Digital payments took center stage during the pandemic, and their popularity became so strong, it's clear contactless payments aren't going anywhere. Commerce was already hopping on the digital bandwagon pre-coronavirus, but the shutdowns and online-only sales increased digital payments exponentially. Now, consumers are even more in favor of quick, convenient touchless transactions, which means that credit unions must be prepared to continue offering these valuable services and innovate further.
Consumers Gravitate Towards Digital vs. In-Person Experiences
All health and safety aside, today's consumers are searching for a digital experience more than a personal one at check-out. According to a 2021 study by Verizon, 1 in 3 adults have either heard about or used a contactless credit card. In a recent Visa survey, approximately 46% of consumers said they believe contactless payment methods are one of the most important safety considerations and nearly 48% would refuse to shop at a store without touchless payment options. These days, people are more attracted to QR codes, curbside pickup, and mobile payments--all of which make their experience easier, faster, safer, and more convenient.
What This Digital-Driven World Means for Credit Unions
As a credit union, you need to embrace the digital shift just as much as your members and prospects. You need to enhance your digital services to accommodate member needs and preferences. Here are a few things you can do to stay competitive and appealing in this digital age.
- Utilize Open Banking APIs: Open Banking APIs let you provide members with simple and speedy banking services through interconnection and aggregation. With open banking, they can grant third-party access to their accounts without giving them any sensitive data.
- Offer Innovative Contactless Credit and Debit Cards: Ensure that members can use your cards to conduct touchless transactions. This method is faster, easier, and healthier, which will surely please your members.
- Consider Partnering With a Peer-to-Peer Provider: Empower your members to send money quickly, securely, and without fees, by using a P2P provider like Zelle. This provider lets them transfer funds directly from their bank account.
- Offer Chat Bot Transactions and Customer Service: Chat bots limit the need for in-person visits and increase member engagement by providing helpful information or services quickly and conveniently.
- Upgrade Cybersecurity Precautions: The more digital you get, the more risk there is for hackers. However, stay one step ahead by investing in cybersecurity and assuring your members that you're protecting their money.
- Use Real-Time Data and Analytics: When you're armed with customer data, you can create valuable tailored experiences and service offerings to increase member retention and satisfaction.
- Provide Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Options Using Third Parties.
Digital is the Future
These past couple of years have been filled with obstacles to credit unions around the world, especially in regard to their digital capacities. The onset of the pandemic quickly made digital transformation a necessity rather than just an aspiration or trend. Thankfully, you're not on your own when it comes to increasing your digital service offerings. Your CU can succeed by embracing open banking APIs, P2P providers, BNPL payment options, etc. To learn more about how to digitally transform your credit union, check out our Digital Account Services eBook.