By Brian Scott
For credit unions across the country, providing unparalleled member experiences is a top priority year-over-year. But how can credit unions think outside the box and deliver these experiences by leveraging new and innovative technologies on the market? One way is by utilizing data credit unions already collect on a daily basis to create the fast, seamless and exceptional experiences members have come to know and expect from their trusted banking partner.
Leveraging AI and Analytics to Deliver Possibilities
Credit unions are starting to explore how leveraging data collected through artificial intelligence (AI) and similar innovations can lead to efficiencies and increased productivity. Currently, there are two types of analytics being used at credit unions to drive AI. Descriptiveanalytics does just that: it describes who you are or what you are doing. It could take the form of a direct report on when and where purchases have been made. Predictive analytics, on the other hand, can predict behavior on an individual level based on typical purchasing patterns or predict payments trends on a larger scale when aggregating and analyzing data collected from numerous individuals.
The third type of analytics credit unions should strive to apply in order to deliver seamless member experiences is prescriptive analytics. This type of analytics considers information collected from both descriptive and predictive sources in order to prescribe a solution to a potential problem before it even arises. For example, a credit union could utilize a phone’s GPS to know a member has just entered a local grocery store where he or she usually spends a certain amount per week on a debit card. The credit union also knows the member does not have that amount currently in his or her debit account. As such, it might send a push notification to the member’s cell phone suggesting he or she transfer money from savings to checking in order to complete the purchase seamlessly, before the member suffers through the potential embarrassment of having the transaction denied.
A few key pieces of information gleaned from descriptive and predictive analytics can illuminate members’ changing payments preferences and transform how credit unions interact with them. It is not just about offering the latest AI technology to members, but also about how your credit union uses that technology to meet and satisfy member needs.
Providing What Members Need When They Need It
Disruptive technology like P2P payments and mobile banking completely revamped the payments landscape. Consumers expect their money instantaneously and with little to no barriers encountered during the process. This fundamentally shifted how credit unions reach their members and provide services as some members no longer set foot in a branch after initially opening their accounts, yet they still expect the same offerings and level of service as someone who regularly visits the branch.
In the credit union and payments industries, timing is everything. Knowing when spending patterns change or are about to change is a pivotal time to gain new members and earn their trust. For example, if a woman becomes pregnant or a couple purchases a new home, their spending habits are going to change. They might be making more purchases at certain retailers, while reducing their spending at others. Recognizing the opportunity to gain long-term business is of the utmost importance for credit unions in their fight for that top-of-wallet position. Smart data collection plays a key role in proactively spotting these life changes, enabling credit unions to provide their members with the payments options they want and need during these transitions.
Most people do not come to a credit union seeking just a mortgage on their new home, but rather advice on how to best go about making important financing decisions. Rather than joining a credit union to help finance their mortgage or underwrite a car loan, get a credit card or open a savings account, they are seeking financing options that fit their budget, lifestyle and income. Using data and analytics, credit unions can see, predict and prescribe solutions to their members that fit their current and future needs. Credit unions, in particular, have an opportunity to play a valuable role in members’ economic future and promote financial well-being among members and their community through the use of smart data collection and utilization.
As SVP of Sales and Solutions Consulting at PSCU, Brian Scott partners with industry leaders in payments and community financial institutions to create competitive payments programs. Brian helps credit unions position themselves competitively in their own communities and maintain profitability throughout their payments programs. He spent 23 years in the highly competitive consumer payments marketplace and is a recognized leader in payments solutions and innovative technologies. He is a frequent speaker on the future of payments, new payments trends, mobile banking, alternative payments, and how new payments technologies will transform the current banking space.