As financial technologies become more complex, credit unions must design their business and data models around the member.
As digital strategies continue to proliferate throughout the credit union industry, the contact center has become essential.
Calling a company about an issue can be a miserable experience. Being transferred to four departments and having to explain an issue, not to mention basic account information, four different times will frustrate the most patient consumers. These experiences have given the call center a bad image in the minds of consumers. Stereotypes of call center agents who do not speak fluent English failing to understand a problem have been burned into the American culture. However, the necessity for remotely assisting consumers has never been greater. Redesigning the call center into a contact center will enable credit unions to give their members excellent service. It will also empower credit unions to continue learning about their members through every interaction.
In an age of increasingly complex relationships, members expect an omni-channel relationship with their credit union.
Consumers, particularly millennials, are becoming less interested in meeting actual people to solve their problems and more interested in doing it themselves. With the rise of the internet, information is readily available to all. This allows consumers to search and find solutions to meet their needs in a matter of seconds. This is a tremendous opportunity for consumers but it is also a serious challenge for retail institutions. This is especially true for retail financial institutions such as community banks and credit unions.
As an industry in the middle of a massive shift, credit unions must steer in the best direction to enter a prosperous future.
The Financial services industry has traditionally been an industry where change happens gradually at the direction of a few large institutions. Since the introduction of the internet in the 1990’s, finance has been in a state of exponential change. The digitalization of money is causing an even more powerful catalyst of change: the proliferation of data at a pace most credit unions cannot fathom. Consequently, credit unions must form a data-driven vision to act as a strong rudder to navigate through the data storm.
In my previous blog, 3 Steps to Build Business Analytics in Mortgage Lending, I explained the steps a credit union should take to implement Business Analytics (BA). A great entry point for credit unions to begin establishing BA is mortgage lending. Once BA has been implemented, opportunities for deepening the cooperative culture of a credit union arise. Cooperation is the DNA of the Credit Union Movement. BA gives credit unions the ability to establish clear communication to strengthen their cooperative-oriented culture. Data-driven decisions and effective communication delivered by BA (embedded in business processes) will reinforce the cooperative strategy of credit unions.
“…wallets may generate substantial data that will lead to better member insights and possibly also profits.” – Kirk Drake, founder and CEO of Ongoing Operations, LLC
In a highly competitive financial services industry, credit unions are turning to mobile to survive and meet the ever changing demand of members. Credit union members are flocking to their mobile devices to do everything from check balances to deposit checks because they find it more convenient than the “old way” of banking. As credit unions realize their members demand to go mobile, they begin to shift their focus from expanding physically to expanding virtually. Investments in mobile applications will likely dominate credit unions’ budgets in the coming years as they attempt to stay competitive. One of these investments will likely be enhancing mobile payments. Mobile payments will not only make life more convenient for credit union members but it will change the way credit unions interact with their members as they use Big Data and Analytics to gain better member insights.
Credit unions, as member-owned financial cooperatives, track and report regularly the number of members they have. Membership is reported to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the credit union board, credit union management and in the annual report to members, among others.
Often the number of members reported varies depending on who at the credit union does the reporting. This can lead to confusion and concern. There may be someone in finance, someone in marketing and someone in administration all reporting on how many members the credit union has, and all reporting a different number of members!
Obviously the total member count needs to be consistent and accurate. However, there are several challenges that must be overcome: