March 2020 changed the world. It changed the way we move through our homes, public spaces, and workplaces. It changed how we thought about what defines an office, and a home. And it defined the way we interacted with technology and money as well. So let’s take a look at what credit unions in a post-COVID world will look like.
Credit Unions and COVID
Branches of banks and credit unions had to shut down in-person – most temporarily, but some permanently. Others reduced their hours of operation as they pivoted to remote work for some or all of their staff members. Credit union members bombarded branches with requests through phone calls, chats, and mobile apps.
So what does it look like now? According to Silvercloud, the credit union industry is focused on digital solutions:
- Self-service activity on bank and credit union websites increased 69% in just one year.
- Chatbot usage increased 272%
- Banking by appointment continues to grow.
Shift from Products and Services to Support
The coronavirus pandemic showed us all how much we need other people. And when it comes to businesses, like credit unions, that serve the public consumer, there’s been a distinct shift in messaging. Your credit union members don’t want a service, they want a partner. And credit unions are already uniquely positioned to work closely with their communities.
Your credit union’s message has to reflect that desire to create a meaningful relationship with your members.
Personalization is the key to many of your future credit union offerings. We’ve discussed this and the optimization of your digital member experience previously.
Along with that feeling of support and partnership, credit union members are looking for a customer experience that is tailored to their needs and their financial situation. Mass marketing and blanket advertising will likely not be effective right now and in the near future.
Credit union staff members can call, text, and email members with answers to questions, suggestions for products and services, and actionable correspondence. And the methods of communication need to be user-friendly and streamlined because digital customers are abandoning business models that don’t innovate and improve the end-user experience.
The Credit Union Times had this to say about the future:
“Many credit unions still do business like the industry did in 1985. We pride ourselves on our services, but by service we mean personal, face-to-face service – not a digital experience. We have been making decisions based on this service model and COVID showed us that this thinking is flawed.”
While our industry is heavily based on regulation and process control, there are still lots of ways you can use technology to make your operations more modern, more efficient, and safer than past practices.
The future of banking is digital. And that means keeping and refining the new technological pivots we made as a result of the pandemic. To capture and retain members, credit unions will have to focus on new and innovative ways to offer their products and services and offer them through websites and mobile apps.
Plan for the Future with IMS Integration
IMS Integration has many credit union solutions that can move your CU operations into the future. IMSI’s member-facing web solutions like Make a Statement, Online Courtesy Pay, Online Self Service forms, and Trial Balance are perfect for reaching new members and updating your processes.
Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.