NAFCU Services Blog

Jun 06, 2019

It’s a brave new digital world. Not sure what to prioritize, or how? Start here.

By Jeffrey Dillon, VP Digital Consumer Experience, CUNA Mutual Group

Like most credit unions, you’re likely either beginning to think about or in the thick of a “digital transformation.” But given the swirl of new technologies and ideas—not to mention a growing number and variety of competitors—it can be hard to know how to best structure and implement that transformation.

How can your credit union proactively prepare for an increasingly complex and digital future?

Put these at the top of your to-do list.

Get over the idea of “right.” Things are changing so quickly—especially consumer expectations—that the concept of an absolute right digital strategy is no longer possible. You might have the “right” answer for right this second, but there’s no guarantee it will stay the right answer even a few months down the road.

Digital World

Make flexibility your top priority. Look for the strategies and choices that allow you the best opportunity to leverage data, evolve, and adapt over time. And keep this thought in mind as you build your digital strategy: Today’s choices are tomorrow’s legacies. Make flexible choices that allow your credit union to continue to evolve.

Let consumer expectations drive your strategy. What do consumers expect? The short answer is “everything.” They’re conditioned by tech giants and agile app providers alike to expect fast, customized, seamless experiences no matter the task. If a member starts a loan on your online banking platform and later switches to their phone, they expect to find an already populated application—not a blank slate. If you shoot them an offer they’ll be rightly frustrated if it doesn’t meet their needs or is something they already have.

Leverage data to stay competitive.  You have a goldmine of data—use it! Rely on data and technology to automate processes, smooth the member journey, and understand and meet consumer expectations today, and tomorrow (see “flexibility” above). If your credit union can’t deliver on mobile, doesn’t show up in a voice-activated search, or doesn’t leverage artificial intelligence (A.I.), you won’t be able to compete.  And most consumers—especially Millennial and Next Gen—won’t hesitate to go elsewhere and will find plenty of options to choose from.

Digital transformation is possible and critical. But an effective game plan might not look quite as you envisioned. 

To learn more, listen to the recent podcast “Digital Trends Impacting Credit Unions” and take advantage of more digital trends information.

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