Credential Direct jumped to first place in the latest Watchfire G�mezPro Online Broker Scorecard based on the strength of enhancements developed and implemented by the Habanero Consulting Group. Credential Direct is an online brokerage servicing credit union members and the investing public.
Credential Direct earned eight Scorecard honours, including top spot in the all-important Life-Goal Planner profile which, according to Watchfire G�mezPro, represents approximately 75% of the online brokerage market segment. The service also topped the One-Stop Shopper profile as well as the Overall (Best) Cost category. It placed second in the Active Trader and Serious Investor profiles as well as the Ease of Use and Relationship Services categories.
Credential Direct dislodged the incumbent BMO InvestorLine from first place, after occupying the premier position for five consecutive scorecards. Previously ranked third overall, Credential Direct also surpassed CIBC Investor's Edge on its way to the top spot.
Credential first retained Habanero in 2001 to redevelop Credential Direct when their back-office operations moved to a new carrying broker. Credential required a fast, reliable self-serve Web site built from scratch to leverage proprietary real-time interfaces to the Dataphile trading system. Habanero has worked closely with Credential over the past three years to move Credential Direct from tenth place to the top of the G�mezPro Scorecard, establishing itself as the premier online broker in Canada.
Habanero also helped the Credential Direct team implement new features, such as bond trading and an expanded selection of advisory tools, to address the needs of a wider range of investor segments. According to Watchfire G�mezPro, these new features are directly tied to shifts in position for the top tier firms. Habanero's intimate familiarity with Credential's business, combined with an agile approach to solution development, allowed the intense development effort to be completed on schedule.
"Maintaining competitive advantage requires an almost obsessive focus on the evolving needs of customers," said Lothar Fabian, Vice President, Credential Direct. "The top brokerage firms have to differentiate themselves in their speed and ability to respond to customer demands. Having a technology partner like Habanero makes it possible for Credential Direct to transition from concept to concrete within the tightest of deadlines."
Watchfire G�mezPro's bi-annual scorecard provides competitive benchmarking for Canadian online brokers by ranking the quality of each firm's online brokerage offering. A high rank on the Watchfire G�mezPro scorecard generates significant brand awareness and is directly correlated with an increase in new trading accounts. Furthermore, Credential Direct's number one ranking validates their mission to provide products and services that exactly fit their clients' needs.