There are many types of financial institutions but the three major depositories are the banks, thrifts/ savings and loan institutions and credit unions. Although they are distinct in specialization, emphasis and regulatory structures, their identities is increasingly becoming less distinct. Traditionally, banks are like departmental stores with money being the product. On the other hand, thrifts and credit unions are like the specialty shops serving shareholders and members. With the digital revolution, new services have emerged and this old structure has been disrupted as each of them competes for the market share.
How are the credit unions competing in this digital race?
Generally, financial institutions are adopting emerging products that customers, shareholders or members expect. Investing in customerfaced solution is no longer a choice but a must do in order to receive the much needed attention and time. Luckily, these solutions have been commoditized which makes it easy for credit unions to leverage them and compete favorably. For instance, mobile apps enable members to deposit and transfer money, view banking transactions and receive alerts. Credit unions can also measure the impact of any new digital product they choose to incorporate which is great for a safe and continuous product transformation.
In the past, every process involved ink and paper until digitization came along and the same papers began to be digitized. This did not produce the much needed exponential value and digitization began to shift to a new set of digital tools. Now, there are a variety of customer engagement tools like social media, messaging platforms, customer surveys, analytics and live chats that continue to enable credit unions to build stronger relationships with customers. Operational transformation is becoming a habit and credit unions are moving in phase with evolving digital technologies.
The digital revolution has given birth to a new workforce with new specialties, likes and expectations. In fact, traditional roles are being slowly taken over by AI systems. As for the roles that still exist, the efficiency and effectiveness of the workforce is paramount in order to provide value to members. The amplification of human productivity through technology needs a healthy workplace that values employees’ happiness. Working from home or on the go or in a collaborative group setting whether in meeting places, home or the mall is the new normal thanks to the existing digital workplace platforms.
- Engagement with members
For credit unions, members are both owners and customers which make engagement a very important aspect. The growth of any credit union relies on how well it serves its members and luckily, digital revolution is here to bring engagement down to a personal level and increase the engagement of members in services. Omni-channel engagement enables credit unions to engage members where they are and when they need it which is highly convenient.
The credit union industry is changing and adapting to the massive digital changes and without this, none could meet their members’ financial needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Webinars, online education and other virtual events enabled credit unions to manage through!