Waiting in teller lines used to be just that – waiting. Gone are the days of casual small talk with other patiently waiting members. Today, consumers simply whip out their smartphones to pass the time – a true indicator we are thoroughly entrenched in the digital age.
Members increasingly look to their credit unions to meet, if not exceed, their digital expectations. Coastal Federal Credit Union recognizes the importance of innovation in its digital strategy. In fact, the North Carolina-based credit union has discovered three sure-fire ways to meet members’ evolving needs.
- Provide robust online, mobile service. With 62 percent of Americans using digital payment solutions as their primary banking method, incorporating online and mobile-friendly service into their offerings is a must for credit unions. At Coastal, this is already taking place. “It’s critically important because, in a day when your expenses continue to increase as a percentage every year, you have to find a way to have cost-effective solutions while still giving the members a really good service,” said Kristopher Kovacs, Coastal’s Chief Information Officer. “Digital gives us the best way to do that.”
- Apply a digital mindset to in-person interactions. Although there has been a rapid uptick in digital banking usage, consumers still crave person-to-person interactions. Recent research found 47 percent of North American banking consumers see more value in their financial institutions after speaking to someone in person. Those in-person conversations can now take place through video teller services – something Coastal has already implemented. “The video telling platform allows the consolidation of tellers into a call center,” noted Kovacs. Today, Coastal offers video teller services from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
- Look beyond legacy systems. Tried-and-true technologies that have nearly been around since a credit union’s inception can only go so far. Kovacs noted, “We have, as an industry, made a lot of investments in legacy technologies, and we are very slow as an industry to unwind those investments to consider new alternatives to provide services.” For the Coastal team, continuous innovation is instrumental in developing technologies to fit the future needs of members. As part of these efforts, Coastal is launching Constellation, a cloud-based suite of digital financial services designed specifically for credit unions.