Jim Nussle

The journey to digital maturity

Working group examines technology’s role in serving members.

August 24, 2022

We can’t take technology for granted. Even those who’ve unveiled the latest and greatest tech can’t rest on their laurels because the next big thing is right around the corner.

There’s nothing regular about the pace of technology either. Demand for new ideas and innovation is constant.

Our movement’s relevance now and in the future is always on my mind. I love hearing feedback, ideas, and even concerns as we must face these issues together.

Embracing technology is a mandate of any service- oriented industry. Consumers are discovering and mastering advancements we don’t even know exist yet, but soon they’ll expect them from the businesses they work with.

Technology can improve everything from employee well-being to allowing access to safe and affordable capital. The possibilities are endless.

That’s why the Credit Union System Digitization Working Group—led by CUNA Chief Engagement Officer Greg Michlig and consisting of credit union leaders from around the country—is looking at digitization in a variety of ways that could help our members.

These include increasing analytics and market intelligence, acquiring and empowering talent, engaging and deepening member relationships, and optimizing day-to-day operations. That’s just from the first year of the working group, and each of those issues is worth exploring.

The working group is tackling one of the most relevant issues facing credit unions: developing movement-wide digital assessment tools and metrics.

Every organization is at a different part of their journey. But as the champion for America’s credit unions, CUNA is here to facilitate the movement’s digitization by helping develop standards, tools, and resources for our members and collaborators.

You can’t fix a problem unless you know about it, and that’s why we’re designing these resources. Here’s a look at our different workstreams.

‘How can you know where to start unless you know where you stand?’

The digital journey

How can you know where to start unless you know where you stand? An assessment tool will allow credit unions to gauge where they are and where they should be going.

Those of you working in credit unions have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t, and that’s a great place to start on this journey. Some might find they’re further along than they thought, while others might find the path to digital maturity is longer than they imagined. We won’t know unless we look.

The maturity model road map

Like so much of what we do, digitization is a process. It’s about improvement, evolution, and responding to a dynamic world.

What does “digital maturity” mean? And what does it take to stay mature and not get left behind by emerging technologies?

That’s why it’s important to identify offerings, strategies, and operational checkpoints to consider in the journey to digital maturity 

The credit union digitization score

After all this analysis and assessment, it’s important for institutions of all sizes and complexity to get an apples-to-apples score on where they stand with digitization.

Creating a scoring matrix to benchmark digital activity gives credit unions honest data to measure the impact of their digital tools and offerings. Our products and services can look great on paper, but if they don’t have the desired affect on our members’ lives it’s all for nothing.

The CUNA Board of Directors learned about this during our summer board meeting, and we’re excited—not just about the possibilities but by the idea of
 movement-wide tools and resources all credit unions can use to learn where they stand and how they can improve.

This working group is a starting point. Thanks to all who have worked on the group and those who continue to do so. I’m excited to see our movement embrace this opportunity.

JIM NUSSLE is president/CEO of Credit Union National Association.