Through the second quarter this year, credit unions again experienced continued growth in their membership and lending portfolios. While lending growth is projected to rise at a steady pace, the challenge for credit unions to increase their overall loan share will be how to win loans in a highly competitive environment. To win the lending war, credit unions need to take an offensive position and adopt game-changing technology solutions that provide distinction and competitive advantage.
E-signatures can be the technology that enables a credit union to achieve its lending goals. Traditionally, e-signatures have been seen as a means to gain operational efficiencies from the elimination of paper–intensive processes. Positive impacts on member convenience, service expansion, and cost reductions are just now being realized within the industry. For lending especially, e-signatures are still under-appreciated. Here are three reasons why an e-signature strategy means big wins for credit union lending in the next year:
1. Market reach. E-signatures break down traditional barriers to providing services and products to your members located outside of the physical branch network. The cost to build new locations comes at a price that is not sustainable and certainly does not yield competitive advantages in the lending environment. With e-signatures, members can execute documents and agreements from any location—eliminating the challenges associated with servicing members located or traveling outside of your geographical community. Military and university credit unions can especially benefit with the enhanced ability to service and support geographically diverse or distributed memberships.
2. Member convenience. A satisfied member experience at its most basic meaning occurs when the member is provided a series of options for fulfilling a need. With e-signatures, lending can now provide a variety of choices for the member to easily and quickly execute lending agreements. Members can still sign documents electronically within your branches if they prefer, or they can choose to sign loan documents at home—in their pajamas at 2 a.m. With the additional options provided by e-signatures, members can conduct business at a time and place of their choosing. Technology has generated a concept of ease and immediacy when conducting business, and e-signatures help the credit union incorporate these new expectations in the lending practice.continue reading »