Screw digital! Member needs haven’t changed!

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Yet that seems to be the thinking of some “old school” credit union executives. And at a very fundamental level, they’re right. Just like when St. Mary’s Bank was founded over a hundred years ago, today’s credit union member needs a trusted financial institution to help them manage their money and get ahead in life.

But that’s where the similarity ends.

Picture life in New Hampshire in 1908. Now compare that to life just about anywhere today. When you think about it, how people manage their money is really a reflection of the times. Member needs are changing because members’ lives are changing. Digital transformation is serious business. The digital-first approach that we hear so much about lately is real. And it’s important.

What does digital-first really mean, though. You have a website. You pay big bucks for a mobile banking platform. You signed up for PopMoney. What else is there? That’s more like a digital-bolted-on approach.

Here are three questions you should ask yourself. If you answer no to even one, you fail.

  1. Do I know where all my member data is stored?
  2. Do I know how to get to all my member data?
  3. Can I actually use my member data any way I want – even if some of it exists in different siloes?

The last one is kind of a trick question because your data shouldn’t exist in different siloes, but that’s a topic for another column.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be going to Money20/20 in Las Vegas. The Sands Convention Center is going t be packed with companies that think digital-first. And the smart ones will be looking to team with digital-first banks and credit unions. And those digital-first banks and credit unions will be the ones that are still around five or 10 Money20/20s from now.

What’s the key to becoming a digital-first credit union? It starts with realizing that technology no longer supports your business; technology is your business. It’s that simple – and that complicated.

John San Filippo

John San Filippo

John is the co-founder of OmniChannel Communications, Inc., a company that specializes in B2B marketing to community financial institutions. He started out in the savings and loan industry, but wisely ... Web: Details