Between the on-again, off-again recession, inflation, increasing fraud, rising interest rates, student loans coming due for the first time since the pandemic, worldwide disasters driving up prices like gas and groceries — it has been a bumpy ride as of late. How are your members faring?
One way to support your members is to turn to data. Leveraging insights about their spending and channel usage behaviors to create greater personalization, relevant offers, and education around crucial financial literacy and security issues. And, ideally, members should have that accessible 24/7, in the palms of their hands. It means making sure your digital banking platform is meeting, even exceeding, member expectations and needs.
Here are the top five features your members want from their digital banking platform
- Customer service
The entire financial industry has seen a drop in branch visits, but that doesn’t mean members can’t interact with you through a digital branch. It’s possible to replicate the in-branch experience with personalized face-to-face video visits via your digital banking platform. And not just with chatbots. Yes, artificial intelligence (AI) can handle many questions and transactions. But the best digital experiences offer members a choice between video, audio, phone or text interaction — with real, live people, when the bots can’t do the job. Collaborate either on screen, via text or phone to up the efficiency of responses to member inquiries. Seamlessly move from chat to voice or video based on what’s right for that particular account holder.
A real-world example of how it works: A member gets an alert about their account activity and follows a link to chat with a representative. Simple matters could be resolved via AI, while more complex issues could be routed to a person, who can handle it just as well as they could in a branch.
- Financial wellness
A recent study by the Financial Health Network found that 80% of account holders expect their primary financial institution to help them focus on financial wellness. But only 14% believe (or perceive) these programs are actually being offered.
“Facing uncertain economic times, consumers turn to their trusted financial institution for support. According to CNN, credit card debt reached an all time high in August when it surpassed the $1T mark. Now more than ever, members need support. Whether that’s alerts when they’re about to overdraft, automated savings, or reminders to pay off their statement – members are looking for assistance. Imagine if your credit union could support members before they know they need it. That’s where taking a proactive approach to financial wellness through transaction insights and personalization comes into play,” – Molly Irelan, Alkami
There’s a huge opportunity to provide the personalized financial advice your members want and need within your digital banking platform. The right consumer banking solutions can deliver education about how to improve credit scores, educate members with articles about things like preparing financially for the future, and provide opportunities to set savings goals – all of it designed to help your members get on solid financial footing.
- Digital account opening
Your members want speed, especially in digital account opening. Recent research found that for 90% of financial institutions, “friction during the digital account opening process” caused abandonment rates of 40%. Respondents cited too many manual steps, the process being too long and identity verification snags.
Affirming this finding, a recent report, “The State of Digital Sales and Engagement in Banking,” reveals as few as 30% of digital banking apps allow users to open a new checking account, apply for a consumer loan, or manage finances with speed.
Your platform needs to allow new and current members to open accounts within five minutes, easily. So how can credit unions accomplish this? Let’s break it down.
- Introduce an online shopping experience for consumers and business owners
- Empower applicants to apply within a matter of minutes via minimal data inputs, electronic signatures, and flexible funding options
- Automate identity verification processes with Non-Documentary Customer Identification
- Seamlessly onboard newly approved members into digital banking (without having to create new credentials) where they can push provision debit cards to their digital wallet
It’s simple. The smoother the experience, the faster that consumer becomes a new member. What’s next? Offering the digital banking solutions your members need to win the primary relationship.
- Money movement
Real-time payments. Peer-to-peer payments, FedNow, instant Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposits. Your members crave speed, convenience and control over how they receive, send, and transfer money.
Why should your members go outside your institution to handle the money they keep within it?
Flexible payments, funds transfers, remote deposit capture, instant account verification — it should all be available on your digital platform. Bringing all of these pieces together allows you to offer the payment options your members are looking for in a single location. Now, your credit union can capitalize on new revenue streams and accelerate product adoption, all while growing share of wallet with your membership.
- Security, risk & fraud protections
Fraud is a growing concern as cyber criminals get more sophisticated by the day. Your members need to know their funds are safe and secure with you. It starts with a digital platform built to defend your members, mitigate risks, and deliver uncompromising security.
As threats emerge, your credit union needs to be ready to protect your members’ accounts and your institution’s reputation. What better way to secure the banking experience than relying on identifiers that make a member truly unique, their behavioral biometrics.
“By tapping into insights from behavioral biometrics, credit unions can elevate your security screening without compromising the user experience with excessive authentication alerts. This allows you to detect and respond in real time to any cyberattacks while reducing costs from fewer alerts, fraudulent claims, or actual fraud losses.” – Kristen Bryce, Alkami
Fraud alerts, authentication practices, password protections — all of that is vital. But just as important is a platform that is designed to scale. What works today may not work tomorrow, as cybercriminals become more creative and innovative. Your members’ security needs to be future-proofed with a layered approach to security and fraud.
Getting to market faster
Most credit unions want to provide this kind of feature-rich digital experience for their members. Few have in-house teams with the expertise needed to develop these tools or support.
A trusted digital banking partnership can act as an advisor, providing guidance and objectivity for credit unions who are looking for third-party vendors to accelerate innovation. Having this type of matchmaker takes the guesswork and risk out of finding the right fintech to develop the best digital banking platform for your members and allows you to differentiate your experience – sharpening your competitive advantage.
For more information, contact Alkami.
Co-author: Kristen Bryce