically designed to allow credit union members to perform transaction-based functions. That skill was created for Enrichment Federal Credit Union using BIG’s FIVE platform, and it is called the Enrichment Voice Teller. It allows credit union members to perform transaction-based functions such as executing transfers between accounts, making loan payments, accessing balances for checking, savings and loans, and checking account histories. All voice commands are secured by a single account sign-on in addition to a 4-digit PIN. To date, an additional 18 credit unions have signed on with FIVE.

BIG has long held a position within the financial industry as a technology and development company. Other products offered by BIG include CULedger, a credit union-owned credit union service organization (CUSO) started in 2016 in response to the development of a proof of concept for identifying call center fraud. Setit Credit is also a division of BIG and provides financial institutions, members, and merchants with technological solutions to combat fraud, increase interchange revenue, track vendor protection, and more. The third division of BIG is BIG-DLT, an organization well-established in the area of Distributed Ledger Technologies that provides solutions and consulting services for consumers. The experience BIG has with credit unions means the creation of FIVE, the company’s voice-first platform, was well positioned to succeed at its initial launch. BIG states that “today over 600,000 [credit-union] members have the ability to perform voice banking using their credit union’s certified Alexa skill…”

BIG FIVE: the Financial Innovation Voice Experience

BIG’s Financial Innovation Voice Experience, or FIVE, allows credit unions to create voice-first experiences – including full account access and funding transactions – with their consumers on both Alexa and Google Assistant platforms. BIG launched the FIVE platform with the first Amazon Alexa skill to offer complete financial transactions, for Enrichment Federal Credit Union. The product was created in cooperation with Symitar, the provider of Enrichment’s core data processing platform. BIG’s product director, Elizabeth Robins, commented on how the partnership provided the ability to complete the product:

Integration with the credit union’s core data is the key differentiator for BIG’s extensible voice banking platform. Through our partnerships with the core providers, we can enable not just information but actual transaction execution for members.

FIVE is responsible for at least 18 of the total 37 US-based voice-first financial applications Voicebot research has found, making it not only the first platform to produce a voice application allowing for financial applications, but the largest financial voice application platform.

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