With the start of the new year, it's time to not only take stock of what worked in 2017 but prepare for what is on the horizon for credit unions and the FinTech industry for 2018. The upcoming year promises to hold many new tech developments including advances in biometric technology and cybersecurity, along with the increasing ability for members to manage their own funds and accounts at a moment's notice. Here is a wishlist that most in credit union leadership have on their strategic plan for the new year:
1) The Interaction of Things
As mobile banking developments have hit the marketplace, credit unions have increasingly found themselves having to relinquish some of their in-house control over their member's monetary transactions and accounts. With this, credit unions grant them the ability of 'self-service' and immediate access to their funds that so many demand. As technologies further develop in 2018, this on-demand access will not just be limited to apps on smartphones. Personal finance is now being accomplished using unprecedented formats that are becoming more and more popular and user-friendly. Bluetooth technology, coupled with FinTech advances, are impacting the mobile banking marketplace, as well as the development of IoT (Internet of Things). Everything from purchases and bill pay, to budgeting and account management can be done with just the sound of your voice. Wearables, such as your iWatch, can help you shop and make payments. Another example, Amazon's Echo, can help you find a showtime - and then purchase the movie tickets - with just a voice command. Your 'smart' refrigerator can let you know you are out of milk - and order it for you. With this expanding electronic interaction of 'things', it's important to have the best credit union technology that not only allows your members to interact smoothly with these advances but also provides adequate security and protection for your members as they navigate this new "smart' landscape.
2) Mobile Banking Must-Haves from Security to P2P
While these innovative and new ways to make purchases, process payments and perform transactions are at the forefront of new developments and desired capabilities, there are still other must-haves to consider for 2018. Along with having robust security measures (think biometrics) and instant reporting of fraud alerts and lost or stolen accounts, mobile bankers also have expressed a desire to have budgeting tools available on their app, the ability to pay someone directly (P2P) and see their current credit score. Other requests from the market include better system reliability with limited downtime, efficient and less time-consuming upgrades, and simplified account management.
3) Third-Party Security
As suggested above, with this new found freedom comes the increased risk of exposure of personal information as members readily access and share their account details. This potential threat can come from anywhere, including third-party apps or interfaces that may be in use to complete a transaction. With new technologies continually being developed and the demand for them not diminishing any time soon, the smart money would be spent on protecting your member data with robust credit union software that not only provides security and peace of mind but also has an open architecture which will allow you to safely offer some of the exciting third-party technologies through secured APIs (complete integration, not merely interfacing).
There's no question 2018 will bring more technological advances than we've ever seen, and the FinTech industry is going to be one to watch. Make sure you are prepared for the fast pace of 2018 and have the core technology in place to help you implement and integrate these industry advances.