Do Credit Unions Really Need Digital Banking Solutions?

bigstock--219294688Big banks are known for their deep pockets, and credit unions for their quality member service. It’s difficult for large banks to provide the same level of care and attention as credit unions but what they lack in customer service is oftentimes made up through robust online banking and digital solutions. Conversely, credit unions are able to provide a phenomenal in-person member experience yet digital technology may prove to be less than helpful to members. It is the impression of some, that credit unions don’t need digital services because they can manage their business offline. Although it’s true that some credit unions get by with little to no digital banking components, small institutions can benefit most from implementing a digital approach. Here’s what your credit union is missing out on by overlooking digital banking solutions.

Creating a better user experience. Many members choose to join a credit union because they provide a seamless experience. While member services and face-to-face contact are important pieces, digital services can supplement their overall experience by providing easy access to features and information they need. For CUs that are nervous about taking on the technological burden, partnering with a digital solutions provider can help create custom products and services that are compatible with your core processing system.

Attracting the young. It's no secret - in order to survive, credit unions need to continue to attract younger members, and to do so, must provide advanced technology they expect. In the U.S., the median member age is 47, which does not bode well for the future of credit unions. There are 2.5 billion Millennials worldwide (those born from 1980 to 2000) constituting about a third of the global population, according to a study by mass media company Viacom. The number one item consistently identified for credit unions to focus on to attract this group is technology.

Member-focused applications. It’s no secret that the digital spaces are booming with users, and those who don’t participate are missing out on a huge chunk of the market who prefer to use online services exclusively. Although big banks spend more money to develop their digital solutions in-house, credit unions can still provide quality solutions via partnership. Credit unions can influence their digital tech partner's development and since they have a deep history of listening to their members and providing member-focused solutions this gives them an upper hand in creating a solid digital member experience. Knowing your members, and knowing them well, will help your CU choose what products and services are important to offer in a digital space. In the instance of rural credit unions, for example, a digital lending solution can prove highly beneficial so members don't need to travel great distances to a branch during the lending process.

Digitizing the workforce. Your employee’s time can be one of the most valuable assets within your CU. Technology which can take tasks away from employees and free up their time will not only make operations more efficient but allow employees to add more value to their work as well. To that end, one way this can be done is through digital lending. Many individuals and small businesses prefer to submit loan applications online, and it also streamlines a process that can be time-consuming for employees. By getting the application started online, it can quickly weed out bad candidates and pull through those that meet initial qualifications.

In a technologically savvy world, it’s not easy to survive without digital banking solutions. Member-focused digital banking options will make your CU more competitive in the financial industry, especially when incorporating digital lending options. With the right partnership, a new digital system will be easy to integrate with your core and boost the quality of member service you provide your members.

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