Digital transformation is revolutionary and fast-paced, altering industries and the world around us every day. The financial industry isn’t immune to change as consumers today expect convenience and personalization when managing their money.
Recognizing how people interact with their money and how we make that interaction more convenient and customized is key to the future of our movement. Fortunately, we’re uniquely equipped to deliver on this expectation because of our focus on people and relationships, not profits.
Credit unions, better than any other financial institutions, have served people extraordinarily well in our branches and through our call centers for years. The human interactions between our front-line staff and members have provided a wealth of information that leads to the development of innovative products and services.
With advancements in technology, data mining, and artificial intelligence (AI), we must apply our member-first service mentality to our digital delivery.
While convenience is important, we should never prioritize it at the expense of member experience. With that in mind, we must ask ourselves, how can we leverage technology trends to compete differently while staying true to the credit union mission?
We all recognize there are basic digital capabilities people have come to expect from financial institutions, such as access to accounts through a mobile device, desktop, or tablet.
Today, our members also expect the ability to manage their finances more holistically, with more convenient access to loan applications, loan approval status, fraud controls, disputes, and so much more—all without having to visit a physical location.
Sophisticated organizations offer these options digitally, and those who don’t will find it difficult to compete for member market and mind share.
One trend that’s becoming more prevalent is AI. In fact, ChatGPT from OpenAI has placed this technology at the forefront of conversations in every industry. The possibilities of what it can do to improve insights and act at a higher rate of speed are left to the imagination.
Used wisely, it can provide the financial industry with tremendous opportunities to deliver highly personalized products and services through a nimble, seamless experience.
We’ve already seen this with several AI-based solutions, including robotic process automation, interactive voice response/chat automation, and AI-based fraud prevention solutions.
The next generation of use cases is wide open if we’re prepared.
To enable more advanced solutions like AI, credit unions need to have solid data and digital strategies in place, as well as a secured infrastructure. Leveraging AI to improve efficiencies for member service delivery and uncover innovative ways to offer a more personalized banking experience is something we all need to consider.
If we do this well, we can harness the power of countless data sources and translate that information into tailor-made recommendations for our members.
However, we can’t lose sight of the fact that we live in a world with bad actors. We must remain vigilant about protecting our members from those who continually invent ways to defraud them—and us.
While it’s important that we embrace change and leverage technology for the sake of innovation, we must also leverage technology to elevate the effectiveness of the information security programs we have in place.
Although the evolution in technology has and will continue to change how we approach the member experience, the future remains bright for those who embrace it.
At CommunityAmerica Credit Union in Lenexa, Kan., we’re investing in these advancements because we know it will benefit our members’ financial well-being. I encourage you to do the same.
Because members are and will always be at the heart of everything we do, this is yet another crucial element of the credit union movement that will allow us to stand out from our competitors.