Technology often is cited as an agent of change today. Yet as many consumers adopt new ways to interact, they still use tried-and-true ways to connect.
The same holds true for financial services: As the demand for digital and mobile engagement has grown, the branch experience has remained vital to many relationships.
To gain an enhanced perspective on the impact of the digital transformation on financial services, Fiserv has partnered with Harris Poll to research shifting demand among consumers.
For the recently released “Expectations & Experiences: Household Finances” quarterly consumer trends survey, Harris Poll surveyed more than 3,000 adults to gauge how people manage their finances in the digital age.
Five key research findings:
1. Service quality drives satisfaction
Three-fourths (76%) of those surveyed by Harris Poll say they are satisfied with their primary financial organization.
Based on the experience of Fiserv clients, loyalty can be driven by strong service, card reward programs, and favorable interest rates on loans—three initiatives many credit unions prioritize.
2. Members expect real-time services
Digital and mobile technologies have redefined the speed of life today. As a result, many members are shifting their expectations toward real-time service delivery.
For 69% of adults, real-time services are defined as those that take place within seconds. Digital and mobile banking channels are among the best resources available to satisfy these new expectations.
3. Branches remain critical for high-touch interactions
Branches are the No. 1 channel for members to open accounts and take out loans due to the human touch and personalized experience. It’s important to keep this in mind as credit unions evolve the branch experience from transaction centers to service-oriented hubs.
Digital and mobile technologies are also impacting the branch experience, delivering greater efficiency in areas such as authentication via biometrics or greater insight into which member is in the branch via mobile beacons.
4. Consumers need financial literacy education
Sixty-percent of adults believe managing their money is “something I have to do, not something I want to do.”
Twenty-six-percent say they don’t have the time to manage money the way they want to, while one in four say they “often feel lost” trying to manage their household expenses.
By offering free financial literacy education programs, credit unions can help alleviate this feeling among members while nurturing more robust relationships in the process.
5. Consumers desire trusted partners
Nearly one in two households say they don’t have anyone to rely on for advice on managing their household finances. This is heightened among baby boomers (59%) and seniors (63%).
Many adults are have difficulty managing personal budgets, with the average adult rating his/her ability to stick with a budget as a “B-.”
Even more concerning, respondents give themselves only a “C+” for their ability to achieve long-term goals like saving for college or retirement. The good news is that credit unions often provide free, technology-enhanced resources to improve members’ financial management skills.
Click here for a paper summarizing additional survey findings.
People of all ages want services that are easy to use, secure, and in step with today’s faster pace of life. As interest in innovative technology such as digital wallets and mobile payments grows—particularly among millennials and affluent households—credit unions can leverage these tools to drive revenue and grow relationships.
Early adopters of leading-edge services also will gain a competitive advantage and sustainable relevancy in the marketplace.
Although the broader financial landscape is evolving rapidly, credit unions have many opportunities to capitalize on these changes.
As disruptive, nontraditional financial providers continue to emerge, it is evident that members place greater trust in established institutions like credit unions.
Through value-added services, such as financial literacy education and financial management assistance, credit unions can enhance their connections with new and current members for generations to come.
NIKKI WATERS is vice president, consumer marketing, for Fiserv.