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WyHy Federal Credit Union Reduces Verification Time 83% and Cuts Abandon Rate 50%

Man using his smart phone

By Milind Borkar, Founder/CEO, Illuma 
April 2, 2024

With more than 70 years of history serving the residents of Wyoming, WyHy Federal Credit Union is a financial institution that has perfected the art of delighting small town communities with personal service. With $378M in assets under management, over 20,000 members across the state rely on WyHy to provide personalized financial services in the five branch locations, online, and through the contact center. Being proactive in digital transformation is a hallmark for this credit union. WyHy is committed to delivering a digital experience that would make many large banks envious. 

The Challenge

Like all credit union call centers, the pandemic was a game changer for call volume at WyHy. However, a larger trend actually made more of an impact over time. Digital transformation changed the nature of incoming calls. Basic balance transfers and inquiries are now handled online by WyHy members without the need for one-on-one assistance. This means agents started spending more of their time troubleshooting issues for members, leading to a rise in average handle time.

One obvious area to target for cost reduction in operations was authentication. According to Tim Walters, Member Experience Manager at WyHy, “In terms of members, verification is the one constant in every interaction. If you look at all the engagements we have in the call center every year, it’s a pretty significant expense.” 

Originally, WyHy experimented with using an app-based authentication solution and an SMS push notification feature to streamline the process. However, the friction of enrollment and usage was too high to see ROI from these investments, and both options were abandoned. 

Voice authentication was an attractive alternative, but WyHy CIO Eric Valla ran into issues in discussions with well-known vendors. “We looked at other providers of voice authentication, but we were just way too small. We couldn’t afford the six-figure price tag. Some of them don’t even want to waste their time with a credit union our size.” With 10 agents handling 3,200 calls monthly in their contact center, the ROI simply didn’t make sense to pursue expensive products from vendors that had focused on serving mega-enterprise size clients.

The Solution

Fortunately, WyHy is a user of the Glia Interaction Platform. When they inquired about voice authentication as an available feature, Glia introduced them to Illuma Shield™ as a fully integrated solution ready for immediate deployment. In fact, WyHy became the first credit union to take advantage of the Illuma-Glia integration. Even as a beta user, the experience of rolling out Illuma was seamless and took weeks instead of months.

The actual time and effort required from the WyHy IT team was minimal. According to Eric, “From an IT lift, it was maybe an hour. The integration was built into Glia, so there was just some basic testing to do. It was probably one of the easiest projects and integrations that I’ve worked on in my career.”

Tim agreed that rolling out Illuma Shield was incredibly simple. “On the call center side, we did maybe an hour of training. The lift of implementing this was nothing. With other vendors, we were used to weeks and weeks of meetings and trying to get things done. Rolling out Illuma took a fraction of the time. It couldn’t have been any easier to put in place.”

Illuma Shield was a winning solution for WyHy for many reasons:

  • Built specifically for credit unions 
  • Truly frictionless enrollment and usage
  • Fast, low lift deployment
  • Quick and easy team training
  • Affordable subscription pricing
  • No added effort for agents to use
  • No complex training required
  • Already integrated with Glia
  • Low total cost of ownership and fast ROI achieved in year one

The Outcome

The impact on authentication time was immediate and obvious. Lightning-fast adoption across more than a third of WyHy’s entire membership was accomplished within nine months after launch. Average time to verify members dropped from 90 seconds to 15 seconds per call as a result. During the time since deployment in the spring of 2023, the credit union has seen improvements across a variety of call center performance metrics. Many factors including changes in staffing levels can impact these stats. However, the decrease in call abandon rates and wait times that WyHy has experienced are common for credit union call centers that implement Illuma Shield as every call is handled more efficiently. 

WyHy benefited from improving security in the contact center with a sophisticated product that is extremely simple on the front end for agents to use, while requiring no specific actions for the member. Tim’s feedback from the call center side showcased the frictionless experience for both agents and members. “It's so well-integrated, and, you know, there isn't really anything for the agents to do. They get a response within 15 seconds on whether they simply move on from initial greeting to addressing the reason for the member’s call.” 

Key Benefits

  • 83% decrease in time to authenticate
  • 35% of total membership enrolled in first nine months
  • 50% decrease in abandon rate

39 second decrease in wait time


“As a 60-employee credit union, we run very lean and don’t have a lot of extra time to do things outside our normal job. Deploying Illuma was an easy, seamless project. It didn’t take a lot of energy, which is great for us.” – Eric Valla, CIO

“We're always trying to push down call handle times. Illuma represented a great way to have a really high degree of accuracy in verification. It's really well integrated into our phone system, so it wasn't like a whole separate product that we had to do, and it is certainly saving us a lot of money.” – Member Experience Manager, Tim Walters

Connect with Illuma to learn more.

About Illuma

Illuma, a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), specializes in voice authentication software that replaces traditional knowledge-based authentication practices in call centers. Illuma provides frictionless voice authentication and fraud prevention for credit union contact centers to substantially reduce call handle times, improve member experience, and increase account security. 

The company’s platform, Illuma Shield™, continuously analyzes the unique characteristics of the speaker’s voice and calling device using state-of-the-art Signal Processing, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. This proprietary voice authentication system rapidly and seamlessly validates the identity of callers during natural conversation without requiring security Q&A or spoken password phrases.