Picture this: A man walks into a Gap store and his eyes are immediately scanned to identify him. The hologram in front of him then greets him by name and asks if he enjoyed the tank tops he recently purchased. If this sounds familiar, then you're most likely remembering this scene from the movie, Minority Report (which is based in the year 2054). When the movie came out in 2002, that scene seemed wildly futuristic, but in 2020, it feels like that encounter is just around the corner--a frictionless experience with the goal of every interaction being tailored to the user without any extra effort on their behalf. So where does the credit union user experience stand in relation to those futuristic portrayals? Some credit union onboarding services that once seemed space-aged are already available, while some are still on the someday list.
Today: With modern core processors, like FLEX, non-members can apply for membership online, from the convenience of their living room. With digital onboarding options, new members can activate their new accounts and enroll in account-related services like bill pay and mobile banking, right from their smart phone. And logging in to the app should be as simple as a finger scan (not exactly the level of Minority Report, but it's only a few steps away).
Artificial intelligence is also becoming a major force in our online experience. The use of chatbots as an intermediary to address basic inquiries is happening more each day, making the member experience faster and saving time for MSRs. Also, AI is being used to help identify products that would fit the member and serve them as in-app offers.
Another popular online feature is Automated Account Switching. Change can be hard and people are hesitant to switch financial institutions. But, if you can reduce the hurdles in the switch, you're adding one more member recruitment tool to your arsenal. Automated Account Switching allows you to move recurring payments simply from one FI to another. By taking the work off of the member, you're adding convenience for them. (Read our Case Study on how Automated Account Switching impacted one of our clients.)
Soon: The latest edition of the iPhone can scan your face to unlock, so it's only a matter of time before all of our apps can apply the same user authentication. AI will also continue to grow and learn, and we'll soon have more in-depth ways to assess member behavior to help get ahead of their needs before they ask for help. In the back office, AI is being integrated into fraud prevention as well.
Today: While most future-focused onboarding services are aimed at remote access, CUs need to ensure their in-branch experience is also as seamless as possible. For opening an account, advanced document validation allows MSRs to simply scan a drivers license and identify quickly if it is legitimate. Your core processor may offer fully-integrated verification measures into new account workflows with cross-checking built right in. This reduces the time needed for manual entry with auto-population.
When an MSR pulls up an account, core processor data can push marketing prompts to the representative that are selected based on the qualifications and needs of the member. When cross-selling is attempted, ideally your platform records that and prevents the same offer from coming up while also helping recognize the MSRs good work.
Soon: Biometrics, like those we first mentioned, may very well come to play sooner than 2054, although there will likely be many privacy hurdles to address first. As more data is able to be stored securely online, the ability to link internal data with external data about your members will certainly be considered. The ultimate goal being a truly personalized offering for every member.
With technology advancing like it is today, FIs are receiving increasing pressure to enable every transaction and interaction to happen in real-time, and from any location. User are looking to log in from their phone, quickly navigate to the product they want (like a loan), sign up, and get notification of approval within hours, if not minutes. Credit unions operating on legacy systems will struggle with this seamless, end-to-end flow, but there are core processors, like FLEX, that can help push your service into the future starting now, both online and in-branch.
Financial institutions clearly have more compliance and regulation issues to address before they can dive head first into future technology. But, there are many APIs that can get your onboarding operations working in line with modern expectations. Strategically-planned onboarding, in combination with the right digital tools, can not only encourage members beyond the use of checking accounts, and on to mobile banking, remote deposit, and more importantly, your loan products, but it also gives them the type of user experience where they can't help but tell their friends. Focusing your operations on the future ensures your credit union will be here in the future too.