By Robin Kolvek
A credit union’s core software is tied intrinsically to the member experience, and there are many factors to consider when evaluating what solution best suits your credit union. In 2017, CUs must focus on creating a streamlined experience for visitors to their “online e-branch” (think: website and online/mobile-banking access, phone alerts, bill pay, e-statements, digital wallet, etc.). This e-branch makes transactions easier and more convenient for users, which enables credit unions to deepen member relationships and improve profitability.
Does your core provider empower your credit union with the software and technology necessary to achieve this vision? If not, you have core problem. Here are three important factors to consider when analyzing your core software provider:
Members increasingly are forgoing visits to traditional branches, opting instead to make transactions online or via mobile device. Branch staff still serve a crucial role in the member relationship; however, you must meet members where they are — online.
Today’s members expect their financial-services provider to deliver convenience through the touch of a button. Transactional and deposit features on digital platforms must be easily accessible, seamlessly navigable and functional in real time. If they are not, you have a core problem.
Members demand to see all their account information easily and in one place. Core software should enable you to provide members with a clear picture of their personal and financial information. Complete data aggregation allows CU employees to tailor services better and cross-sell to members by educating them on which products best fit their needs. Your core provider should use aggregate data to create efficiencies and optimize value for members in the form of better, faster service and customized products and solutions. If it does not, you have a core problem.
Most credit unions operate with core software that is more than five years old, according to recent survey data. Unfortunately, not all core providers properly maintain their software, issue regular updates or add new features, which can translate to slower processes, inefficiencies, frustrated employees and ultimately lost revenue opportunities. Software innovation is happening rapidly, and credit unions slow to act will lose members to competing institutions unafraid of change. Your credit union must work with a core provider that is motivated to provide innovative technology and cutting-edge software. If it does not, you have a core problem.
These metrics only scratch the surface of what credit unions should demand of their core provider, but offer an intriguing look into the state of your “union” and whether you are experiencing core issues. Many core providers take a one-size-fits-all approach to software development and, as a result, supply inferior products and poor customer service.
Your credit union deserves a partner whose software leads the industry, performs optimally and evolves quickly in response to constantly shifting member demographics. It is up to you to decide when enough is enough, and resolve to institute real change.
Robin Kolvek is CEO at EPL, Inc.