As 2019 quickly takes shape, organizations across all industries are facing yet another year of heightened emphasis on incorporating technology to tackle long-term business initiatives, and credit unions are no exception. Through many conversations, we’ve come to realize the most pressing issues our credit union partners are facing, and further understand the approach they are taking to surmounting them. Whether it be creating new roles dedicated to finding or creating technology-driven products and services, building partnerships with specialty vendors in niche areas of recovery and brand awareness, or breaking into the next big demographic, credit unions have their work cut out for them.
Innovation through role creation
Several organizations have already created new roles such as Chief Innovation Officer and Data Scientist, whose overarching goal is to understand competing markets and their nuances. Taking a step further, creating solutions that connect with different demographics is at the forefront of these positions. A 2016 Harris Poll discovered that 75 percent of Millennials will only consider banking with an institution that offers both in-branch and online operations. In addition to having multiple business channels, Millennials expect that in-branch transactions and discussions take no longer than it would to do so on their own, online. The average acceptable interaction takes only 5 minutes, whereas the existing in-branch visit duration is 10 minutes on average; herein lies a major opportunity for credit unions to connect with their next lucrative demographic.
Optimizing vendor relationships
Many organizations are also revisiting existing relationships with their current vendors. The major focal points of these relationships have shifted and are completely different than what they were 10 years ago. Whether it be collection agencies who claim to excel in all areas, or marketing firms who fail to keep up with proper rebranding strategies, vendor relationships in 2019 provide a critical opportunity to optimize often unseen costs of business.
Credit unions have a massive opportunity to further engage technology specialists who can see the big picture and integrate platforms. Credit unions can act on this by designating their Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) tool as the primary hub for communication and customer management, leveraging Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to integrate technologies, and finally doing so within their teams. This ultimately promotes an intimate and consultative relationship, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. In the recoveries industry specifically, we’ve specialized in building unique estate account solutions to service more than 45 credit union clients. This is allowing our clients to have industry experts involved while still giving them an opportunity to have a clear understanding of best practices and future growth opportunities.
Capturing the next big demographic: Millennials
Financial Technology, affectionately dubbed “FinTech,” is a broad term used to describe an evolving industry created by organizations who excel at executing products or services which combine finance and technology (see Robinhood), has become a primary competitor to the traditional financial services industry. Currently, the most prevalent area of attention in FinTech is omni-channel communications. The idea being that there is a need for the creation of one singular platform which allows its members multiple channels to communicate and do business with emphasis on synchronous updating. This idea strives to meet both the needs of the new consumer demographic, and the need to run a functional financial services organization.
Being that Millennials are currently the largest working demographic, their purchasing power is not to be ignored. Although they are partial to social media, text messaging, and online videos, rather than face-to-face or telephone communications, according to Forbes, Millennials are willing to pay for the ease of doing business and if one organization isn’t willing to do so, they will go somewhere else. Credit unions who focus on closing the omnichannel gap can increase competitiveness and inspire the customer-centric focus that is critical to business survival.
About the Author
Spending a majority of his career working within the financial services and healthcare industries, Matt has worked with DCMS for more than 6 years. Matt works hand and hand with organizations to create and enhance their estate recovery process. Matt graduated from Metropolitan State University with his Bachelors in Business Administration.
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