When a financial institution states they offer digital account opening, oftentimes that's not the reality. True digital account opening means that the entire process can be completed online, without a visit to the branch. Most credit unions are somewhere in between true digital and traditional in-branch applications, where the process can be started online but must be finished in-branch. With digital ruling as the preferred method of communication for many, providing a complete digital experience for account applications is important for credit unions both big and small. Here are four ways credit unions can get on board with digital account opening.
1. Don’t abandon leads
Online applications can lead to complications that would not happen in-branch, such as application abandonment. Members rarely (if ever) walk out of the branch mid-application, but online that is commonplace behavior. According to a digital banking report, 19% of those who start opening an account online will abandon their application. However, these members can be the best leads. This is one area where many credit unions fall short. These leads will be much easier to convert into members, so don’t neglect to follow up. It can be as easy as sending automated emails to those who have an open application or make it personal with a phone call to ask if help is needed. Just because a member abandoned their application doesn’t mean your credit union should abandon them as a lead.
2. Be omni-channel
While true digital account opening will attract new leads and members, what’s even more essential is still providing that omni-channel experience. If a member starts their application online but decides they’d rather finish in-branch, they should have that option. The key is making the application processes convenient for members. For many, digital applications are the most convenient. However, knowing they can pop in the branch at any time if they run into problems is reassuring. And don't forget to allow for account opening on your mobile app, and ensure the online application on your website is mobile responsive.
3. Give them an offer they can’t refuse
Keep the member's needs in mind. If they’re signing up for a new account and your credit union is offering a bonus for new members, that offer should be the first thing they see. Making offers transparent and reminding them throughout will keep the member’s reason for applying at the forefront of their mind. This provides a sense of ease for members because they are reassured that they are in the right place and applying for the right product, which ultimately reduces the number of abandoned applications.
4. Remember the member always comes first
When creating a digital account application platform, don’t forget about the member experience. While your credit union’s staff might be able to navigate the platform with ease, consider it from the member's point of view. Many applicants have limited financial knowledge and using a technical interface will be discouraging. The application process should be easy, efficient, and of course user-friendly.
Members need to be able to open an account online. True digital account opening is a huge asset for credit unions, especially for those trying to attract Millennials and younger generations. However, that doesn’t mean it should be the only option offered. Catering to the needs of all your members will never go out of style. While perfecting a true digital account opening process, keep other application channels running smoothly.