Getting Your Data In Order – A Recipe for Credit Union Digital Transformation

credit union digitial transformationData is fundamental to your credit union digital transformation. Customers must be able to efficiently and effectively manage transactions online. Credit Unions must be able to infer customer needs from those transactions and reach out to customers where they “live” online, whether through email, social media, or text. This blog post presents a simple recipe for getting your data in order as a foundation for digital success.

Step 1 – Unload the data you don’t need. 

Credit Unions tend to hold onto data forever, or at least long enough that it can become a problem. It is common for core systems to have database tables with hundreds of millions of transactional entries and years more data than needed for most operational needs.

Why? Fear of removing data? The effort to replace the data if you get it wrong?

Who tested that purge script anyway?

Shhhh. Is, “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” your data management policy?

OK, we all know that removing data isn’t on the list of critically important tasks, well, until it is. Removing data can make the overall management of your information system easier! Backups are smaller, and systems may run faster due to the smaller size of the database. It’s just less to manage.

The good news is that removing data, although challenging can be automated.


Step 2 – Clean the data you keep – for credit union digital transformation

Managing data in bulk is usually handled by IT teams. Managing data quality so your digital journey can be smoother is a front-line staff opportunity. The dirtier our data is the more each activity we want to embark upon causes exceptions. Having clean data reduces effort and increases performance by eliminating exception conditions.

How does data get dirty?

For example, complex core interfaces allow data entry errors to go unchecked and bulk imported data from a merger. I am sure you have other examples of where the data can and does go astray. Some kinds of data can be validated with scripts and tools, however, technology can’t fix all data problems.


Step 3 – Focus on data that supports digital engagement.

Ensuring the quality of member data like current email address and mobile telephone numbers is critically important for successful digital engagement with our members. It is important that names are correctly spelled, and that staff know how to pronounce names when they speak with a customer in person or on the phone.

Mapping member data help the selection criteria for digital campaigns, if your digital persona is a working woman who is the “CFO” of the household, you quickly realize that knowing whether your member is male or female is fundamental.

Do you have a report showing what percentage of your membership has an email in your system, a mobile phone number? This number is the upper limit of members your campaigns are able to address digitally.


Step 4 – For better member data, engage your members.

It takes time and effort to correct member data, and many Credit Unions are unwilling to ask members without some other offer or campaign. One option is to engage directly with your members to make sure their information is up to date. Train member service staff to pay attention to member data at every customer interaction. If key member information is absent or hasn’t been updated recently, have them ask members for updates.

The better the quality of your data, the easier your path will be to creating and managing the digital transformation.

 

Want to read more on digital transformation?

On the Digital Transformation Journey with Partners FCU’s CEO

Digital Transformation and the Old Fashioned Con

Physical + Digital = Phygital

digital credit union

Phygital, it is a thing. And, it can be a very important concept in furthering the relevance of a credit union with an increasingly digitally savvy member base. As we walk down this digital transformation path as an industry, we overlook the physical aspect to competing digitally. Now, if you are of the mindset that financial institutions should have columns and vaults and project physical security, this may not be the best article you read today. However, if you are pouring money into competing digitally, this will interest to you because a bottomline message is that even in a 21st century digital world the physical still matters.

A lot.

Some AHA! moments to consider. Have you flown lately? What is your impression when you get on an older United plane with no in-seat video, no Wi-Fi, or no personal device entertainment? Now, what is your impression when you get on a newer United plane? Or a Virgin America plane? It goes beyond them simply having Wi-Fi or PDE. It is the physical appearance of the cabin as well. What does the lighting look like? Is it industrial white lights? Or, is it lights with color, tone, ambiance? You are taking the same flight from LAX to DFW, but it is a completely different experience when the physical appearance of the plane is combined with the digital amenities you need.

Think about first impressions. I tend to make snap judgements when I walk into any type of business. From coffee shops to credit unions to fintech startups, when I enter a building for the first time I immediately decide if this business is tech savvy. And it has a lot to do with the physical appearance. Is the furniture older than I am? Little things too, like the keyboard. Think about that, does your keyboard look the same as it did 20 years ago? No, it does not. It is rounded, cordless, and smaller. Even something as innocuous as a phone can send the wrong message. What does that phone look like? There are a ton of millennials out there buying homes and cars and having kids. These people  don’t even know what a dial tone is, or a busy signal. Many of them have never used a traditional phone. Telling them to dial 9 to get out is a completely foreign concept.

Now, think about your credit union. What do the branches look like? You may have the greatest mobile banking, internet banking, and digital marketing solutions around, but if your branches look like 1982 or 72 or 62 or even 1992, it might be time to update them. Have some secret shopping done. Hire a millennial to walk into your branches and provide feedback. It can be as simple as digital displays and as complex as selling older buildings off and starting over in new branches. For example, do you still have paper brochures in a display for members to grab? Is that really what people are looking for? Does your staff roam freely in the branch or are they confined to a desk with a computer? Enabling the staff to be mobile and digital is a big piece to the Phygital transformation. You cannot expect the members to adopt digital technology if the staff cannot adopt the technology. Each staff member could have a tablet with the capability to teach each member how to use the technology, email or text the member information, open accounts or perform transactions from the entire branch. Telling a member they have to go sit with Suzy Loan Officer or Tommy Teller to do a specific transaction is not exactly confidence inspiring. However, having a staff member with nothing more than a tablet being able to walk the member through every possible thing they could do in the branch is a confidence inspiring  approach.

Have you ever watched an Apple product introduction? Here’s one.  Apple wants to be seen as the digital company.  But it also projects a sleek but appealing physical image. Everything is sleek, contemporary, inviting and if you think anything you see is there by accident, think again.

Nobody is saying that your credit union has to look like an Apple video. But take a lesson from Apple and know that appearances do matter. So do first impressions. It’s a phygital world.

 

Want to know more about digital transformation?

Consumers Say Boo To Your Digital Banking Products – Now What Do You Do?

Wrestling with Your Digital Talent Gap

 

Increasing Customer Connections Through Digital Transformation

Credit Unions pride themselves on customer service and being “customer intimate.” They are pioneers of brickand-mortar, customer-centric innovations such as branch greeter stations and branches that look more like an Apple store than a traditional bank. Providing great customer services and “knowing” our members is a large part of what the Credit Union movement is about.

credit union digital transformation

When it comes to the digital world, however, many Credit Unions remain uncertain of the best ways to use digital technology and information to enhance customer relationships. At the same time as customers increasingly prefer online transactions, Credit Unions have been forced to give up some control over the online transactional experience. Most Credit Unions simply don’t have the staffing or dollars to customize online and mobile banking systems, and therefore must accept a mostly off-the-shelf solution that is, at best, parity with the rest of the market.

Leveraging digital technology to improve customer connections requires thinking beyond transactions as customer touchpoints. It involves using data to get to know your customers on a deeper level, to learn when and where to communicate with them, and to monitor and measure the effectiveness of your communication campaigns.

Remaining “customer intimate” in the digital world requires staying relevant in the lives of your membership. That means many more touch points and communication more frequently than in the past. It also means moving away from drive-by window advertising and postcards where you can’t really be certain of the effectiveness toward the digital analogs—web site, email, social media, blogs, and videos—where you can measure response and monitor interest over time. In the digital world, you have more opportunities to show your expertise in personal or business financial management to help members make solid financial decisions. Your digital assets are available 24 hours a day all year long, unmatchable with any other channel.

CU 2.0 has developed a set of modules and processes to help Credit Unions leverage digital technologies in order to provide exceptional member service. Effective digital communication can be more complex than traditional marketing campaigns. Your strategy needs to consider the right mix of social media campaigns, blogging, videos, and ads. All of your campaigns must be linked to landing pages on your web site and set up with tracking analytics across all steps. Tracking the member journey allows the Credit Union to be on the same path, understanding what matters most for individual members, and providing information that is both timely and meaningful.

In this way, the journey to digital transformation is still member-centric. They key is to shift your focus to integrating customer data from multiple sources and being accessible to members via digital channels. Once you establish an enhanced digital understanding of members, you can make those insights available to staff, other digital systems, and even artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to enhance the member experience.

Digital transformation requires new tools and thinking, leveraging technology and automation to craft the personalized experience that our members now expect.

Want to know more about digital transformation? You may be interested in:

On the Digital Transformation Journey with Partners FCU’s CEO

MnCUN Interviews: CU 2.0’s Kirk Drake Shares How to Future Proof Your Credit Union

Consumers Say Boo To Your Digital Banking Products – Now What Do You Do?

On the Digital Transformation Journey with Partners FCU’s CEO 

By Robert McGarvey 

For Credit Union 2.0 

 

“We are not moving fast enough. We need to move 2x or 4x faster,” said John Janclaes, CEO of the $1 billion Partners Federal Credit Union headquartered in Burbank, CA. 

In a wide ranging interview, Janclaes revealed exactly why he had put the credit union on what he describes as a journey of digital transformation – and he also talked about progress made. 

You might think Partners is a blessed credit union. It has enough assets to compete and it has strong SEG ties – it essentially is the Disney credit union and pulls membership from the many Disney companies, from the theme parks to movies and ESPN.  It also has two very different geographical hubs – southern California and Orlando, FL. It has a lot going for it. 

But three or four years ago, Janclaes looked at the competitive landscape and he had a worrisome thought: “Credit unions are in the crosshairs,” he said. He elaborated that the industry faces ever smarter, tougher competition from big banks and also fintechs and companies like Amazon.  “We need to keep up with that level of competition.” 

Not that many decades ago, credit unions, he said, were a well balanced three legged stool that offered better rates, better service, and better convenience because many members could bank at work. 

And then that happy bubble burst as consumers – increasingly – have demanded digital banking and many credit unions have faltered in the transformation from high personal touch and community based institutions. 

“We recognized we need to keep changing to remain relevant to our members,” said Janclaes.  

Fueling his thinking was a CO-OP funded study on digital transformation that found, in a survey of 221 credit union leaders, 88% said digital transformation is “extremely or quite important.”  And about half the respondents acknowledged their digital experience is “inferior” to top brands like Google and Apple. 

Janclaes wanted more for Partners, he wanted to offer members a digital experience that in fact rivaled the best of breed because – face it – those are benchmarks members use to grade what they get from their financial services providers. 

A big step was that he went outside to Kony and also the Boston Consulting Group to help Partners in its journey. “We wanted to work with trusted partners who are industry leaders,” said Janclaes. 

“We have de-emphasized inhouse tech innovation,” said Janclaes and that is because – looked at frankly – few credit unions have the scale and environment to attract the top tech talent that is needed to create a thriving 21st century institution. “We are picking where we can win.” 

What especially attracted him to Kony – which has done the bulk of the heavy digital lifting for Partners – is that it had a limited credit union background and also had had successes in very different industries such as retail and energy. 

“We did not want a credit union incumbent with a credit union mentality,” said Janclaes. 

Read that sentence again.  Credit union management orthodoxy is to vet potential vendors based on their resumes of past credit union hits.   

But Janclaes turned this thinking upside down. 

He elaborated that “we are getting better at picking strategic partners.” 

He also has taken an increasingly active role. “Ten years ago I was not involved with our tech partners. Now I am. I talk regularly with their CEOs.” 

He said he had full support from his board which, he explained, is composed of Disney executives. 

“Our sponsor sees us a value for the company and its cast members,” said Janclaes. 

A challenge, he added, is coordinating the new digital credit union with the traditional brick and mortar credit union  He indicated that every measure says that in fact is happening as Partners  has committed to offering an omnichannel presence that lets members pick how they want to interact. Most tasks – from account opening to joining the credit union – now can be done via any channel and that, believes Janclaes, is the future of credit unions that aim to thrive tomorrow. 

Along the way, Janclaes has recognized that the traditional credit union way of updating digital functions via an annual or semi-annual upgrade just doesn’t work today. “We need to do this much faster, 3x, 4x.  We have started with 2x – that’s the business problem now in front of us.” 

“We want to make incremental improvements at a rapid pace,” said Janclaes. 

This, he said, represents a massive “mindset shift” in credit unions that, traditionally, have aimed for perfection and that has taken time. 

Today calls for faster and that means, often, perfection won’t be there. 

But what happens will nonetheless be good enough. 

That of course is how all tech companies think.  

“Our members are already ahead of us in thinking that way,” said Janclaes. 

And now Janclaes is determined to bring Partners to that mindset too. 

 

An 11 minute video on the Partners digital transformation is here.  It’s worth a view by any credit union manager, or board member, contemplating the next steps in their institution’s digital journey because that has become a ride no one can refuse. 

MnCUN Interviews: CU 2.0’s Kirk Drake Shares How to Future Proof Your Credit Union

CU 2.0 Founder Kirk Drake stopped by the Studio Lounge to discuss his keynote (Future Proof Your Credit Union) and his breakout session (Trust Through Your Browser). We focused on his breakout session topic on how credit unions can build trust in person and transfer that to their online browser for deeper engagement. Fascinating stuff here from Mr. Drake.

Check it out and let us know your thoughts.

Originally posted by CU Broadcast here

Learn more about Credit Union 2.0 workshops for your organization here

Wrestling with Your Digital Talent Gap

By Robert McGarvey

For CU 2.0

 

Wake up to a frightening reality: very probably your credit union is falling behind in the race for digital talent and that just may be a sound of impending doom.

Consulting firm CapGemini, working with LinkedIn, recently issued a report on The Digital Talent Gap and the takeaways for credit union executives have to be frightening.

According to CapGemini, six in ten banking executives acknowledge they face a widening talent gap. The report pinpoints banking as a sector where the gap is especially high.

The money center banks, almost certainly, are not pointing to themselves. They are busily hiring top digital talent as they chart their paths into a 21st century where digital is seen at the core of banking.  They see that future and they are preparing for it.

Down a checklist, CapGemini sees less skill than is needed in a range of digital activities that are central to banking today. Included on the list are cybersecurity, mobile apps (where a big skill deficit is cited), data science, and big data (another huge gap).

A lot of what has become core in delivering financial services is now emerging as areas where many, many credit unions and community banks are just not keeping up because they don’t have the talent to stay in the game.

Employees know these realities. According to the survey data, 30% of banking employees believe their skills will be redundant in one to two years. 44% believe their skills will be redundant in four or five years.

That suggests a frightened, anxious workforce.

Employees also express dissatisfaction with trainings offered them by their organization.  45% say they are not helping them attain new skills.  42% say the trainings they attend are “useless and boring.”

Ouch.

Question: does your credit union leadership know their own employees fear their institution is lagging in the race for digital competence – and that they despair over the viability of their own skills?

It gets worse. You just may lose the digital talent you presently have. The CapGemini survey found that “over half of digital talent (55%) say they are willing to move to another organization if they feel their digital skills are stagnating.”

The good news: CapGemini offered concrete suggestions about what organizations need to do to remain players in the race for digital talent.

A suggestion not on the list is blunt: credit unions often will need to find their digital talent through third party vendors and CUSOs.  No shame in that.  At a certain institutional size, the savvy survival strategy is to know where to go outside to help chart the credit union’s digital path.  There still needs be digital skills internally – especially a sharp sensitivity to what matters digitally inside the c-suite.  But a lot of the digital heavy lifting can and should happen through third parties at all but the very largest credit unions.

But even the biggest credit unions need to be sure they are nurturing internal digital talent. And smaller institutions need to know what they can do with the talent they have and they also need to stay watchful of their third party vendors and their talent development efforts.

Just because a CUSO was spot on technologically in 2010 doesn’t mean it has a clue today. Things move very fast in this world.

That’s where the CapGemini suggestions about how to develop digital talent come in.

And step one is Attract Digital Talent where CapGemini points a finger at the institution’s leadership.  Specifically: “Align leadership on a talent strategy and the unique needs of digital talent.”

How does your credit union measure up there?

Does your leadership see the ultimate importance of digital in charting the institution’s future?

The next steps are no easier: “create an environment that prioritizes and rewards learning” and “align leadership on a talent strategy and the unique needs of digital talent.”

Digital warriors go where they are loved and wanted.  It’s that simple.

One more step: “Give digital talent the power to implement change.”

This doesn’t sound easy?

Nope. It all is very hard, especially for small and mid size credit unions.

But the alternative just may be planning to go out of business.

That makes the choice easy.