Credit Unions are fully invested in the potential of digital channels like mobile and online to transform their member experience. But their focus has predominantly been on enabling self-service and ensuring security. Success with more advanced opportunities like cross-selling, targeted marketing, member education or ensuring a consistent cross-channel experience has been rather limited.
All this according to our new study on digital capabilities among credit unions.The convenience of self-service is a fundamental expectation of the digital customer. It is not a redeeming feature, it’s hygiene. Just like security has always been.
Customers expect a personalized experience from their digital service providers, be they retailers, banks or credit unions. They expect the delivery of content, products and services that are tailored to their unique context and preferences. They expect financial service providers to invest in their financial well-being and create access to PFM tools and experts that will help them plan for and achieve financial goals and objectives.
For credit unions, responding to these expectations is the key to building deeper, more long-term member relationships. This, not coincidentally, is also the route to opening up new revenue opportunities and gaining a larger share of wallet. According to the credit unions featured in the study, targeted ads are currently the most effective revenue generation tool for both online and mobile banking! Many advanced digital opportunities – like social media integration and graphical tools & simulators in online banking and location-based services and customized applications in mobile banking – have been relegated as ‘relatively strategically uninteresting’.
It is definitely true that building digital capabilities requires an approach that is practical and prioritized. But the phasing should be based on a deep understanding of the needs and expectations of the digital customer. From a customer’s perspective, personalization is the key driver of the digital experience. From a financial service provider’s point of view, the experience should monetize as incremental income or new revenue streams. Quite happily, the capabilities required for realizing both opportunities are broadly the same. Both require credit unions to build a unified cross-product cross-channel view of customer relationships in order to identify patterns that can trigger contextual experiences as well as new revenue streams.