The new imperative for credit unions

Build trust in the age of digital acceleration.

June 7, 2021

Member acquisition and ongoing member satisfaction are always priorities for credit unions. As an industry, have we reached a tipping point?

Consumers expect easy, fast, frictionless experiences. With consumers embracing services like Venmo, Uber, and Amazon, credit unions need to innovate and move forward with easier experiences that elevate the member experience. If they don’t, credit unions risk losing to other financial institutions or fintech companies that have accelerated their digital methods.

Fast payment streams, such as same-day Automated Clearing House (ACH), real-time payments (RTPs), and peer-to-peer (P2P) services, have also launched across the industry. No one is sure which one may ultimately become the predominant channel. We can, however, count on the consumer need for faster experiences.

The pandemic acceleration

Over the last 12-15 months, the pandemic has fast-tracked a number of digital banking trends. With fewer people visiting branches, online banking has surged and use of Zelle, Venmo, and other P2P services has increased. Simply put, banking is now a 24/7, 365-day business, and there’s no denying the demand for faster payments. Based on a survey of credit unions and community banks:

  • 67% of credit unions and community banks indicate customers are asking for Zelle.
  • 45% of credit unions and community banks indicate customers are asking for same-day ACH.
  • 82% of credit unions and community banks indicate that an additional faster payment option is a priority.

The “digital newbie” storm

As digital acceleration speeds up, the number of “digital newbies” has also increased. Consumers new to the digital experience are more susceptible to social engineering, romance scams, or giving out personal information that enables account takeovers.

Conversely, fraudsters are becoming more tech-savvy and sophisticated and are using more automated means to attack vulnerabilities of digital newbies and within financial services. It’s truly a perfect storm.

The harsh nature of this storm is that while the member may have unwittingly enabled the fraud, they rely on their credit union to protect them. If they don’t get that protection, they’ll take their accounts elsewhere.

Start, and secure, your digital acceleration

To secure your digital acceleration, you need to start the journey. Build your expertise in some of the newer technologies on the market, like native-cloud artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and their capabilities. You can also learn a lot from your peers. Understand what’s working for them and what isn’t. Lastly, talk to regulators, as they are certainly promoting accelerated innovation in financial crime detection.

Learn more about starting your path to secure digital acceleration.