A credit union-focused approach to digital wallets

In light of recent news about the seven big banks behind Zelle teaming up to launch a new digital wallet, many credit unions might be contemplating their role and next steps – if any – in the space. The good news for credit unions is that they already have a tried-and-true formula they can use to help navigate all things digital: matching experience with personalization. Credit unions know their members and are accustomed to prioritizing their needs and financial well-being. Now, more than ever, using the data they already have to make informed decisions, while also providing personalized experiences, is a key differentiator that sets credit unions up for success when it comes to digital experiences.

Even with this leg up, launching a digital wallet or digital issuance solution can be daunting. Here are four things credit unions should consider when planning their next move:

Identify Use Cases

First, take the time to journey map and categorize the opportunities for your members when it comes to digital wallets. One of the most common situations is when a member needs a new card because theirs has been lost or stolen. When a card is stolen, members need a way to quickly dispute charges, as well as get new credentials in order to continue transacting. What if a member is traveling and loses their card? Getting that member a new card digitally is a good first step in the reissue process. In both of these instances, digital wallets can not only provide members with a way to continue making purchases, but they can help ease a number of pain points associated with lost/stolen cards, gaining member trust and loyalty in the process.

Consider the Channels

Once you have established your use cases, think through what channels you already have or might need to elevate or enhance. Credit unions already have a number of ways to connect digitally with their members and, in addition to mobile and online apps, there are chat functions, contact centers, AI solutions and more. How can you utilize these channels to launch or optimize a digital wallet offering?

Examine Your Systems Flow and Intersectionality

Sometimes, the biggest hurdle is identifying members with the highest likelihood of adoption and knowing which channels are most likely to reach those members. Which members are already active in the digital space? Which users prefer your mobile app over an in-branch visit? These members might be the low hanging fruit you should target with a new digital wallet solution as they are already playing in the digital space. Once you know the journey, you can plug in the players needed to achieve like your processor, core and online banking provider.


As we all know, we can’t boil the ocean. Far too often, credit unions and other financial institutions think they cannot launch a solution until it is fully baked or perfect from end-to-end. While it is critical to journey map the experience, target the right members and ensure your solution will work for them, it does not mean you have to launch on Day One with all of the use cases addressed for every single member and their individualized experience. Start with a popular use case, like lost/stolen digital reissuance, and then iterate and expand from there.

Beyond digital wallets or digital issuance, these steps can help credit unions establish and roll out nearly any digital experience. To keep pace and compete with bigger banks and their offerings, credit unions need to focus on digital experiences as a whole. Finding partnerships to extend their solutions in the space and investing in data-driven experiences and campaigns to personalize payments will ensure credit unions have all of the ingredients needed for success. There are exciting and far-reaching elements of the digital landscape many credit unions might not have considered or entered yet, and now is the time to explore them in order to win consumer share of wallet and mind.

Contact PSCU/Co-op Solutions

Contact PSCU/Co-op Solutions

Cody Banks

Cody Banks

Cody Banks leads PSCU’s payments, fraud, loyalty & contact center product teams. In his role, Cody focuses on developing and delivering safe, easy and convenient payments experiences for the ... Web: pscu.com Details