By Nish Modi, Group Owner, Integration Products
A well-conceived digital transformation delivers growth opportunities on every front, allowing credit unions to connect with members and meet them on their terms. To unlock digital’s full potential, credit unions should consider five critical strategies:
1) Staying Connected and Relevant
Staying connected is all about being there when members need you the most. This requires a credit union to understand their members’ journeys and meet their needs at every touchpoint. This is something tech giants do very well. Amazon, for example, never misses an opportunity to present complementary offers based on what you just bought, a strategy that has turn the company into the world’s go-to marketplace.
In fact, Hubspot reports that 44 percent of consumers skip Google, Bing and other search engines altogether when looking for a product – they go directly to Amazon to start their search. In all things financial, you need to be your members’ Amazon. If a member approaches your credit union for an auto loan, think about the next logical step, such as, getting the new car insured. Help facilitate that process. And, going one step further, anticipate member needs. If consumers typically buy a new car every five to seven years, then present both your rates and the dealerships that partner with you to members entering year five of their loan. Display a link to partnering dealerships prominently on your auto loan webpage – don’t make an engaged member hunt for it.
Members value frictionless experiences. To remain relevant, credit unions must streamline processes, make interactions fast and easy, and operate in ways that attract young consumers.
2) Monetizing the Digital Business
Growing relationships is infinitely easier with current members than prospective members. In fact, according to Econsultancy, for every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them.
Credit unions have countless opportunities to grow relationships because their members engage with them in so many different ways. They bank at ATMs, visit branches, use digital channels and make calls.
To grow member relationships, you need to meet and exceed their expectations at every turn, in every channel. According to Aberdeen Group research cited by SuperOffice, companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89 percent of their customers, as compared to 33 percent for companies with weak omni-channel strategies.
So, create a digital banking app that is fast, simple and secure. Offer a better, more customized rewards program for your card products. Include charitable donation options, things that speak to member values.
In the branch, consider what members need to accomplish, whether getting cash, financial guidance or a document notarized – and equip employees with all the data they need to help members get the job done. Give members better privacy, security and convenience with a mobile app that lets them pre-stage ATM withdrawals from a smart-phone. Include in the app a map of nearby ATMs – and the most convenient shared branch locations on the way to an event they are attending that evening.
Build a brand presence online, too. Members taking out a home loan often conduct Google searches and look for recommendations on Yelp. Be right where your members want you to be, with the right message. That’s how you grow relationships.
3) Managing Compliance and Rapid Change
Compliance comes in many different forms. Being ADA compliant means giving people with disabilities equal access to your services in the branch, digitally and by phone, without requiring them to use a special channel. As you advance your technological infrastructure, remember that your compliance requirements will become more complex.
Compliance is also about privacy and security, and credit union practices must meet rigorous industry standards accordingly.
4) Navigating Risk Across the Digital Landscape
Today we operate in a world in which a criminal thousands of miles away can launch an attack on your members. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, “Cyber-crime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. This represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history.”
Putting member security first is an essential practice as you expand your horizons. New AI and machine learning tools will prove invaluable going forward, which is why it is so important to have a solid data strategy in place – one designed to uncover member insights while enabling fraud detection for the future of payments.
5) Modernize the Company Culture
Today more than ever, credit unions need to be agile. They need to embrace automation.
For many, this involves a significant cultural shift, as found through research by Raj Venkatesan and Kim Whitler, professors at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business: “Managers will have to let go of decision-making processes that have worked for them in the past and learn how to use data analytics instead.”
To obtain the clearest view of an individual customer or segment, companies need data from a myriad of viewpoints. And they need data to flow across departments and initiatives. For credit unions, that means lending works with operations, card teams work with deposits and compliance spans the organization.
Like your credit union, CO-OP is transforming culturally to become a digital-first, data-first entity – we are on this journey together with a common mission: to elevate the member experience you provide. Ultimately, the path to digital growth and success is paved with data. Capturing data, analyzing it and applying it strategically are all best practices that advance innovation.
Get ready: We are ushering in a new era of fintech in which member needs – and credit union opportunities – more rapidly come into focus.
Where can you gain the insights and tools to meet the opportunities that lie ahead? At the one conference that unites you with a singular group of industry experts and world-renowned game-changing pioneers: THINK 20.
Join us in one of our country’s fastest growing cities of innovation, Dallas, TX where you’ll learn the latest ways to own and protect even more of your members’ financial lives by leveraging data insights and partnerships that will prepare you for the decade to come. Register now at the special early bird rate of $999: