Fiserv's Kelly Street (left) and Marie Anderson

Empower financial health

Digital banking can set members up for financial success.

June 28, 2021

In today’s self-service, digital-first world, consumers increasingly rely on financial tools that enable real-time access to account and loan information, credit score monitoring, and more. 

This presents an opportunity for credit unions, as trusted financial advisors, to provide the right digital tools to members and educate them on how those tools can build financial health.

Today’s trending tools

Let’s first look at the latest developments in three digital technologies that are facilitating consumer education and engagement: virtual banking assistants, push notifications, and credit score monitoring.

  1. Virtual banking assistants. Engaging with a conversational, artificial intelligence-driven virtual assistant is an increasingly popular way to manage finances, and the technology continues to improve.
  2. Today’s virtual banking assistants can successfully answer voiced questions such as, “can I spend $80 on dinner?” and the virtual banking assistant will reveal real-time budget and spending history. 

    They can also guide savings opportunities by providing proactive, actionable insights based on spending behavior, and increase member engagement through dynamic, personalized 24/7/365 financial advice.

  3. Actionable alerts. While push notifications aren’t new, the availability of actionable alerts is worth noting. One example of an alert that can build financial health is a low-balance notification, which lets members know their checking account balance is below a certain threshold. 
  4. In the case of an actionable alert, the member can reply to immediately move money into the account. Actionable alerts allow members to better manage their money on an ongoing basis, and the real-time nature of notifications can flag signs of fraud on their accounts.

  5. Credit score monitoring. Today’s credit score monitoring has evolved beyond simply presenting a member with their credit score. Best-in-breed offerings include educational tools, credit report monitoring and alerts, and prequalified offers and savings opportunities. 

By educating accountholders on the factors that most impact their credit scores, members have the knowledge they need to take the right actions to improve them.

By understanding today’s financial landscape, credit unions can optimize digital banking experiences to empower members to achieve their financial goals.

Educating and empowering members

Even the most robust suite of digital banking tools must be supported with marketing and education so members know what tools are available and how to use them.

Here are five ways to improve member’s financial health:

  1. Know your audience. Personalize and target financial recommendations that meet your members where they are in their financial lifecycle, such as sending retirement savings tips to baby boomers while sharing rewards messaging with frequent card users.
  2. Simplify your message. Provide financial information that is easy to understand and act on. Use language that is clear, crisp, and concise to convey your message, avoiding jargon and industry abbreviations or acronyms. 

  3. Use multichannel marketing. Expand your reach by promoting your digital banking tools across various channels. Leverage the power of social media to share tips and savings opportunities, and start important conversations about financial health.
  4. Educate your members about using digital tools. This can happen in the initial sign-up education phase and through ongoing opportunities to share new features or enhancements. As their comfort level grows, so will their engagement and long-term satisfaction.
  5. Equip frontline employees. Train and educate staff members on the features and benefits of your digital solutions so they can effectively communicate with and assist members.

Credit union staff already help with some of life’s biggest moments, from first savings accounts to first homes. With today’s digital tools, your staff can even better counsel members on meeting their financial goals.

Financial well-being for all

Forging a path forward

By understanding today’s evolving financial landscape, credit unions can optimize digital banking experiences to empower members to achieve their financial goals. Doing so requires the right tools, a team that knows how to use and explain them, and an optimized communications strategy that personalizes the experience. 

That combination will set up members for financial success, and your credit union for loyal, long-term member relationships. 

KELLY STREET is director of consumer marketing, digital channels, and MARIE ANDERSON is consumer adoption and engagement marketing strategist, digital solutions, for Fiserv.