Financial Preparedness Approaches for the Future

 

Financial preparedness meant something like a “rainy day” stash or “disaster fund” before the events of 2020. Many credit union members were lucky enough not to have worried about what it takes to be financially prepared. If they don’t live somewhere with extreme weather, many thought financial preparedness plans didn’t really apply to them.

And then a pandemic happened, and nearly everyone in the USA and the world was forced to take a hard look at their financial situation because the stability we thought we had was gone.

Credit unions and members alike should be looking forward with a renewed appreciation for financial planning. Let’s discuss some important financial preparedness approaches for post-pandemic life.

Have a Plan B

In 2020, many workers experienced a sharp decrease in wages due to layoffs, furloughs, and quarantine-related shutdowns or capacity limitations. While we hope never to live through something like that again, it’s important to realize how desperate many families’ situations were before the pandemic hit.

According to CNBC, “roughly 1 in 3 households had trouble making ends meet right before the coronavirus pandemic.” 33% of the population were struggling to keep up with their bills in a normal financial climate, and that number only grew as the pandemic stretched on.

That’s why having a plan B is essential. If you encourage members to start now, it’s much easier to get through rough patches when you’ve been stockpiling funds a few dollars at a time. Encouraging members to create separate savings accounts for emergencies is a helpful way to teach financial preparedness in a way that is relatable.

That emergency fund can be used for sudden changes in job status or pay, sudden expenses like replacing a totaled car, or paying for medical emergencies. When you phrase it as a series of probable bumps in the road, rather than an “in case a tornado or hurricane wipes out our house”, emergency funds start to make more sense to your members and become a valued service and insight you are offering them.

As for natural disasters specifically, it’s also good to inform credit union members that they should keep a small stash of cash at home, in the event that power in the area goes out and ATM withdrawals are not an option.

Budget What You Have

Budgeting is an elusive concept to many Americans. In fact, an Intuit survey showed that 65% of Americans have no clue how much money they spent last month.

But that doesn’t mean you should jump right into a hyper-detailed budgeting strategy. Just like learning to read, you don’t start with an entire book. You move through each letter, and then on to words, sentences, paragraphs, and so on.

Incorporating budgeting strategies a little at a time can help your members learn basic financial preparedness and planning, which can improve their financial stability little by little. Younger generations have previously been reported as not financially responsible, and you can’t teach that responsibility overnight. Creating budgets for small things, like groceries or streaming services can help members recognize and identify areas in their life that could use a good budgeting once-over.

Mitigate Debt

The COVID pandemic caused more than 51% of adults with credit card debt to add to their balances from March 2020 to January 2021.

In leaner times, financial goals should shift from growth and expansion – new house, newer car, impulse purchases on Amazon – to debt mitigation. If credit card debt is trending upwards, it’s important to revisit that budget, maybe cut out a few of the less essential expenses and make some goals to pay off credit card debt. For Millennials and Gen Z, offering these insights through your credit union is a great way to appeal to this very debt-conscious demographic.

Ensure Quick & Easy Access to Financial Information and Services

As a result of the pandemic, more people are using online banking services than ever before. Credit unions that wish to see success in a post-pandemic world need to be implementing and troubleshooting more digital services and offerings so as to keep up with the demand that is now present for these contactless banking options.

IMS Integration is here to help you optimize your credit union’s website with Web Loan Applications, Online Account Opening, and so much more.

Contact us today for more information about our credit union solutions.


How to Improve Credit Union Customer Service

 

We’ve talked previously about trends credit union customers will come to expect and ways to improve member experience in previous blog posts. But a lot has changed in the last year. So let’s take a look at some new ways to improve credit union customer service.

Focus on Financial Well-Being

Credit unions are very community-oriented and collaboration-focused. And as more young adults come of age in these financially uncertain times, they don’t just need a bank, they need a financial institution that can also act as a teacher or guide.

Millennials and Gen Z spend money and view debt differently than older generations. And many times, they look to the internet for answers. So why not use your credit union’s online presence and customer approach to provide those answers for them? You can build trust with younger demographics by positioning your credit union as not only a bank, but also a partner throughout their financial lives.

By focusing on helping your members pursue financial well-being, you can not only provide better customer service, but you can also see what trends and growth areas exist in your immediate market.

This is also a strategic way to invite more small businesses to bank with you as well. Often, owners of small businesses are forced to be their own supervisor, employee, accountant, marketer, and so much more. If you have resources and experienced advisors available, SMBs will see that as a huge advantage.

Leverage APIs

An application programming interface – or API – is a “code that allows two application systems to connect and share information with each other. You can see some quick and easy examples in this CUInsight article.

Leveraging APIs helps credit unions compete with the big banks and their multi-million dollar tech resources. APIs allow your CU to save time and money on significant website and app improvements by using pre-built programs to help drive engagement and growth.

Listen to Your Employees

Being a credit union leader often involves making hard decisions, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it in a vacuum. You have dozens of experienced employees who are your boots on the ground every day. One of the best ways to improve credit union customer service is to listen to the struggles of your staff.

If there are systems or procedures that have not been updated or optimized in a while, talk to the people who use them every day. Ask them what they struggle with, and what their members are struggling with. Having an open-door policy on process improvements can allow your credit union to keep moving forward with incremental changes, rather than forcing shutdowns or huge company-wide strategy overhauls in the coming years.

Take Advantage of Testing

You’ve heard it before: no two customers are alike and no two businesses – even two branches of the same credit union – are alike. Just because a messaging system isn’t well-received at branch A doesn’t mean the system should be scrapped or replaced. It means you should do some testing to find the reasons certain programs are working at each branch of your credit union.

Testing, especially after the year of rapid technological change we just had, is paramount to the success of your credit union. Some of the temporary solutions you’ve implemented may be great tools or resources to keep for the long haul. And maybe others need some refining before they can be considered an asset to your business.

Offer Great Online Resources and Services

Fintech partnering is a big trend right now, and it’s probably going to stick around for a while. Finding companies that can help you provide valuable services online is a great, cost-effective way to improve customer service.

IMS Integration is here to help you optimize your credit union’s website with Web Loan Applications, Online Account Opening, and so much more.

Contact us today for more information about our credit union solutions.


6 Ways to Improve Your Credit Union Website

 

Your credit union’s website is getting more traffic, and your members expect to be able to find more information and services than ever before. After a long year of hurried digital transformation, now is the time to optimize your business’s online presence. Here are some of the best ways to improve your credit union website.

Update Your FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions pages are one of the first places your members go to get information about new website features and common issues or questions.

To improve your credit union website, spend some time reorganizing and updating your FAQs. Questions should be grouped by topic or category (mobile banking, online loan applications, etc.). You can even include a search feature, especially if you have a long list of FAQs, to help your members find the information they need faster.

With all the crazy 2020-inspired changes to your business, your FAQ section is likely in need of a good update.

Analytics and Personalization

Predictive analytics can create a more tailored experience for every member or potential customer who visits your credit union website.

“By leveraging application programming interfaces (API) to connect customer relationship management (CRM) databases, your website can display personalized content, advertising, and product information uniquely targeted to each individual,” says InetSolution.

You can use existing tools like Google Analytics and customize the insights to capture specific data that can improve your website’s (and your business’s) performance.

Include or Improve Site Search Functions

We already mentioned including a search feature on your credit union’s FAQ page. It is just as crucial that your website includes a global search feature too, so visitors can quickly and easily search your entire website content for specific information or services.

Before you create or commission work for a one-size-fits-all search function that also searches Google or other internet content, remember: the function of every piece of information and page design should be optimized to get your members or potential customers to the content or service they are looking for.

This site search function would also likely benefit from the same analytics and personalization features that you’ve built into your site mentioned in the above section.

Create and Curate Financial Education Content

Blogs, links, infographics, events pages – many people visit websites for advice or information that is related to your business or industry. To improve your credit union’s website, having a section dedicated to financial education content is a perfect companion to your credit union’s mission to serve and educate the communities your offices are in.

When you provide relevant resources, you also help your customers become educated and invested in their own financial literacy and experience. A blog or resource page with relevant links or infographics not only adds value to your website but also provides another reason for visitors to check back in on your website for the latest helpful tips or interesting articles.

Ensure All Site Functions are Mobile-Friendly

89% of American bank account holders use mobile banking for account management. And 94% of mobile banking customers use online banking platforms at least once a month.

Whether your credit union has a website, an app, or both – all pages and functions of your online services should be optimized to work on mobile platforms. This is even more important when it comes to the longer, more involved service processes, like account opening or web loan applications.

Offer Online Web Loan Applications and Account Opening

And speaking of web loan applications and online account opening – both of these should be features on your credit union’s website and app. Younger prospective customers have always tended to prefer any solution that is fully online and contactless.

This is even more important as we continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 restrictions. Rather than losing them, you can give potential customers the power to initiate business with you. This is safer, faster, and often more preferred anyway.

Need Help Improving Your Credit Union’s Online Presence?

IMS Integration is here to help you optimize your credit union’s website with Web Loan Applications, Online Account Opening, and so much more.

Contact us today for more information about our credit union solutions.


Human Interface – Fintech with a Personal Touch

 

As more and more banking operations go digital, it’s easy to get caught up in the convenience and forget about the human aspect of doing business. And that human aspect, the connection to community and customer, is what sets credit unions apart from other financial institutions. And that’s why creating human interfaces is so important in this age of digital transformation.

Let’s take a look at what a human interface is and the benefits of having this software in your credit union arsenal.

What is a Human Interface?

“Human interface” is a term you have probably not heard as often as “bots” or “intelligent virtual assistants.” But human interfaces mean that these advanced and emerging technologies are learning to look and talk the way real people naturally look and talk. Here’s a quick video that explains the evolution and importance of human interfaces.

Benefits of a Human Interface

While this technology may seem overwhelming at first, there are many benefits to creating technology that better understands and interacts with humans. It means your credit union can more fully serve its customers, even from the comfort of their own home. Here are some of the top benefits of human interfaces.

Anticipate Customer Needs, Based on Common Search Terms and Collected Data

You may be surprised to find out very few credit union and bank customers use bots and virtual assistants for digital support. Technologies have been enhanced in recent years to become more intuitive and user-friendly. These enhancements mean navigating and using your credit union’s website or app is easy for most of your members.

With these improvements, bots and virtual assistants are now using the data they collect on member usage. This can show you exactly what areas customers need assistance with and allow you and your credit union to cater to those needs. You can also use the data to provide more targeted training to your employees based on customer search trends.

Conversational Use is More Effective

Did you know over 30% of the time, “people say ‘hello’ or some other personal greeting when they start interacting with a bot?” Human interface bots seem more human, so customers treat them that way.

The recreation of that “personal touch” human interfaces can replicate means credit union members feel more comfortable using the service, and they continue to reach out via digital assistant to perform many standard or low-level banking functions. This allows your employees more time to handle more difficult or intricate tasks.

The conversational experience in human interface technologies can also help enhance the user experience. It is easier for people to use a computer if they can talk to it. Think about how much easier it is to learn a new app or feature on your phone or smart device when someone is explaining it to you, versus trying to follow written instructions for use.  

Reliability

Human interface solutions are a 24/7 support staff for your credit union. After business hours or during peak customer traffic, your virtual assistant is always “on” and ready to assist, even if your employees are all already assisting customers.

Security

In the same way that online banking is usually very safe, banking operations being run through a bot or virtual assistant that has a human interface and multi-factor authentication also bolster cybersecurity.

Pandemic Health and Safety

Of course, one of the biggest reasons digital solutions like the human interface are getting so much attention this year is because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Human interface, bots, and virtual assistants fill a very specific void your credit union members are experiencing right now: the need for touchless interfaces and the desire for human-centric service that still “maintains efficiency, security, privacy, and choice,” according to this Forbes article.

Take Your CU Tech to the Next Level

Digital solutions are the best way to differentiate your credit union from the rest and serve your customers using the most up-to-date technology.

From eStatements and eNotices to Web Loan Applications, Online Account Opening, and Trial Balance+, IMS Integration can help you serve your customers better with our elegant, member-facing solutions

Questions? Contact us today!


2020’s Digital Push May Mean Future Security Risks

 

In 2020, credit unions prioritized service over expansion. But creating new digital solutions for members and employees was a whirlwind of uncertainty and this year, leaders will need to stay extra vigilant when it comes to credit union cybersecurity.

Now, many credit unions are focused again on expansion. 2021 looks to be the year 2020 was meant to be, in terms of growth. For this to happen, however, credit unions must protect themselves from cybersecurity setbacks. Here’s why:

Credit Union Cybersecurity

Your credit union, just like any other financial institution right now, has likely checked and rechecked your credit union cybersecurity solutions and protocols in the wake of rising fraudulent activity and cyber breaches taking place all over the country.

Credit union IT professionals have been working tirelessly for the last year to ensure all firewalls and anti-malware programs are present and running on all devices in your network.

The good news is, in most cases, your credit union is at low risk of being breached through your many security systems and protocols. But there is a chink in your credit union’s armor – and it’s your employees.

The Chink in Your Credit Union Armor – Your Employees

Your employees are one of the best assets your credit union has – and unfortunately, they are also often inadvertently to blame for cybersecurity breaches.

According to Varonis, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. And in the last year, your employees have been thrown out of their element and into new remote and hybrid work models, which increases the chances of a breach.

Even if your employees are only performing their work on approved devices, it’s still vitally important to continue educating them on new threats and how to avoid them.

Sending alerts, reminders, and educational material about phishing (one of the top methods employees fall for when it comes to cybersecurity breaches) is a great way to foster a cyber security-minded work culture and bridge gaps in tech-based employee skills.

Some common features of phishing emails to look out for include:

  • Offers that seem too good to be true. Phishing emails often have some kind of amazing, lucrative deal for recipients or even include information about a product or prize you’ve “won.”
  • Sense of Urgency. The point of these emails is to entice readers to “act now” or “click here” in a short amount of time or they risk losing the “special offer.”
  • Hyperlinks. Cybercriminals often use hyperlinks to mask the real link they want you to click on. To see if a link is legitimate, hold your mouse over the linked text to reveal the real link you will be navigating to. Be careful and check for typos in the link, as many phishing emails say they’re taking you to a legitimate website like “yourbank.com” but if you look closely, the “m” is really an “r” and an “n” set together to trick you into thinking the link is legitimate.
  • Attachments. If you are not expecting emails with attachments, or the attachment seems odd, don’t click on it. These attachments may have viruses or other malware that are released upon opening.
  • Unusual sender. The cardinal rule of employee-based cybersecurity is this – if you aren’t expecting an email from someone, don’t open it – especially if it has any of the abovementioned hallmarks of a phishing email.

Kick Start Your Credit Union’s Digital Expansion

Keep your credit union moving forward. IMS Integration offers premiere solutions for Keystone users:

  • Corelation Solutions: Skip a Pay, Reward Checking, and Online Courtesy Pay+.
  • Infuzion: This powerful tool was developed to streamline complex functions without spending hours developing scripts.
  • Web Loan Applications: Loans are critical to your credit union’s success. Enhance your member experience by implementing our online loan applications system, which tightly integrates with KeyStone core.

If you want to explore our offerings further, or you have questions about our solutions, contact us today.


Digital Lending and Other 2021 Trends

 

Your digital banking solutions are under scrutiny, your member expectations are higher than ever, and your credit union has just come out of one of the toughest years in modern history. Let’s discuss how you’ll get a leg up this year by looking at the top digital and lending trends set to dominate 2021.

Until recently, banking institutions (and credit unions especially) were taking a conservative approach to digital transformation. But COVID-19 showed up and wrecked a lot of plans and protocols in a short amount of time, leaving financial leaders scratching their heads.

However, the new normal is here, and it’s not going anywhere. So what trends should you, as credit union leaders and employees, be pushing in the new year? Let’s break them down.

Digital Lending Solutions

Lending solutions are going to be a hot topic this year. With the amount of financial stress Americans and small businesses have been under since last March, expect to increase small ticket loan offerings. Focusing on low-dollar, short-term, “buy now, pay later” loans – often with zero interest rates – can fill some of the holes left by the 2020 economic downturn.

Lending also needs to go digital. This includes self-service and online options. With or without COVID, Millennials and Gen Z prefer to handle as much of their life and lifestyle as possible through remote channels.

It may seem strange, but these digital darlings are more likely to patronize your credit union if they never have to step foot inside it! This means creating and managing these online offerings as well as increasing machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities.

There are many advantages of digital lending:

  • Optimized User Experience – digital lending programs put the power back in your customers’ hands.
  • Increased Efficiency – digital lending also streamlines the lending process and creates shorter turnaround times.
  • Digital Channels Mean More Analytics – when all of your lending information is stored and handled digitally, it gives you the opportunity to analyze all that data and create intelligent, tailored banking solutions for your members.

Small Business Relationships

Another focus area in the banking industry this year will be recapturing small businesses. Credit unions already set themselves up for success in this area last year by participating in PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans. The program helped many small businesses keep their doors open during this trying time. It also created an avenue for small-to-midsized banks and credit unions to lend to businesses that were ineligible for other big bank-sponsored programs.

‘Financial Health’ Focus

Financial health is going to be a heavily leveraged topic in 2021 as well because the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all how badly financial unpreparedness can cripple our lives and economy.

Credit unions are in a great position to tackle this topic, however. Bigger banks tend not to offer comprehensive or tailored financial wellness and education resources. Credit unions have been doing that for decades already.

To take advantage of this trend, banks and credit unions will take advantage of virtue-signaling efforts to craft customer-facing messages that are more socially conscious.

These empathy-based messages will also cater to the direction of the changing White House administration.

Start Your Digital Lending Journey with Web Loan Applications

IMS Integration can help you create a seamless transition to digital lending and other online services:

  • Infuzion: This powerful tool was developed to streamline complex functions without spending hours developing scripts.
  • Web Loan Applications: Loans are critical to your credit union’s success. Enhance your member experience by implementing our online loan applications system, which tightly integrates with KeyStone core.

If you want to explore our offerings further, or you have questions about our solutions, contact us today.


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.


Lending Trends and Loan Applications: What’s Next for CUs?

Online lending and loan application practices have been around for a while, but many credit unions have not implemented or improved these processes. While COVID-19 mandates and social distancing practices may have pushed the tide toward more online lending, there are many reasons why it is here to stay and why there could be more changes on the horizon.

Digital Service Is Expected

Having reliable and expansive digital services available for members is a must for credit unions hoping to survive these tough times. Brick-and-mortar locations are becoming less and less frequented, which means you are losing members and customers if you aren’t implementing and expanding your online services often.

The current pandemic has pushed a lot of things to digital platforms out of necessity, but rather than seeing these as a temporary stop-gap measure, credit unions should consider adding things like online lending and loan application services to the website permanently.

Take Advantage of PPP Issues

Many small businesses applying for the Paycheck Protection Program loans had a hard time accessing the things they needed through big banks. Everyone was scrambling for the same funds and the lengthy wait times and delays cost a lot of small businesses their ability to keep their doors open, even at diminished capacity.

While this is nothing to celebrate, credit unions could use this as an opportunity to market themselves as a better alternative lender to the big banks and PPP. Customer service is always a strength that credit unions wield, so why not tout it during a time when lots of business owners are frustrated with their current bank’s lack of satisfactory service?

Travel Changes Mean Lending Changes

According to this CU Management article, some interesting loan trends may start to emerge as some areas lower their COVID-19 precautions due to dwindling case numbers.

There is a potential for air travel and hotel stays to decline and stay low for a time, even after COVID-19 has passed. This doesn’t mean that everyone will suddenly stop wanting to travel, but it does mean the mode of transportation could be changing.

RV and boat sales are expected to increase in the near future, as a safer travel alternative to flying, which means loans for these items will also increase – something for credit unions to think about in the coming months.

Credit Union Culture Is an Advantage

Though digital solutions often focus on taking out the human components, there are ways to incorporate the standard credit union customer service throughout the loan application process. Creating virtual inroads to your credit union by using your CU website to showcase both your commitment to helpful customer service and the ease of online loan applications can add value to potential customers.

Building custom lending processes that highlight the personal touch credit unions can offer is a great way to differentiate your services from the services your competitors have to offer.

IMS Integration Has You Covered

IMS Integration’s Online Loan Application white paper is a quick read and helps outline many of the benefits of creating web-based loan applications.

We also offer online self-service forms, which can be customized to meet your credit union’s and your customers’ needs.

We also have expertise with many software solutions for your credit union. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.


It’s Time to Optimize Your Digital Member Experience

Historically, credit unions have been regarded as slow to innovate when it comes to new technology. But 2020 is no ordinary year, and credit unions are recognizing the power of this rapid change and its value as we move towards an ever-evolving and heavily digital future. It’s time to optimize your digital member experience.

Digital Member Experience Is More than Fast Processing Times

This year has exponentially enhanced the ability of every industry to churn out large-scale digital solutions to compete with stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies. But the unintended result of this is an overwhelming preference, from customers and bank members, to have these services optimized and available in the future, no matter how long this pandemic lasts.

But digital solutions aren’t as easy to implement as a plexiglass partition or extra customer service associates. The easier the digital solution is for the customer to use, the more difficult and intricate the behind-the-scenes setup can be for IT and third-party software engineers.

Here are some tips and solutions for improving the digital member experience.

Enhance Chat Abilities with Video

Video chatting is now commonplace, for people of all ages. Young children are on Zoom for virtual classroom time, and elderly credit union members are hopping on Telehealth calls with their doctors. Why not incorporate video appointments in your credit union’s offerings?

Integrating a video chat option through your online banking website and app can bring back that personal, one-on-one customer service that has been slowly fading as we continue to practice safe social distancing.

It’s also a great way to introduce your already-tech-savvy members with your newest “upgrades” – you can use the video call to not only answer customer questions but to also keep them in the loop on the latest changes to the digital member experience.

Increase Customization in the Digital Member Experience

No matter how much you digitize, there will always be members who prefer that personal touch. This approach is something credit unions all over the country are most known for – their commitment to take care of and be an essential part of the communities they serve.

That same “perfect fit” feel can largely be replicated online if your credit union offers solutions that can be tailored either to your members’ preferences or manipulated by your members themselves.

Custom web development allows you to tell developers exactly what your credit union’s digital member experience should be, with web solutions ranging from online member applications to integration with third-party tools.

Ease of Use Is a Difficult, But Crucial Feature

Many customers, regardless of where they do their banking, are always looking for insights, shortcuts, and transparency. Increasing transaction visibility and speed are things many people are coming to expect – think of the one-click payment options on retail sites like Amazon.

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. One way you can do this is by recreating as many lending and other credit unions forms online.

IMSI Has A Variety of Software Solutions For You

At IMS Integration, we can create tailored software solutions for your credit union. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.


4 Trends Credit Union Customers Will Come to Expect

Neither big banks nor credit unions were prepared for the panic and major strategy pivoting that took place this year. COVID-19 has shaken nearly every industry to its core – so let’s focus on credit union solutions that will spell success in the future.

Identifying powerful trends can drive important changes that will set your credit union ahead of that elusive, ever-changing curve of tech, customer, and financial landscape changes. Modernization has not always been a top priority for credit unions, which typically have done more business with Gen X and older members.

However, at the start of the pandemic everyone rushed to their banks to take out as much cash as possible, in preparation for the shutdowns – but a few weeks later, according to UCCU CEO Steven Stapp, “suddenly all they want is the card.”

Customer needs are changing more rapidly, which means your credit union’s response has to keep up with these quick changes.

Focus on the Customers and Their Need for Great Contactless Experiences

Contactless experiences are an emerging trend that will likely stay around. Customers are moving away from credit cards, spending, and in-store shopping and now prefer debit cards, saving, and perusing online stores.

Giants like Amazon, who have all but perfected the customer experience, are skewing user preferences towards that model. Now, online customers are expecting easy, lightning-fast service with top tech.

This also means that real-time assistance with customer issues is a luxury no longer – it is a necessity for your Millennial and Gen Z customers, and it’s becoming a strong preference for older generations as they are learning to navigate this new digital-forward, post-pandemic world.

The challenge for credit unions moving forward will be tailoring their approaches and offerings to each CU’s region and specific demographics.

Meet Demand for Faster Payments

Fast service also means faster payments. With in-person visits being discouraged, the time between a transaction request and its posting or transfer can no longer be held up by days, as has been standard in the past.

“Differing member needs and expectations will impact each credit union’s choice of a payments solution, but noted there are four key experiences and procedures that all credit unions should keep in mind,” according to this recap of a PSCU white paper.

Those four things are:

  • Member experience and design – responsible for account controls, contact strategy, and instant issuance
  • Operational rigor – things like authorization strategies, general ledger practices, and liquidity management
  • Enterprise fraud management – changes to authentication, dark web monitoring, and real-time analytics
  • Compliance – includes consideration of changes to exception processing, payment scheme rules and regulations

Take Advantage of Outside Specialists

Credit unions and their employees should be focusing on customer-forward solutions, not on background tech and applications.

There are many third-party options for things like core hosting, payment delivery systems, and the like. Taking these burdens off your staff can free up time and energy for optimizing other areas of your member experience.

CUs Must Be Proactive to Beat Out Big Banks

Historically, credit unions have been slower to react than big banks when it comes to implementing new technology and processes. If your credit unions can adapt and innovate quickly, they can capture a lot of new customers. An essential part of this rapid implementation can be coupled with the previous trend – outsourcing intricate niche operations to companies with experience and optimized solutions.

Partner with IMS Integration

At IMS Integration, we can create tailored software solutions for your credit union. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.