The rapid growth of digital banking has changed the way members interact with their financial institutions. These changes are opportunities for credit unions to display their differentiation points to their members in new ways.
Credit unions have always made member experience a top priority. As this experience has continued to evolve, so has the technology supporting credit unions. Credit unions now have a responsibility to their members and their organization to implement an effective digital strategy.
Changing your Organizational Culture to be Ready for Digital Banking
Be comfortable with change. As a participant in the financial services industry, you know that adapting to an ever-changing business environment is integral to your organization’s success. Although navigating this change isn’t easy, it is up to leaders to initiate this change within their organization.
As your credit union works to evolve its digital offerings, it is important to remember that you are still the same organization— your core values have not changed. Sharing these values with members through your digital banking platform is an excellent way to strengthen the experience you’re offering to your members.
Even though you’re providing a different experience to members, the fundamental reason you’re doing the work you’re doing has not and will not change. To keep your organization’s culture in line with your offerings, it is key to properly evaluate the decisions you’re making with your digital experience and ensuring they stay in line with your core values.
Although it’s easy for financial institutions to focus purely on what type of experience they want to provide their members, the understanding of how their experience is provided can often be lost.
As a leader within your financial institution, your employees must properly understand this experience before it can be brought to your members. The evolution of digital banking will bring significant changes to employee roles as well. These changes could be a change in service, recommendations and even compensation. Although many of the decisions around digital banking are made at a higher level, keeping member-facing employees in the know couldn’t be more important to its success.
Above all else, a strong sense of organizational culture will ensure a successful digital banking experience for your members.
Using the Credit Union Advantage with Members and Digital Banking
While many credit unions may view digital banking simply as an offering to remain competitive with other financial institutions, there is an opportunity for credit unions to use their digital banking platform as a competitive advantage.
The organizational structure of credit unions allows them to be nimble and act fast with new industry changes. Rather than having to answer to larger industry stakeholders, credit unions can make changes that have their members’ best interests at the core. This fast action allows for credit unions to observe members’ digital banking usage and make changes as necessary, working to consistently optimize the experience.
Due to each credit union having its own unique member demographic, the same digital banking formula cannot be applied when creating a robust experience. Regular tweaks must be made for continuous improvement. Credit unions can listen, research and learn what works best for their members. Larger financial institutions do not have this same relationship privilege.
In addition to their smaller size, credit unions also have a community of financial institutions that are committed to supporting their digital efforts. The cooperative model supports credit union members in general. For credit unions to fully leverage their digital banking advantage, they must continue to leverage the cooperative model, placing the member first.
Using resources from other financial institutions within this cooperative model allows credit unions to compete with larger organizations, even if they don’t have the same resources allocated to their digital experience.
Credit unions don’t consider digital banking as a tool to make more money, it’s a tool to service membership.
Similar to your organization’s core values not changing during your transition to digital banking, the cooperative model of credit unions remains the same.
Finding the Best Offerings for your Credit Union
The offerings that come along with digital banking can be overwhelming when trying to decide what is best for your financial institution. In selecting the right digital banking offerings, you are tasked with determining what fits your organizational culture, your future goals and what is best for your members. The answer to this question can often seem unclear and only cause more confusion.
To assist in your digital banking decision, ask these questions of your organization:
- What is your credit union’s differentiation?
- Beyond day-to-day banking, how do you service members?
- Do you consider your credit union to be an early adopter?
- What do digital channels mean to your credit union and your members?
Even though adopting a digital banking platform will largely change your members’ experience with your organization, your credit union is the one that has control of that experience. Selecting offerings that strategically align with your organization and your desired member experience will position your credit union for digital success.
Understanding your organization’s approach to new technology and processes can also assist in determining your desired member experience. Your approach will often be made up of a variety of factors, such as size, location, member demographic and needs. Having a proper mix of your organization’s core values and member needs will lead to the answer to your digital banking strategy.