Partnership is key: Why technology alone is never enough

In life, problems are a given. They can be mundane, from a flat tire to a burned dinner, or seemingly insurmountable, like a pandemic. They exist in everyday life and in every industry – including ours. 

Often faced with fewer resources and less access to expertise, credit unions have traditionally borne the brunt of problems facing the financial services industry as a whole. Outdated systems. Fraud. Deficient self-service capabilities. Lack of marketing intelligence. Insufficient security. They all lead to a tedious, unrewarding experience for both the member and staff.  

Fortunately, credit unions are a resourceful bunch. Throughout the industry, credit unions have embraced technology to help them solve their problems, with varying degrees of success. Credit union leaders may be surprised to learn that it’s not just the quality of the solution that determines how well technology will solve the financial institution’s problems. It’s as much determined by the depth of the partnership between the credit union and the solution provider.

People and partnership make the difference

As the financial services industry continues to invest in a variety of state-of-the-art technological solutions to solve problems and enhance interactions, credit unions have too often been left with siloed systems or platforms that might have met their needs but lacked training and follow-through by the tech firm.

Here’s the key: tech solves problems – but only when people, engaged in true partnership, are front and center. 

Here at CU NextGen, we’re as much about partnership as we are about providing technology. We recognize that in order to solve a credit union’s problems, we must first have a meeting of minds about how the issue affects the credit union from all sides – from the staff to product delivery to the member and everything in between. That’s because no two problems are exactly alike. What solves one credit union’s problems may not work for another. It’s only through expertise and engagement that people can deliver on the promises of their technology. 

By learning everything there is to know about a credit union’s working environment, we can layer our new technology on top of existing platforms so that everything works seamlessly together. No siloes. Just solutions that work. Whether it’s a Member Relationship Management (MRM) platform, fraud management solution, biometric authentication, robotic automation, artificial intelligence, or a no-code app, it takes people to deliver best-in-class technology and value solutions that truly work for your credit union.

Partnerships in action

For example, a credit union was referred to us with an urgent problem during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their existing technology for processing loan applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, then in its first, frenzied phase, had failed to live up to its promises, leaving the credit union unable to submit member applications. The credit union approached us late on a Friday, and we discussed in detail the nature of the issue — not just what they were trying to accomplish, but also what additional enhancements we could bring to the table. 

Over the weekend, before putting ink on a contract, we got to work. By Monday evening, we were able to deploy into production the ability for the credit union’s members to complete an application and an administration interface allowing the credit union to submit applications. From there, we ramped up, rolling out enhancements every 24 to 48 hours with features like DocuSign capability for loan documents, a data file to ingest into the loan origination system for funding automation, and other features to add value and customization to the solution based on the credit union’s wants and needs – and those of their members. 

In another circumstance, a CUSO was struggling with sharing applications among its three credit unions. The CUSO came to CU NextGen and asked us to build a new solution within the SharePoint application for decedent claims for all three credit unions. Thanks to the success of this custom solution built directly upon the CUSO’s needs, it was a partnership that flourished from the start, growing into additional solutions for title processing, case management, robotic process automation, and more. We’ve built 15 robotic processes for the CUSO thus far and are continuing to identify and provide solutions to help them overcome their challenges. 

In both of these cases, the clients came to us with technology already in place – technology that was missing the mark and creating issues rather than solving them. The agile CU NextGen team was able to solve those problems quickly, with high-quality solutions paired with thoughtful partnership that got to the heart of the client’s needs. 

There may never be an easier prediction to make than to say that technology will play a greater role in our future than it even does in our present. We’re also sure to continue to face problems in our industry. However, for CU NextGen, we know this: people are the real solution.

To learn more about CU NextGen, visit cunextgen.com or call 1-800-311-3928.

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