ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Credit unions in 2019 should focus on three key areas, says PSCU—one of which may be most critical of all.
“Credit unions are built to serve their members. Digital transformation has elevated credit unions’ focus on the member experience,” observed Denise Stevens, SVP of product management. “Having conducted research and created plans focused on improving the member experience, now is the time to execute these plans. Although the reality of ensuring an exceptional member experience requires a significant investment of additional time, energy, effort and development, investment in the member experience should be a top priority—and also a realistic one that reaches a credit union’s member experience goals and preferred end state.”
In order to enhance the member experience across the enterprise, credit unions need to invest in the integration of their service offerings and products, according to Stevens.
“More and more, members want and expect seamless experiences and to be able to access all of their information in one place in a similar fashion, regardless of whether they are visiting the branch, logging into a mobile app or placing a call to the contact center,” said Stevens. “For many, the credit union’s core provider is different from its mobile banking provider, which is different from its card processor and so on. Credit unions must engage multiple partners on the back end to ensure all of this information is readily available in one place, which can be difficult given a majority of partners do not have the same priorities, processing systems or platforms, among other disparities. Investing in collaboration among these partners to provide a seamless, elevated member experience will be key for credit union success in the new year.”
Turning to data management, Stevens said that to truly harness the power and reap the benefits of data, credit unions must establish strategies focused on addressing how to best gather and utilize data to improve credit union operations and understand member needs and behavior.
“These strategies need to focus on more than just the collection and storage of information. They also need to ensure that data gathered is made actionable and understandable in order to put it to good use,” she told CUToday.info. “It is important to members–and expected–that their credit union should know who they are and what they need in their financial journey, even in the digital channel.”
In particular, credit unions are starting to consider how artificial intelligence (AI) and similar innovations can lead to efficiencies and increased productivity, Stevens noted.
“For example, AI can remove manual, repetitive processes currently conducted by credit union employees that are typically time consuming and have a high occurrence of user error,” Stevens said. “With intelligent documentation and responsiveness implemented into a credit union’s systems and programs through AI, contact center representatives and member-facing employees have an opportunity to provide better service and really focus on members’ needs. AI can also drive automation in order to better understand and consolidate data.”
Stevens also pointed to the importance of addressing member authentication, as digital channels become the primary means many consumers interact, and enroll, with their financial institution.
“In today’s interconnected world, ensuring a person is who they say they are when they enter the branch, make a phone call or log into their account online is of upmost importance. As fraudsters look for all points of entry, authentication is key,” she said. “Members expect the view of information to be the same, regardless of the channel. They also expect similar authentication processes. But how does a credit union confirm a person is who they say they are in all of these different settings given branch authentication is different from contact center authentication, which is different from mobile authentication?”
With member experience as a top priority, investment in deeper authentication processes to ensure seamless experiences across all channels will be imperative in 2019, Stevens said.
“While there are many other areas of focus competing for resources in the upcoming year, credit unions should take the necessary steps toward improving their member experience, data strategy and authentication journeys,” she said.