2020 has brought forth a new urgency in providing technology and remote banking options to members. While this may have been a priority for credit unions in previous years, the events of the last 11 months have made “lobbyless” banking a necessity. As credit unions begin to evaluate solutions to bring technology to their members, here are some helpful tips to ensure the best solution is deployed.
- Consider your current member behavior. There are many ways members interact with your credit union – online only, mobile apps, in branch transactions, a mixture of all. While incorporating new conveniences and technologies can drive adoption, if your members aren’t interested the expense will be wasted.
The best example of this is peer to peer (P2P) payments. Many institutions will adopt technology to allow members to send money to their friends and family. However, there are popular options such as Venmo and CashApp widely used. Likely, consumers aren’t interested in downloading another app if they have found one that works for their network. Therefore, investing in a competitive, lesser known option will likely not see the adoption needed to justify the cost.
- Evaluate the demographics of your current members and target new members. Much like the example with P2P payments, different generations expect different conveniences. Extensive research has been conducted on the value of brick and mortar versus digital banking and the consensus has been the same – there is still a place for branch banking. However, if you’re looking to onboard younger members, functionality of mobile apps, online banking and digital wallets are critical. As we navigate a healthy balance of traditional service and digital, it will be important to know where to invest in proprietary solutions and where to turn to industry leaders for partnerships.
- Consider how the technology will change the member experience. The most important area to consider with onboarding new products or services is to question “what will this enhance or replace in the member experience?” If you’re struggling to find an answer, the product or service likely isn’t needed. Or, perhaps a deeper dive into the current portfolio could show redundancies to streamline. Ultimately, asking these questions early in the discovery can help identify if the need exists or if funds could be better allocated elsewhere.