3 Credit Union Website Design and Development Tips

 

As much as your credit union website design should be visually appealing, it should do more than just look good. Your web development should be focused on creating a functional, engaging, and intuitive layout that helps your members and prospects find exactly what they need.

The experience you want your members to have in your credit union should be featured in your website design. Hubspot recently shared some eye-opening statistics about modern web design.

For example, almost 90% of visitors leave a website due to slow loading, 73% due to non-responsive websites, and just over 60% leave due to bad navigation. Since many credit unions are historically slow to update their digital assets, this is a big problem. We are increasingly seeing business, finances, personal shopping, medical care, and so much more being done online. Your credit union website design needs to reflect that you understand the importance of digital banking and accessibility, while also addressing concerns about slow loading times and mobile device browsing.

Here’s another impactful statistic from Hubspot: 60% of consumers rate usability as an important design characteristic for their online experience.

Your credit union may have previously been built on the connections in your community, but if you want to continue growing, it’s time to review and update your web development strategies. Here are some of the most recommended tips we could find for improving credit union website design.

Define Your Purpose

Credit union website design is a tricky thing. To continue appealing to younger demographics and gain loyal members from these groups, your website’s purpose must be well-defined.

That doesn’t mean your website should only have one function, but it does mean that you’ll have to look at where you are and where you want to be, then decide the best way to get there.

For example, your credit union website’s purpose can be to create a satisfying and personalized experience for all members. This positions your web development projects in a way that can help guide your developers to create an easily navigable experience that can inform your members and even help them carry out financial tasks – tasks which can include account balance checking, online web loan applications, and using online educational content to help guide their financial decisions.

Listen to Your Users

Member feedback is a great way to find out exactly what your members need that you aren’t already providing. All the best tips and practices on the Internet won’t help you connect with your members in a meaningful way through your website if you aren’t giving them the tools and paths they are looking for.

For example, chatbots and mobile device usage continue to be popular website tools that help credit union professionals connect with members. And when you have a website design that supports their needs, you will often find that your members are more than happy to do the “grunt work” themselves, like applying for loans, enrolling in Skip a Pay programs, opening bank accounts, and more.

Not only does the website then start doing some of the data entry heavy lifting, but it also frees up your credit union associates to explore other ways to engage and assist members with more complex problems or ideas.

And since most Internet browsing comes from mobile devices, your web development strategy has to include those functions as you create or upgrade your credit union website design.

Your members know what they want and are often most vocal about how your credit union is keeping them from being able to have their preferred experience. It’s a great opportunity to not only gain insight into how you can better serve your members, it can also give you more chances to increase member engagement by offering polls, comment sections, and more ways to collect feedback on your website design and future plans.

Keep Your Design Ideas Simple

Your credit union web design should be unique and eye-catching, but you can’t trade function for flash. Lots of banners, long content, and colorful visuals can be great tools to use, but they can also overwhelm your visitors.

Your web development should be done with a “pare down” mentality – you can’t possibly describe every service you offer, so you should just focus on highlighting your high-level items and creating a navigation system that allows your site visitors to home in on what they’re looking for.

A few well-placed and stunning visuals are perfect, but pages of long paragraphs and high-resolution images aren’t necessary, and they only increase your load times.

You can communicate effectively through simple icons (outlines of credit cards or checks, pens, and more) and short, powerful phrases to help lead your members to the website features and information they’re looking for.

Custom Web Development Is Easy with IMSI

IMSI is uniquely equipped to maximize our expertise in the web development world as well as our knowledge of the specific digital needs credit unions benefit from the most.

With our Custom Web Development services, we work with you to address your credit union’s needs with tailored web design and UX strategies. We can even work with you to find inexpensive solutions that enhance your current website’s benefits and fixes your current problem areas.

The goal is to create the best experience for your members, and we’ve got the tools and expertise to do it quickly and cost-effectively.


Credit Unions & the Great Resignation

 

The Great Resignation has not been easy for credit unions. And much like the rest of the country, your credit union must be looking for some explanations and solutions to the problems caused by the Great Resignation.

Your credit union staff is quite often part of the “face” of your CU’s brand. And as the Great Resignation and its effects linger, it can reflect poorly on that brand if you are unable to keep your branches staffed well. As inflation and cost of living expenses rise, it is less likely that your credit union is a “bad employer” and more likely that you aren’t marketing your positions in an optimal way, among other things.

Let’s talk about what the Great Resignation is and how to create targeted solutions to keep credit union staff issues to a minimum.

The Great Resignation: What It Is and What It Taught Us

In 2021, nearly 50 million people left their jobs voluntarily. This number is 12 million higher than the previous year.

What caused this mass exodus? Here are some of the top reasons cited by those who quit:

  • Burnout (40%)
  • Organizational changes (34%)
  • Lack of flexibility (20%)
  • Instances of discrimination (20%)
  • Contributions and ideas not being valued (20%)
  • Insufficient benefits (19%)

The stress from the pandemic – including many companies calling their staff back from remote work to in-office, loss of employees due to COVID, increased responsibilities, etc. – are all contributors to the burnout that many people are feeling in their workplace.

And credit unions are not exempt from these things. Like many businesses, most CUs can’t support 100% of their workforce going full-time remote, and it’s up to individual institutions to decide how to handle cost of living hikes and inflation issues.

However, when you look at the list of reasons why people are leaving in droves, a lot of it comes down to employees not feeling supported by the businesses they work for and support.

And while this information may seem negative, it’s also worth noting that the financial services sector actually experienced the Great Resignation less significantly than other industries. However, the number of resignations is still outweighing the number of new hires, even now, though that trend seems to be slowing the further we get into 2022.

Hiring & Recruiting: Jumpstart Your CU’s Search

If you are looking to increase your credit union staff numbers, or you have vacant positions to fill, we’ve got some tips.

Right now, posting your open positions on your website and your favorite job boards isn’t enough to attract the candidates you’ll want. Your hiring approach has to be more active.

You can use those same job boards to seek out specific people or to search for individuals who may be gainfully employed but looking for other opportunities. For example, LinkedIn lets people note on their profile if they are open to other job opportunities, even if they aren’t actively looking to change jobs.

You also need to expand your search. Though each position may have preferred skills, it’s important to seek out and evaluate potential candidates who don’t fit all the criteria on your list.

When you think about the ideal person you’d like to fill a specific position, what sort of attributes are most important? Do they need to be personable? Should they have high problem-solving capabilities or be great at written communication? Many of these attributes are tantamount to, say, their experience working in the financial sector, but they are often overlooked until after the interview process has already begun.

Offering sign-on bonuses or other perks including higher wages that are consistent with or better than your area competitors is helpful, too. But these things are only so important to prospects, especially for businesses with staffing issues based on workload, company culture, or other more systemic problems.

Evaluate Your Expenses

Much of the effect of the Great Resignation for credit union staff was seen in the resignation of frontline workers including tellers and other employees who work directly with your members. And while this can be frustrating, it also offers a great opportunity for your credit union to see what improvements can be made to ease the burden on front-facing roles by implementing new processes or investing in new technology.

The Great Resignation is also a great opportunity for your branches to evaluate other expenses. There are likely ways to reduce costs without reducing your staff. For example, IMSI has a host of credit union solutions that take some of the more repetitive or preliminary member-facing tasks and creates online solutions that you can build directly into your CU’s website or app offerings.

Web Solutions for Busy CU Leaders

When you are having staffing issues, the last thing you want to do is make things harder for yourself or your current credit union staff. That’s why IMSI concentrates on bringing you customized, high-quality solutions for your online forms.

Our online self-service forms can collect information for you and even enable member-led self-service request fulfillment. IMSI can build dozens of forms that can ease the burden on your staff and place some of the power back into your member’s hands.

Are you interested in learning more about IMSI’s self-service forms? Reach out to us today and request a consultation.


Trending Credit Union Topics for April 2022

 

Recently, the Credit Union National Association held its annual governmental affairs conference. They covered a wide range of topics from regulatory changes to future initiatives and more. After the conference, American Banker compiled a list of 6 topics from that conference that credit unions are talking about. Those topics include:

  • War in Ukraine
  • Economy and fee income
  • Struggles of starting a new credit union
  • Inclusion initiatives
  • LGBTQ+ affiliations and communities
  • Credit unions buying banks

Let’s discuss some of these trending credit union topics and what they mean for the future of your credit union.

War in Ukraine

Many industries are wondering how far the effects of the war between Ukraine and Russia will spread. We have already seen a hike in gas prices, and the supply shortages caused by the pandemic will also compound any issues furthered by the ongoing conflict.

Many countries are cutting ties with Russia, making it difficult for them to retrieve any assets or benefits of commerce from these areas. And since Russia has already been accused of interfering in American politics, many businesses are concerned that we are about to get hit with an increasing number of cyberattacks originating from the Russians.

As far as credit union-specific dealings, the Ukrainian National Credit Union Association has partnered with its members to help send aid to those affected by the war. According to their website, “the Ukrainian American credit union movement in the United States exceeds 100,000 family memberships…our asset base has surpassed $4 billion.”

Of the trending credit union topics we are talking about in this article, this one is likely the most volatile, as the war could potentially have global repercussions regarding economic stability, and the rise of military involvement from various countries.

A recent article from the Credit Union Times talks about the issues the Ukrainians face as their towns are invaded and destroyed. There is looting and the sparse reports from the region include insights into a near-total collapse of all cashless payment options in the country. Relief efforts in the country are being debated currently to help even the playing field and allow for credit union depositors to be treated the same way bank depositors are treated.

In early March, the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the World Foundation for Credit Unions have launched campaigns to aid Ukraine, including the creation of the Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund, and many other credit union organizations have created funds that collect and disburse donations from all over the world to aid in relief efforts.

Credit unions across the world are being encouraged to help by providing monetary donations and using their platforms to help show Americans where and how they can donate through their CU memberships.

Economy, Financial Inclusion, & Fee Income

The economy is another trending credit union topic right now, and that has been the case since the pandemic began. With the huge global events that have taken place in the last few years, it’s hard not to be wary of market shifts and other economic indicators.

Many credit unions have been focused on creating opportunities to aid in the recovery from the pandemic, especially for those who live in underserved areas.

And one tactic that many credit unions have embraced is the reduction or elimination of overdraft and other complicated fee systems. These fees can actually harm credit union efforts geared toward increasing financial inclusion.

We’ve previously shared our insights that explain why the era of overdraft fees is ending. However, the discussions around these topics and the push for more financially inclusive initiatives mean that reducing or eliminating your overdraft fees is the most likely path forward. And that means your credit union will have to analyze their specific branch data to adjust their programs to account for this loss of an income stream.

The Struggles of Opening New Credit Unions

Though there are many difficult things to navigate this year, there are some trending credit union topics that center around how we can make it easier for new credit unions to open their doors.

For example, Village Financial Credit Union is a Black-led credit union that was set to open in 2019, but after several setbacks – including a global pandemic – the leaders of this enterprise are hopeful they will be able to open their doors in North Minneapolis by early 2023.

As we continue to strive for financial inclusion, it will become more important to create and look for opportunities to increase the presence of reputable credit unions in areas that are historically underserved.

Use Optimized Tools to Navigate Trends in the Credit Union Sector

Navigating trending credit union topics have long-lasting implications for your CU. And that’s why you need cutting-edge solutions that have been tailored to credit union needs.

Luckily, IMS Integration can help augment those offerings with elegant, member-facing solutions that include: Make a Statement, Online Courtesy Pay+, Online Self-Service Forms, and Trial Balance+.


Moving to Conversational Banking

 

Digital transformation has been moving financial institutions from traditional banking models to online banking models and beyond. As member needs grow and change with the advancement of technology, the approach to customer service must evolve with it. Part of the transition from traditional banking to the future of banking involves the inclusion of conversational banking.

Traditional banking is based on a one-to-one model of financial customer service – and while this practice is still important when mixed with technology that can increase efficiency, convenience, and member experience. Let’s discuss what conversational banking is and how it could benefit your credit union.

What Is Conversational Banking?

For the last several years, and especially throughout the multiple waves of the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen exponential growth in conversational user interfaces: messaging apps, chatbots, voice-activated software, and more. These tools are a great opportunity for bridging the gaps between the old-school benefits of one-on-one banking conversations, meetings, consultations, and Q and A sessions versus the convenience of online banking and drive-thru ATMs.

Conversational banking stems from this need for banking members to communicate via technology with the brands and services they use and buy from. The foundation of this banking style is built on interactions between members and non-human interfaces. But just because a live credit union representative isn’t talking to your member, that doesn’t mean the interaction can’t be intuitive and helpful in much the same way as a phone call or a discussion with a credit union employee.

When done correctly, you can leverage the power of conversation to help your members find the solutions they need and navigate those conversations to also recommend other products, services, and solutions. Rather than replacing interactions between members and credit union employees, these methods can augment and enrich the member experience.

The Benefits

One of the biggest benefits of conversational banking is that it lends itself to widening a credit union’s omnichannel approach. You can increase the number of touchpoints in the member journey, increasing the chances that your credit union solutions and insights can create a positive impression on members and potential members.

The use of hybrid technologies also helps cater to different types of member preferences. You can incorporate more phone calls and on-premises visits for those members who would prefer speaking to a live credit union representative. And for those who would prefer to use self-service channels over visiting a physical branch location or making a phone call. Digital solutions continue to gain popularity as online and mobile banking is a more convenient and safer option for people today.

It’s also important to remember that personal service doesn’t necessarily mean face-to-face. Conversational AI software and applications can often be as satisfying for online members and prospects as other methods of communication with a brand or financial institution.

Conversational Banking + Superior Software = CU Success

Your members want to have control of their banking needs, but they also want to be able to depend on you when they need financial education or advice. IMS Integration has a host of premier solutions for Keystone users that can help keep your credit union competitive and relevant compared to fintech and big bank institutions. You can take advantage of online offerings like web loan applications, online account opening services, Infuzion, and reward checking by leveraging our expertise in Keystone, Java, JavaScript, and other credit union-specific professional and comprehensive services.

By partnering with IMS Integration, you will be able to streamline operations so you can optimize your conversational banking assets and spend more time helping your members when they need you most.

Check out our website for more information, or contact us today if you have questions.