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10 ways digital transformation can modernize your credit union

Apr 21, 2021

Digital transformation. We’ve all heard the term and think we have an idea of what it means, but do we really? 

Or are credit unions just being brainwashed by vendors who are trying to create an idea to sell more products?

Over the years, I've seen multiple vendors pitch different systems that pull credit unions even further away from connecting their members’ experience. And yet the institutions buy in because they think that yet another piece of technology will come to their rescue. There is no core system on the market today that can truly connect all the puzzle pieces to create less friction for your members and employees.

Instead, your credit union must start thinking about digital transformation as your engagement layer.

Your engagement layer is much like the glue that holds everything together and changes the employee user experience by centralizing different systems into one starting place which improves efficiency, speed and member satisfaction. It’s not a core or an underwriting system; instead, it’s a layer in the technology stack that bridges all the disconnected systems so you can fix your disjointed member experience. 

Digital transformation is about being in real time and bridging member experiences across all products and services. Digital transformation means beginning to use machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the member experience by using data to predict problems and provide useful solutions for members and employees.

Here are 10 things digital transformation can do for your organization:

  1. Connect advertising and marketing. Gone are the days when it's okay to run billboards or radio advertisements and hope for the best. Your digital layer should help the marketing team leverage first-, second- and even third-party data to provide relevant and timely advertisements that can be tracked through to conversion — not just clicks on a page but allowing them to connect through to actual funded loans and open accounts. They should be able to show how many leads, opportunities, applications and funded/open accounts you receive by day, week, month and year. And they should be able to provide reports to show which channels are providing leads and which channels have the highest conversions. 
  2. Turn the website into a digital branch. Digital transformation can elevate your website into a a lead-generating machine, producing more leads than your top branches combined. If the site is not using data to provide personalized experiences for visitors, you should ask why. Your website should leverage data about your known and unknown visitors so they have a personalized, relevant experience. Leveraging chatbots and cloud scheduling should also be on your to-do list. Providing feedback needs to be an option so your members can engage and make comments, giving you insight into what content is useful. The website should also kick off journeys for main product lines and content, asking members to sign up throughout the site. 
  3. Make reporting and dashboards available company-wide. Using spreadsheets to provide organizational reports should quickly become a thing of the past. Your engagement layer should provide employees access to their daily and monthly goals compared with production in real or near real time. Making good strategic decisions should be easy with data visualization tools that enable you to see the same data in ways that aren’t possible with basic spreadsheets. 
  4. Supply lead scoring. Digital transformation should leverage ML/AI to show how incoming leads perform and provide a lead score that predicts the likelihood that this person will purchase. 
  5. Offer next best action. The engagement layer is built on data and must go beyond the linear next-best product suggestions that some systems provide. People don't purchase in a linear fashion, so the engagement layer must use ML and AI to identify products that are appropriate for your members based on their behavior — not what product or service the credit union thinks is next. 
  6. Provide unified login. If your members need to have more than one login, digital may never provide the connected experience. Asking members to create different usernames and passwords every time they do something new with your institution makes it difficult to connect their experiences. If a member has online banking, they must be able to use that same login to apply for a loan, open an account, create a service requestcheck their loan status, etc.
  7. Deliver connected applications. The application process should provide online decisions in seconds. Members must have the ability to use their mobile device to upload documents, log in and see where they are in an application process and get intelligent next-best offers based on data pulled from the credit report during the application process. Just because they are applying for one product doesn’t mean multiple suggestions can’t be proposed. If you’re paying for a credit report, get the most out of it. 
  8. Automate journeys, leveraging website actions and transactional behavior. Journeys are more than emails; they include a variety of channels and can be completely automated. Journeys can be for marketing purposes like onboarding or retention. They can also be valuable during the application process in leveraging your content to help members who are early in the buying process and are doing research. They can be useful when you deny a loan. Or they can provide guidance in dealing with fraud.
  9. Allow members to submit service requests online. Submitting service requests through chatbots or directly on account management pages is important. Being able to log in and see all service requests and the status of all requests and to communicate directly with employees regarding service requests is necessary. 
  10. Give employees a 360-degree view of the member. In the engagement layer, employees see the member’s entire relationship — not just core-related information but marketing offers received, how many times they clicked on those offers, what they visited on your website, their financial goals and aspirations, open and closed accounts, application statuses, which service requests are active and the status, chats, phone calls, etc. — everything about the member in one place. 

Is digital transformation easy? No. If your credit union is looking for a solution to unify systems and create a transformed employee and member experience, you need to start today. Don’t worry about being perfect … just start. So where do you begin? A digital roadmap is a strategic vision that guides your organization with a “crawl, walk, run” phased approach for each department that leads to the overall success of reaching your credit union’s strategic goals.  

How Wipfli can help 

Not sure where to go next? Whether you’re standing by as your competition rides the digital wave or realizing you need to improve the user experience, there are resources to help. At Wipfli Digital, we have extensive experience with developing and optimizing mobile experiences that resonate with users. From conducting consumer research to streamlining your mobile purchasing funnel, we can help you meet your customers where they are, exactly when they need you.

Contact our digital team today to help you get started or learn more from these resources:

3 ways to tell if you’re ready for digital transformation (article)

Getting started with digital transformation (podcast)

How to design human-centered digital products from the start (article)

3 keys to a winning mobile strategy (article)


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Wipfli Editorial Team