#TBT - 3Rivers Website Through the Years
By: Chad Gramling
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014
In 1998, the domain 3riversfcu.org was first registered and a website came up soon after. By today's standards, it was simply a digital brochure. Yet for 1998, it was a bit ahead of its time, boasting an image map for easy navigation and online banking for account balance management and bill pay.
To further put that into perspective, the first financial institution (a credit union) put online banking onto their website1 in 1995. At that time, only 14% of U.S. adults even used the Internet. By 1998, that number had grown to 36% and it was obvious there just might be something to this "Internet fad."
So we put together a website. As an aside, I became a 3Rivers team member in June of 1999 – about 6 months after the site was implemented. It didn't take long for me to get intimate with it and I have had some hand in the site development and/or management of it ever since.
By 2002, the "Internet fad" had become "Internet reality." U.S. adoption was up to 61% and this "broadband" thing was starting to pick up speed from "dial-up," both figuratively and literally. At that time, 11% of American adults were accessing on a broadband connection, so we put together a project to do a significant upgrade to our website, taking if from an electronic brochure to a full-fledged functional and interactive website.
We made a series of changes as member preferences and behaviors changed. During that time, we also implemented new online banking and bill pay technology. In 2005, as we introduced a new brand, we made some structural changes to the site to make it more reflective of that brand. And again, we tweaked and fine tuned the site for a few more years.
By 2010, we had recognized that web technology had changed significantly and that it was time for a substantially new site with a whole new architecture. So we put another team together and developed something vastly different from anything we'd seen before. We learned a lot from that iteration and did further refinements based upon member comments over the next couple of years, including a pretty large overhaul in 2012.
Today, in 2014, this whole "mobile" fad is pretty obviously a "mobile reality" and we have recognized that more members are moving onto their phones and tablets for the majority of their Internet usage. This was also accompanied by the adoption of our mobile banking app, mobile bill pay app, mobile check deposit, and many other technological solutions that we've been able to offer in recent years.
Knowing this, we deployed a responsive web design that has bridged the desktop to mobile so it serves the money matters of members regardless of the devices they prefer. As with other website updates, we continue to refine based upon member comment and need.
I hope you've enjoyed this trip down memory lane for today's Throwback Thursday post. It's been fun to watch our web and mobile platforms evolve over the course of time and – in many ways – the adoption trends of mobile banking is mimicking the way our online banking services matured. Where we'll be ten to fifteen years from now, who knows?
But I'm looking forward to being an active participant as it happens.
1 The Free Library. S.v. Stanford Federal Credit Union Pioneers Online Financial Services.." Retrieved Aug 21 2014 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Stanford+Federal+Credit+Union+Pioneers+Online+Financial+Services.-a017104850