Computers have revolutionized the financial services industry.
Buildings once filled with accountants and clerks balancing the transactions of the day are now consolidated into a few rooms. These computers not only worked 24/7, they also provided a level of visibility and analysis that was previously impossible.
While there have been many operational efficiencies enabled by computers since then, we are now seeing the next wave of revolutionary change driven by technology as we become a paperless and cashless society.
As credit union members seek to do more themselves—on-demand, easier, and faster than ever before—technology is the force multiplier for how we provide the capabilities, analytics, and engagement to stay connected to our increasingly mobile members.
On the surface, better engagement—digital engagement in particular—are essential for any credit union that wants to keep up with consumer demands.
Members are moving quickly to virtual self-service; they want to bank when, where, and how they choose.
The great news? Virtual self-service is also highly efficient for the credit union.
However, the concern is, as members become virtual, how do credit unions maintain or enhance member dialogues and relationships?
If we examine how members communicate, shop, and stay informed digitally, we can build great relationships with even the most virtual of members.
As with any other channel, credit unions need to have a deep understanding of member preferences and behaviors in order to respond to members' needs—or even better, predict them.
Face-to-face personal interactions with your members are still important. Digital and physical channels aren't mutually exclusive; they're essential parts of the overall experience.
What is unique about digital engagement is that it is a proven driver of offline behavior. For instance, recent Fiserv studies found consumers engaged in mobile banking use their debit cards more, while digital banking enrollment is associated with increased product holdings from an institution, compared to non-digital users.
Those are important factors for member relationships and organizational growth.
When members do choose to visit a branch, technology is transforming that experience as well. We've seen powerful examples of tools like biometrics, enhanced ATMs, and functional kiosks changing the way members interact with their credit unions.
As an example, member interest in a faster, biometrics-enabled teller line is not only a winner for in-branch efficiency, it's a fundamentally better, more secure experience for everyone.
Innovative technologies also enable a better staff experience—a critical differentiator many credit unions are actively investing in. If member experience is a top priority, staff experience is its biggest enabler.
Holistically using technology to build exceptional, essential experiences for members and associates can provide an engagement and morale boost to any credit union and help drive optimal results.
Whatever the application, a credit union's technology strategy should focus on smart processes. Frequently, technology can merely reinforce old processes by making things run a bit faster or a little easier.
But that's not the point. Technology needs to go to work for you, reinventing processes for a new, digital world.
As your credit union challenges the process status quo, you'll not only deliver the results you need, you'll also likely discover innovative ideas, attract new members, and find untold opportunities to enhance your members' financial lives.
RYON PACKER is senior vice president, enterprise product strategy, Credit Union Solutions, for Fiserv.