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.


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.


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.


3 Ways to Level Up Digital Services

 

To protect the health of credit union members and workers, lobby areas and branches are now closed due to COVID-19. This means more of your members are relying on mobile and digital services for their banking needs. These services allow credit unions to remain competitive, especially as members are relying on you for financial assistance. Simply put, credit unions who are digitized are still able to provide services to members.

We can look at what happened in Ukraine as a recent example. A lack of digital services forced credit unions across the country to shut down for weeks. Poor IT infrastructure and an inability to provide online financial services caused many members to look elsewhere to conduct financial transactions, and put many at risk by turning to payday lenders. The loss of revenue during the shutdown led to capital and liquidity issues for many credit unions.

However, we know that credit unions excel at being trustworthy and friendly institutions. With the right digital approach and investments in technology, credit unions can rapidly respond to changes and stay in business. Here’s how:

Planning

Your first response to this crisis may be to buy more products to scale up services. But, the current situation we’re in forces us to think in the long term. What do members need and how does digitization support the overall business? Assembling an array of software solutions may cause more problems if not properly thought through or doesn’t have buy-in from your team. Address the core issues and find solutions that work for your organization, including selecting the right partners to execute the plan.

Digital engagement

Going to a branch office to open a new account is now out of the question. So what does a digital relationship look like without branch engagement? It’s time to establish a process that educates members, keeps them in the loop on new products and maintains the same friendly service members can expect in-person at a branch.

Leveraging email, social media and your website are a great way to provide financial literacy and build a lasting relationship. For some, the convenience of online banking is the only way to go, while this may be a new experience for others. The most important thing is to provide accessible channels that give members a sense of security, trust and support at this time.

Economic support and security

Unemployment numbers are rising, people need leniency paying bills and members are losing their savings and retirement funds. People just don’t have the income they need and will take years to recover. Aside from government support, many will turn to their financial institutions for help. 

Between the federal government’s Economic Impact Payments, small business loans and payment assistance plans, members are looking to access payments and recovery through grants and loan. Being able to take advantage of mobile applications to check account balances, apply online for financial assistance and receive electronic funds is key during this time. Many are realizing they didn’t have the savings needed in a crisis. Credit unions should be the guiding light to help members attain financial security. 

It’s time to rethink the products you offer, how to deliver services and your role in the community. Not only are you on the front lines in the community for financial solutions, but you’re also shaping what customer service looks like for the future. Navigating through this time is going to be tough, but with strong leadership and forward thinking, your credit union will be stronger. We’re here to help.


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.