How to Fix Credit Union Call Center Inefficiencies

Credit union conversational AI from Finn and CU 2.0

Call centers are a necessary evil. Members call contact centers usually when they’re already upset or frustrated about something, and then they’re put through a slow, inefficient, and time-intensive resolution process.

Keeping members on hold for too long—more than a few minutes, according to many members—is normal. Adding a lengthy identity verification process just makes the experience worse…

And increases the wait time for other callers, too, thus exacerbating the problem.

But credit unions have options to increase call center efficiency, lower costs, and improve member and agent experience. Let’s dive into artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain strategies!

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Call Centers vs Cost and Member Experience

Layering survey data over standard call center data shows where member pain points are. Average speed to answer (ASA) is a big indicator, and average handling time (AHT) contributes to high ASAs.

The credit union survey platform LiveSurvey released a study about member experience and contact center data. They found that member satisfaction dropped precipitously when ASA went over 10 minutes.

Most member inquiries are simple. Finn AI, a credit union chatbot provider recently acquired by Glia, found that nearly 80% of calls are about basic transactions. Think password resets, log-in issues, and payment changes.

Plus, nearly 6% of calls are informational, with questions about interest rates, products, and fees or charges. This presents two major issues:

  1. Member experience is negatively affected. Getting put on hold, authenticating ID, explaining the problem, and resolving the problem on the phone is high-effort and takes time.
  2. Credit union costs go up. The average call center call costs ~$1/minute, give or take. The average call lasts around 4 minutes. High call volume and long calls add up quickly.

Two things need to change. First, call volume must be lowered. Second, call times must be shortened. Both will reduce costs and improve the member experience. Here’s how:

AI Chatbots and Digital ID

Fintechs can address the call center problem. Moreover, these fintechs use AI and blockchain to address these problems

1.   Nuance (AI)

Nuance is an enterprise-level omnichannel communications provider powered by AI. They provide multiple solutions that address typical call center inefficiencies.

A Finn AI study found that a chatbot could handle more than 75% of member inquiries. AI chatbots offer immediate answers and self-service options. Speed and ease of use are huge member experience drivers, and reducing call center call volume by up to 75% is massive.

Nuance offers AI-powered self-service options for members that can significantly reduce contact center call volume and improve NPS.

Furthermore, using AI, Nuance can reduce caller ID authentication by ~84 seconds with their Gatekeeper solution. You can access the Virginia Credit Union case study here. It provides a similar result as Cozera’s id-go and Bonifii’s MemberPass solutions (below).

2.   Cozera’s id-go (FIDO cryptography)

Cozera’s id-go lets credit unions know their members instantly—no passwords, no challenge questions. id-go is a secure no-app, no-code member way to authenticate member identity in less than 20 seconds. It uses the FIDO public key cryptography protocol to power authentication and prevent account takeover (ATO) attacks.

In a case study with several credit unions, Cozera’s id-go was able to reduce average call times by 20–80 seconds and reduce average handling times (AHT) by almost 80%. You can access the full case study here.

3.   Bonifii’s MemberPass (blockchain)

Bonifii is a CUSO that proactively protects credit union members from becoming victims of financial fraud. Their MemberPass and forthcoming MemberPass Express solutions allow simple and fast identity verification over SMS.

Bonifii’s technology suite includes FIDO, AI, and notably blockchain for an ultra-secure mix.

Additional Resources

All three solutions go a long way toward improving the member experience and reducing call center costs. All three ensure that when members do call, they can begin resolving their issue more quickly.

We’d love to hear from you. Do either of these strategies to improve efficiency sound viable for your credit union? Is there a solution we missed? Let us know at!

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