The August edition of PYMNTS Credit Union Tracker is now available. A monthly publication powered by CO-OP, the Tracker brings credit unions news and insights on the most significant partnerships, innovations and regulatory developments reshaping the industry.
According to this month’s Tracker, there are more than 111 million credit union members today, capital at credit unions topped $145.5 billion in June of this year, and the industry will continue to grow at 2.4 percent in 2018.
Yet as healthy as our movement is, the future success of credit unions will be built around a different paradigm than in the past, one in which digital touchpoints increasingly define the member experience.
Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zone
The Tracker’s August edition explores this challenge in a one-on-one interview with Brian Ziff-Levine, senior director of cards and payments for Mountain View Calif.-based First Tech Federal Credit Union. Serving 400,000 members throughout Silicon Valley, First Tech understands well what it takes to keep pace with advances in fintech.
From EMV security and mobile bill pay to real-time P2P networks and biometrics, the credit union has been an early adopter of many important new payments innovations, says Ziff-Levine. He calls on credit unions to get comfortable with risk.
Credit union decision-makers, he emphasizes, are often conservative with their tech investments because they see themselves as spending members’ money – not the institution’s – which leaves them feeling like they are “operating without a net.”
Ziff-Levine cautions credit unions, though, that a wait-and-see posture when it comes to embracing innovation can lead to member attrition and irrelevance in the digital age.
Engaging Members Digitally
He advises credit unions to shed their “mom and pop” culture in favor of a service model built around digital points of engagement.
“Taking a good hard look at your public-facing website, and your online banking experience from the get-go, and your mobile banking experience after that, is a good strategy to stay relevant,” he said.
Fortunately, many credit unions understand this – and are making progress with their digital initiatives. In fact, the Tracker reports that 88 percent view digital transformation as “extremely” or “quite” important today.
Ziff-Levine encourages credit unions to stay focused on the member experience as it pays dividends to listen to what customers want. Ultimately, he adds, there is no reward for CUs that avoid risk.
To access the article in full and receive all the breaking news and in-depth analysis included in the August edition, download PYMNTS Credit Union Tracker.