2020 In Review for Credit Unions

 

The pandemic and other disasters caused a lot of uncertainty for your members and employees this year. As 2020 comes to a close, it’s important for leaders to review what they’ve learned so they can prepare for 2021. 

Here are the top insights credit unions have learned this year:

Members Need Digital Experiences

When the world locked down and started working remotely, members flocked to your credit union’s digital services. What was once seen as conveniences became needs, but your members still craved customization and personalization through your digital services and remote communication styles. They demanded improved digital experiences

In addition to increased phone volume and, potentially, the unveiling of video chatting at your credit union, your members increased the use of your website and mobile app. Website accessibility became even more valuable to serve more of your members.

As we’ve said before, “The digital member experience needs to be as close as possible to an all-encompassing, no limits, one-on-one discussion about the many products and programs your credit union offers.”

You may have seen a need to improve your software and digital infrastructure throughout this season. But those improvements don’t end with 2020. It’s imperative that credit unions continue to optimize the digital experience for their members on an ongoing basis. 

Related resources from our sister company, Information Management Solutions:

Cybersecurity is Increasingly Important

Credit unions across the nation, among other businesses, are finding that cybersecurity is critical for the well-being of their business and to keep their members’ data secure. 

We’ve known for a while that cybercriminals don’t discriminate who they attack and that not all cyber threats have malicious intent, but this year has made it even harder for smaller credit unions to keep up with the security demands placed on them, especially when transitioning to WFH environments. 

We previously summed this up as “Cybersecurity in 2020 is even more important than it was in past years because financial institutions can’t afford to be breached or hacked during these uncertain times.”

At the end of this year, one thing is clear: if your credit union hasn’t already, it’s time to strengthen your cybersecurity initiatives. 

Related resources from our sister company, Information Management Solutions:

Members Require a Better Experience

Your members want more. Their needs are always changing. As younger generations join credit unions and as time moves forward, member expectations change. This is especially true for 2020 as members’ needs changed practically overnight.

This year, credit unions helped their members use self-service options and embrace digital services. Your employees quickly felt the loss of that in-person community that is created within a normal credit union environment – and everyone on your team knew that many members felt the same loss.  

Customer service became less about benefits and more about personalizing the customer experience, even while working remotely. As we prepare for and head into 2021, it’s important to continue improving the member experience across the board. 

Related resources from our sister company, Information Management Solutions: 

Prepare for 2021

At the end of the day, your credit union is constantly working on ways to better serve your members. Members continue to be the most important focus for a credit union’s efforts, from the leadership team to each member service representative. For this reason, all of these insights that credit union leaders have learned over the year are important to take into 2021. 

Like you serve your members, our team at IMS Integration is here to serve you. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your credit union.


Ensuring Accessibility on Your Credit Union’s Website

Litigation is still developing around what should be considered ADA compliant on a website. Testing those developments in the credit union industry is complex, and many credit unions don’t take the time to truly focus on all the areas of ADA compliance on their websites. The litigation around these standards isn’t solid as the DOJ has not set new regulations, so some companies may find themselves at the center of a lawsuit when they don’t provide properly accessible website features.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) established a set of guidelines for accessibility known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. These guidelines determine three different levels of conformance, from A (the lowest) to AAA (the highest). The WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines promote four principles. 

A website must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust:

  • Perceivable: Users must be able to perceive website elements. Text alternatives for non-text content, alternatives for video and audio content, captions, and more.
  • Operable: Make all “functionality” on a website available via keyboard (for example, some website users cannot use a traditional computer mouse).
  • Understandable: Language on a website should be noted in the HTML so assistive technologies can translate.
  • Robust: All content must be robust to be interpreted by a wide variety of user agents, like assistive technologies. For example, markup languages should have proper nesting, start and end tags, no duplicate attributes. In short, HTML and CSS should be clean and tidy.

These are still voluntary technical standards as the Department of Justice has not officially established new regulations. 

Since your branch employees can still be the primary point of contact, you’ll want to ensure that your website remains a solid resource that can serve all customers. 

Part of being a more accessible credit union is finding the right partner to create an accessible experience on your website for all members. We don’t specifically test your website for ADA compliance, but we can improve the elements of your website so you can better reach and support your customers. 

For example, our online self-service forms offer a fully integrated, customizable solution that incorporates your credit union’s brand and image. This fast, secure interface also provides a streamlined user experience that will help to keep your members happy. In addition, we offer custom web development to service any of your unique needs. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch.