5. Big data
Information management presents a challenge, but one that’s rife with opportunity.
“There’s so much information available to us through our customer relationship management systems, our core processing systems, and social media,” Reh says. “We need to figure out how to use that data to engage members and create deeper relationships. We need to make offers for products and services members may not know they need.”
Credit unions also need to better leverage their social media. “We need to use social media as a tool to help members improve their financial lives, not simply to have a social media presence,” Reh says.
There’s certainly no lack of available data: The world produces as much data in two days as in the previous 5,000 years, says Peter Halenar, vice president of strategic partnerships for MoneyDesktop.
This provides a potential treasure trove of information if it’s interpreted properly. Among other industries, predictive policing helps police departments target areas where crime is on the rise. Netflix analyzes usage patterns of its 30 million customers each day to recommend movies or other content. Retailers target advertising to customers based on their recent purchases.
Financial institutions can use big data to track when, for example, members will need auto loans, mortgages, or other services. Credit unions also can determine which members are banking elsewhere and make detailed counter offers.
“When you learn to corral that information and turn it into actions that benefit your credit union,” Halenar says, “you’ll gain wallet share, increase membership, and turn more people into the all-important primary financial institution members.”
Technology today poses both endless possibilities and a baffling array of options. The trick, Reh says, is to focus on your credit union’s strategy first and select the technologies that serve strategy.
Technologies are the tools, he says, not the drivers.
JUDY DAHL is a free-lance writer based in Madison, Wis.