Credit unions face an array of challenges when it comes to keeping up with the latest technology trends. From growing member relationships with the latest online and mobile solutions, to keeping those same members protected from cyber attacks, credit unions have a lot of technology balls in the air.
Here’s the top five technology trends that have an almost-daily impact on credit unions.
1. Digital Transformation
Whether it’s Amazon or Etsy, eBay or their favorite news site, members expect the same level of digital sophistication they encounter in other parts of their life. Is your website as responsive to member needs as possible? What kinds of process automation efforts have you completed or are about to launch? Not only should credit unions be asking these kinds of questions, they should be equally prepared to respond when the answers might fall in the “needs work” category.
As we’ve noted before, consumers are as interested in financial products and services from tech brands as they are from banks and credit unions. In the face of this new competition, credit unions must be prepared to meet the tech brands head-on by leveraging their strengths in offering a better member experience. Low interest rates and low fees often bring members in the door. But many credit union members are willing to stay for the high customer experience levels credit unions have historically been able to provide, as evidenced by the high marks credit unions consistently score in the annual Temkin Customer Experience Ratings.
According to one credit union technology expert, another option is to pursue a partnership with their tech competitors. These emerging fintech solutions need “eyeballs and your members” to succeed, so teaming up might be a win/win option for some.
3. Marketing Automation
Automating sales and marketing efforts with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and other automation tools helps credit unions manage these efforts more efficiently. Yet CRM adoption and a move toward digital solutions is not as widespread among credit unions as it could be. This is a missed opportunity when you consider the additional benefits that could be gained. From bridging an organizational culture divide to data sharing and tracking profitability, a fully optimized CRM can aid in personalization efforts and help manage each of the crucial touch points in the member/credit union relationship. Marketing automation software that allows for optimizing messaging to different audiences and automating workflows for greater efficiency can given the smaller brick and mortar credit unions a way to compete against larger institutions.
4. Cyber Security
Of course, every step taken to aid digital transformation and marketing automation triggers an equally important need to protect the data that’s now more easy to access than ever. Balancing the productivity and value of data flow with the need to keep data safe requires all credit unions to go beyond checking a compliance box. Credit unions will need to adopt more detailed approaches to data security, including accessing a Security Information Management System (SIEM) and other outsourced security solutions.
Technology, if you’re doing it right, generates a lot of data. Credit unions can’t afford to let it sit there. Instead, individual member data helps build a truly member-centric credit union that can quickly respond to their specific needs. In today’s data-driven world, analytics are mission critical to growing member relationships.
Changing Fast and Slow
A newly retired veteran of credit union technology summed up today’s challenges for credit unions with a quote from marketing expert Graeme Wood: “Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again”. The technology changes credit unions have absorbed thus far are likely minor hops, when compared to the leaps that will come in the next decade.
Credit unions should take advantage of all the tools they have to navigate these changes, while keeping a constant eye on the next development down the road. Join the hundreds of other credit unions who have found a solution to these technology impacts. Get started with 360 View, The Growth Platform.