In the early days of the pandemic, researchers were already hard at work. They wanted to see the effect our socially-distant lifestyle had on banking. Some of their findings were alarming—even though they’re right in line with what we expected.
For example, J.D. Power found that a massive shift in banking behavior had already begun. People were flocking toward online and mobile banking options:
- 35%: Increase in online banking
- 30%: Increase in mobile banking
- 54%: Consumers who intend to continue banking remotely
But what does this all mean? Is there any risk to this shift toward digital banking? And who will be the winners and losers?
What the Shift Toward Digital Banking Means
So, J.D. Power found that the nature of banking has fundamentally changed. It’s more digital now, and most consumers would prefer to keep it that way. This has a few major implications:
- The future of banking is digital
- Institutions that began their digital transformation early have been better able to support their members/customers through COVID-19
- Institutions that have been slow to adopt new technology have struggled to catch up
Generally, this means that larger institutions with bigger technology budgets have come out ahead. Smaller, progressive institutions with a higher appetite for risk have also found success. Early adopters of digital technology will succeed where laggards fall farther behind.
And while the word “risk” sounds scary, it shouldn’t be. At this point, every credit union needs a plan for digital transformation. And a failure to plan will be a plan for failure.
3 Easy Steps Toward a Better Digital Member Experience
J.D. Power and The Financial Brand immediately mentioned the importance of offering peer-to-peer (P2P) payments. It is indeed an important step, but it’s one that can be done only one way: integration. And while Zelle® integrations for credit unions aren’t that hard, they require either a lot of IT legwork or a new vendor relationship.
Our friends at Total Expert have identified three areas for rapid digital improvement that any credit union can pursue:
1. Optimize Onboarding
In a recent webinar with the Credit Union Journal, Total Expert found that almost half of attendees don’t have a structured onboarding program. Of those who did have a good onboarding program, most felt there was still room for improvement.
Total Expert recommends engaging early and often. Credit unions should help members to:
- Understand the mission
- Learn more about the possibilities, locations, hours, benefits, etc.
- Set up self-service basics like online banking, eStatements, and mobile app adoption
Above all, they suggest making sure the process is personalized, humanized, and valuable to members.
2. Map Member Journeys
Mapping the member journey is key to understanding member needs. Knowing what members need and when—from day one to day 1,000—will allow you to better anticipate needs and provide value.
Key to this is using actual data. Total Expert notes that segmenting member types with data is far more effective than creating traditional, broad persona groups.
3. Educate and Advise
Imagine if someone gave you all the ingredients for a fancy dinner, but they left out the instructions. Sure, you could make the dish right… or you could create something completely different and inedible.
Now think about giving new members access to all your products and services, but not giving any instructions about how to use them.
There’s a good chance that they’ll get overwhelmed and frustrated—or they might just ignore them altogether!
If you can educate and advise your members, you’ll build trust and strengthen your relationship.
Check out this credit union onboarding guide to see what kind of digital experience you can provide your members. It covers the first two weeks, plus recommendations to cover the first 90 days.