BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–Technology disruption won’t just be a key issue for credit unions to respond to in 2018, but will likely even be a bigger issue five years after that, says EPL, which adds that the speed of disruption will be much greater in the years to come.
In a Q&A with CUToday.info, COO Rhiannon Stone outlined what’s ahead for credit unions in the digital space.
CUToday.info: Looking to 2018, where will the primary focus of your client credit unions be?
Stone: Credit unions are looking for enhanced digital solutions, features and functionality. EPL is empowering credit unions by allowing them to choose solutions from our robust proprietary offerings that meet their needs and improve the member experience. We take pride in being a part of our credit unions’ digital transformation, and utilize our Product Advisory Team forum as a springboard to identify new priorities and align our development initiatives accordingly.
By taking care of their technology needs, we give credit unions more time to focus on business proficiency and member success. Digital capabilities are a must-have, and at the highest level, we’re adding new technologies to accommodate this shift, including member servicing for multi-channel users, new mobile integrations, domestic and international transfers and payments, automated lending tools, general ledger enhancements, data analytics and reporting, among many others.
Another key area of focus for EPL is developing additional functionality within CU Impact, our core system package created in partnership with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, which is designed to help community development credit unions better serve their members.
CUToday.info: How is that different from 2017 or, if the focus is similar, how has your approach evolved?
Stone: Our current focus is very consistent with our efforts in 2017. However, we have accelerated our development through resource expansion and global diversity. We are adding more product and business expertise to define what we need to create, as well as development resources to build these solutions.
We continue to evolve – streamlining our business model and solution offerings – as we maintain our focus on exceptional performance and sustainability in the industry to ensure the greatest success of our clients and the members they serve.
CUToday.info: As you look to 2018, what has been a primary lesson or development that you have most noticed this past year, and what has been your credit unions’ response?
Stone: Credit unions continue to push for greater efficiency. They want various solutions to eliminate rekeying of data, and they are also looking for sophisticated analytics. We are also seeing a significant disparity between generations with respect to member engagement with the credit union. Face-to-face interactions between members and credit unions have given way to the convenience of mobile devices. Millennials truly rely on the mobile platform. Brick-and-mortar branches obviously are still important, but much less today than ten years ago.
CUToday.info: What competitive issues are you and your credit unions paying attention to?
Stone: In the future, a core software solutions provider must excel at balancing robust functionality, excellent customer service, strong operational efficiencies, extensive user customization and controls, a modern user interface and the ability to be open and flexible. These often are cited as factors in credit unions’ decisions to move solutions. Credit unions also are looking at long-term vendor viability – changes are happening faster than ever, and core providers must adapt to meet shifting demands.
Data analytics are imperative for success. Data provides credit unions with key insights about member behavior as well as internal operational efficiencies. These technological advancements have increased efficiency at credit unions while enhancing their products and services for members.
Digital channels are growing rapidly, and with the increase of fintech companies, we are seeing innovative solutions that are changing the way we think about servicing our members. Competition is tough, as credit unions have to compete with larger banks and financial institutions, fintech startups and established technology firms in the consumer payments space. While much of the fintech industry is still small, the competitive threat is growing. We can’t ignore importance of developing remote delivery channels. Everything is about member experience, convenience and personalization today.