Fintechs are raising the bar on the consumer experience, says consultant Mark Sievewright.
Credit unions have built their name on great member service. Now and in the future, their success will depend on how well they empower their members to serve themselves.
That’s the message Mark Sievewright, founder/CEO of Sievewright & Associates, shared Tuesday during the 2021 CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council and CUNA Technology Council Virtual Conference.
“In the past we knew our members when they walked into our branches,” Sievewright says. “In the next nine to 10 years your members will decide if you’re meeting their expectations to a large degree by how much you allow them to self-serve.”
This is much more than offering a mobile app or online banking. Sievewright calls this digital transformation a reimagining of credit unions “bringing together your technology, data, people, and business processes.”
Sievewright keeps a close eye on big financial players such as Bank of America and Chase. Those firms have made huge plays in artificial intelligence and analytics to drive their payment platforms, he says, citing statistics showing Chase’s in-branch transaction volume has dropped 49% in the past five years.
Sievewright also notes that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has stated publicly his concern that financial technology (fintech) firms pose a threat to traditional players in financial services.
“If the CEO of a $3.3 trillion financial institution is worried about fintechs, you better believe every credit union CEO in America should be equally concerned,” he says.
Put simply, the experience consumers receive from fintech firms, driven by technology and social interaction, define what they expect from financial institutions. “Their lever is convenience, says Sievewright, who sits on the board of several fintech firms.
He notes that 35% of credit union members are customers of at least one fintech most likely Venmo.
But credit unions have opportunities to partner with fintechs, according to Sievewright.
He praised CUNA and CUNA Mutual for initiating some of these relationships. While larger fintechs such as Venmo have established their space, many smaller fintechs want to be part of the credit union ecosystem, Sievewright says.