Article

What It Takes to Deliver an Excellent Member Experience

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By Brit Barker

4 minutes

Get better technology and use it in new ways.

Sponsored by Origence

As a credit union service organization, we spend a great deal of our time in conversation with credit union executives, staff and their members. The uncomfortable truth is that even though credit unions may be ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting new technologies, many are still struggling to deliver the online experience their members are demanding and that will differentiate their organizations in a competitive marketplace. It’s not just that credit unions need better technology, they need to be able to use it in new ways.

3 Reasons to Invest in New Tech

In our conversations across the industry, we have heard about three primary pain points that credit union leaders are still dealing with. Eliminating these blockers is key to providing a better digital experience to members and keeping credit unions relevant in a highly competitive marketplace—one in which competitors are just a click away.

The first pain point is that current technology doesn’t offer an end-to-end experience for members. Members want to learn about a new product, complete their application and have the product processed and fulfilled in the same end-to-end platform, as part of a single online experience. That’s not easy to do with the tools credit unions are relying on today.

The second pain point is that originating new products takes too long with many existing technologies. Whether it’s setting up a new member account, originating a personal loan, auto loan or home equity line of credit, speed is key to a good member experience. This is especially true for younger credit union members. When millennials consider a new consumer loan, for instance, they aren’t thinking in terms of weeks or days but rather hours and minutes.

The third pain point is that many technologies don’t make it easy for credit unions to personalize their offerings. If the platform isn’t flexible enough to customize workflows, personalizing products to the institution’s strategic plan will be impossible, to say nothing of customizing member experiences.

The Benefits of the Right Platform Technology

Solving these blockers will help credit unions in many ways, but to do so will require a platform that offers:

  • An end-to-end experience from origination to fulfillment
  • Automated decisioning with built-in fraud detection and mitigation
  • Seamless access to data and verification providers
  • Flexibility to create a personalized experience for members
  • A marketing front-end that keeps the member conversation going

The benefits such a platform offers the credit union go far beyond the excellent member experience they need. It also offers faster originations and seamless data integrations for a 360-degree view of the member that is available to anyone in the institution. Best of all, it provides the credit union the ability to truly treat members like valued individuals rather than transactions, even when they are fulfilling a new product or service request.

What CUs Seek Now

In our conversations, credit unions have told us what it would take to end this frustration and truly deliver what the member wants. Overwhelmingly, they are all seeking a similar solution:

Credit unions want a member-facing origination portal that offers a unified origination experience, regardless of whether they are becoming a new member, originating a new loan or applying for a credit card. They want to allow members to apply and complete their post-application steps online, from any device—no matter what they are shopping for.

This digital front-end credit unions want should connect to their other applications, including the home banking system and loan origination systems. In all cases, the system should allow members to get real-time decisions, upload documents, sign electronically, and fund their approved loan, all through a single platform.

If all the credit union does is complete the transaction, it is still just treating the member like a transaction. Credit unions need to keep the conversation going with technology that allows them to stay in touch with members through the entire process using digital, mobile and email communications. This conversation should be relevant and provide applicable products or services that improve the member’s financial situation.  

Integration Matters

One important distinction between the way most credit unions are using today’s tools and a real solution for a better member experience solution lies in the way these technologies are integrated.

While some technology developers talk about vertical integration, in which systems involved in the origination of a single product or service share data effectively, few talk about horizontal integration. This ability to share member information across multiple departments within the credit union is one of the ways these institutions set themselves apart from all other financial institutions.

The real benefit of horizontal integration is that everyone in the credit union has a complete view of the member and will know exactly who they are engaging with at every touchpoint.

It’s not just about new tools but also about the credit union’s ability to integrate these tools both vertically and horizontally to get a better view of the members they serve. This is how credit unions will remain not only relevant—but can actually dominate their markets, today and in the future.

Brit Barker is SVP/sales, enterprise solutions for CUES Supplier member Origence. He is an experienced sales and product executive with 20 years of experience helping financial institutions improve their lending performance and exceed consumer needs. He’s a recognized industry leader with innate talent in balancing strategic focus with operational execution. Barker is an authority on consumer and indirect lending, with expertise in lending enterprise systems and technology, facilitating the transition of new clients into the financial lending market, and the overall consumer/lender experience.

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