Although it can be tempting to chase the next new shiny object—and there are always exciting new innovations to consider in the financial industry—credit unions should focus on technology investments that optimize the delivery of trusted products and services to members. With an increasingly competitive lending marketplace vying for consumer loyalty, focus on three important technology initiatives.
Before spending money on new technology, ensure you are making the most of what you already have. Confirm you have clean data and “one version of the truth” when it comes to reporting. If you ask three departments the same question, you should get the same answer. A good place to start is measuring your credit union’s current instant approval ratio and setting a goal for improvement.
The Origence Consulting team has worked with credit unions that have tremendous resources—smart people, well-capitalized, great market, strong brand awareness, and a robust loan decision engine—but are only automating 11% of their loan decisions. Credit unions can significantly increase efficiencies and accuracy by fully optimizing their loan origination system’s decision engine to increase the number of automatic approvals.
Credit unions are known to average less than 30% automated decisions, while those automating 50% or more are much more likely to exceed their lending goals. Why maximize automated decisions? Because members shop online for loans and are most likely applying with more than one lender. If you make them wait while another lender approves them immediately, they’ll move on without you.
When you automate decisions—and move from 11% to 50%—you can quickly move the needle on your loan production. And to be clear, an automated loan decision means either an approval or a decline. If you’re referring an application to a staff member for review, that’s not an automated decision.
Additionally, before you introduce a new product or service, make sure your core products and services are the best they can be. Look at your internal reporting, channel availability for members, how the products are structured, and whether your margins are optimal, especially in a rising-rate environment. That’s not to say you should delay launching new products or reduce your tech budget. Invest in new things, but make sure your institution also has a team dedicated to optimizing your existing systems and product offerings.
Once your foundation is firm and you’re ready to invest in something new, your focus should turn to the digital experience and machine learning.