Credit unions are in the midst of sweeping transformation. Many have realized the value of expanding digital capabilities to drive growth and gain competitive advantages in the fast-changing marketplace. Digitizing manual processes and centralizing records can help credit unions enhance the member experience, retain current members while recruiting new ones, as well as drive productivity, optimize operations and save costs.
However, credit unions only employ, on average, 16.7 employees. Small workforces like these likely don’t have the IT resources necessary to develop and maintain tailored digital solutions. If credit unions want to reap the benefits of digital transformation without incurring cost or resource overruns, they can turn to low-code/no-code technology.
Simplified tools maximize digitization initiatives
Organizations that are perennially strong performers provide personalized, accessible digital services, such as omnichannel banking, loan applications and member onboarding. The same firms also digitize internal processes to make everything behind the scenes, like back-office support operations, run more smoothly. These types of improvements help credit unions meet member demands for tailored convenience and speed while maintaining compliance with ever-changing regulations.
Digitization, however, doesn’t just happen with the click of a mouse. Deploying new technologies and solutions or making changes to existing digital processes requires an effective IT strategy and roadmap, as well as capital and manpower. Fintech companies have resources smaller credit unions do not, so credit unions must be thoughtful about digital transformation initiatives to maintain an edge even against competition with deeper pockets.
Plenty of credit unions have dove into the world of low-code solutions to get the most out of their often-limited resources. Credit unions are adopting digital tools that don’t require sophisticated technical knowledge, such as low-code biometric authentication, low-code and no-code AI-driven process automation and pre-built back-office and member-facing solutions.
Despite the variety of available no-code and low-code tools, credit unions should still perform their due diligence before selecting a technology partner. Decision makers may want to consider the following capabilities:
- Financial services experience, particularly with compliance: Vendors should thoroughly understand the regulatory landscape, including NCUA requirements and other banking regulations. Credit unions should also focus on vendors who are committed to security and privacy, which is of utmost concern among potential and current credit union members.
- Low friction: As the various examples make clear, “no-code” and “low-code” refer to a wide range of functionalities. Credit unions may want to home in on tools that are especially intuitive, like those which offer drag-and-drop interfaces or are easily accessible.
- Customization: Often, there is a trade-off between low-code and customizability. But some vendors do offer flexible, low-code solutions that clients can quickly configure to their specific needs.
- Growth: One of the most challenging acts to perform with limited resources is scaling. And many solutions offer reasonable implementation price points, only to gouge customers when it comes time to add more capacity. Credit unions can seek out vendors that offer a cloud-first development approach with transparent pricing structures that allow them to scale and remain dynamic without incurring unforeseen overruns.
- Ability to serve as a technical backbone: Low/no-code solutions that can serve as a technical hub for the rest of a credit union’s apps and services are especially valuable. Consider a no-code solution that establishes a records-management framework with automated records retention. Building around this framework can reduce compliance, as well as operational costs.
Regardless of the selected feature set, it may be helpful for credit unions to maximize out-of-the-box features, including pre-built solutions before customizing anything and provide regular trainings to jumpstart and maintain digitization.
No code but plenty of ROI
The right low- or no-code solution offers numerous benefits to credit unions. Smaller financial services institutions can leverage these tools to meet member demand. Credit unions can also use these platforms to create internal processes that meet employees’ expectations and demand for a stronger user experience, all without adding untenable costs to their IT spend. It’s a challenging environment for credit unions, but those that find a home for cutting-edge low- or no-code solutions can deploy automated solutions quickly, speed adoption of digital tools and achieve the ROI needed to compete.