When looking for an HVAC repair company to save you from the Summer heat, or a cell phone repair company to fix your cracked screen, a quick Google search produces current, relevant and targeted information that fits what you're looking for. Gone are the days of tabbing through a bulky phone book only to find pages of listings for the same service with no way of knowing if they're still in business, hours of operation, or even service the area you live in. The big directories were over-sized and underwhelming in their usefulness. Printed material begins to depreciate in value the minute it's printed, not to mention the incredible waste of paper and fuel it can leave in its wake. Yet, the famed yellow book was dropped on doorsteps all around the country long after most people had moved on, becoming more of a burden than a tool. Are member statements headed to a similar fate of recipients just turning from the mailbox to the trash bin with their monthly statements? Absolutely. It's time to keep your member statements from becoming a burden by employing a paperless strategy with eDocuments and eStatements.
Turning to electronic member communications creates great benefits for your credit union as well as members. First, with an electronic document integration with digital banking, your members get the advantage of receiving easy access to all of their electronic documents from the credit union (statements, notices, tax forms, etc.) through a single sign-on. Not only does this cut back on the hassle and waste of pages of statements jammed in a file drawer, it also enhances security by allowing them to store financial information in a secure digital environment.
The credit union realizes significant advantages. Establishing a paperless environment provides an enhanced ability to market new services and offerings to your members at a low price point. Instead of getting one chance a month to include a new product offer in a printed statement, you can market new products as needed when they sign in to your platform. And the cost doesn't change by the number of viewers, unlike mass mailings!
According to an article in the Credit Union Times, 5 Reasons Why More and More Financial Institutions Choose to Go Paperless, other benefits to going paperless include:
- Self-service: A paperless, digital environment paves the way for a wide range of member self-service capabilities (such as checking interest rates on HELOC loans).
- Co-browsing: Digital documents enable a previously unattainable degree of collaboration between members and credit unions (MSRs can share a digital document and point out to members where they are missing information).
- Data accuracy: Collecting data digitally, from the very first member interaction through onboarding and throughout the member lifecycle, ensures the accuracy and reliability of member information.
- Use of actionable data in real-time: Digitally-collected data can be integrated to feed through all of your systems.
- Meeting your members where they are – their smartphone: One thing that digital does, that paper simply cannot do, is find your members and start communicating with them, no matter where they may be.
Finally, everyone involved benefits from eliminating the burden of paper financial documents. Credit Union costs of paper, printing and postage, not to mention the hours involved for employees to prepare and send documents, are practically eliminated. The environment, and therefore all of us, benefits from reducing our carbon footprint left behind from printing and transporting often ignored printed statements. And members benefit since the nature of credit unions means they are also owners!
To ensure your credit union transition to electronic documents is successful, and not a liability, your vendor partnership is critical. For the members, accessing electronic documents and statements should be seamless to maintain confidence that they are being protected by their credit union, not an unknown third-party vendor. For the CU, there must be total confidence in the vendor's offerings, including customized branding, so that members can feel comfortable using the platform and the CU can be certain the membership is protected.
Your members want less paper and more purpose. They expect information that is relevant, updated, and easily accessible, whether it's access to their statement from last March or a special offer on a line of credit. You can give them what they want, and keep yourselves out of the recycling bin, with eStatements and eDocuments.