The future of core
As for the future of core processing, Corelation’s Maron says the goal is to integrate data and apps across all channels. “Over the next five years you’ll see self-serve capabilities match in-branch capabilities,” he says. “We work closely with a company that is helping us set the stage for the branch of the future, where a member can use an iPad in the lobby to set up a transaction and then walk over to an ATM or a teller who already knows what the member wants.
“It’s a concierge approach versus walking into a space where tellers stand behind bulletproof glass,” Maron continues. “Instead, the consumer experience is like walking into an Apple store.”
He says Corelation is open to working with technology vendors of all kinds, including producers of wearable technologies, such as Apple or Samsung watches. One problem that might arise with wearables is that their viewable areas are limited compared with other mobile devices, Maron says.
But he thinks consumers will readily accept that limitation given their own experience with mobile devices.
“Members want a seamless handoff,” says Jones. “If they start looking at something on their smartphone, they want to move over to a tablet or desktop that looks the same as from where they started. What’s interesting is that members themselves know what kind of data they can access given their various devices’ screen areas. This means that members are now driving how core systems present data.”
Packer, who wears an Apple watch, understands the role of wearables inside a relationship with a financial institution. “Do I want to use my watch for data entry? No—its real estate is too small for that use. So it’s not a challenge for credit unions to figure out what data will be the most useful to watch-wearing members.”
Jones says mobile is changing everything. “It’s washing across the entire industry, oft en leaving a swath of destruction behind it.”
What’s being destroyed, he says, are the old assumptions that member relationships begin at the branch and extend outward instead of from the customer inward.
“Credit unions have to think of how members perceive their contacts with them,” Jones says. “Members quickly catch on that doing a four-minute transaction on the smartphone beats taking 30 minutes to do the same thing at a branch.
“Consumer expectations have been formed by vendors like Amazon,” he continues. “Members’ questions aren’t about how do I do this or that, but why can’t I do this or that?”
Maron says his best advice for credit unions is to “understand that when you switch core processors, you’re bringing in a new system for a reason: to solve problems or handle data that your old system could not. That’s why it’s important to throw out what you’ve been doing before with your old system.”
Jones advises rethinking contacts with members: “Maybe even do home visits. Look for deeper and richer payment analytics—a process that takes up one third of all core processes. Leverage data to create moneymaking opportunities. Be prepared to expand into commercial lending and services. Simplify members’ experiences with you—think across channels. Partner with a good vendor.
“Fifty years ago, lenders had vastly more power than [borrowers],” he continues. “Now the field has been leveled. Financial institutions have to compete on price and product. If you don’t understand the omnichannel experience and how members move across them, you will see breakage of your member base.”