Three Keys to Successfully Offering Cryptocurrency Products

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Rahul Kumar Photo
Senior Director Industry Strategy

4 minutes

Make sure your member experience sets you up for success.

Just a year ago, most credit unions and banks wanted little to do with cryptocurrency. A 2021 survey by Cornerstone Advisors found that 81% of community banks and 77% of credit unions had no desire to offer cryptocurrency investing services to their customers, with only 1% of smaller banks and 3% of credit unions expressing strong interest.

Today, however, growing demand—particularly among Gen Z and millennial segments—and competitive pressure from innovative, agile fintechs are forcing more credit unions to provide members cryptocurrency investment and payment options.

But creating and offering crypto products alone won’t ensure success. Credit unions will need a full understanding of the cryptocurrency market and what consumers know and expect. They also must create and implement a strategy for educating members, providing them with well-trained support agents and enabling the right technology infrastructure to support cryptocurrencies.

Here are three key things credit unions must keep in mind as they continue to adopt cryptocurrency into their business strategies.

1. Be Prepared to Educate

Cryptocurrency was created in 2009 but for the majority of credit union members, crypto still is relatively new. They’ve likely heard about it and may be interested in learning more, but they don’t yet grasp the intricacies and implications of crypto investments. Since customers typically aren’t likely to invest in a product or service they don’t understand, credit unions must make education a part of the member experience if they want to fully leverage their crypto assets.

It also is critical that credit union employees are thoroughly trained in providing reliable information about crypto offerings. Credit union support agents must speak knowledgeably and confidently to members about crypto, and thoroughly and clearly answer questions.

In addition to training, it is imperative that support agents are empowered with tools that will help them to engage in contextual, educated interactions with members. This should include AI-based real-time guidance that interprets intent and sentiment, empowers agents to respond contextually with confidence, and ease the anxiety members might have.

Since modern customers want both a personalized experience and self-service, credit unions must provide access to crypto education resources on multiple channels and in multiple forms, such as print, video, and audio.

2. Have a 360-Degree View of Your Members

To effectively implement crypto products and services, credit unions can’t treat crypto as simply another item added to the member’s menu. They must adopt an integrated approach in which crypto is part of the institution’s overall relationship.

Whether they have a checking account or a crypto account, it is important to remember that these fundamentally (and in fact) are credit union members. Customers expect their institutions to know the entirety of their relationships, and even though crypto is a new product, they will still expect the same servicing experience as they get with other traditional products.

For support agents, this means having access to the member’s full relationship profile; credit unions do not want members reaching agents who don’t know that they also have a crypto relationship. By giving agents a full view of the member, credit unions can provide more effective service while identifying potential revenue opportunities and building brand loyalty.

3. Prepare Your Customer Experience Platform

In the past, financial institutions rolled out new product offerings without fully thinking about the servicing scenarios. With new products that members are unfamiliar with comes the fear of the unknown; this typically drives up inbound traffic for support. Credit unions should ensure that they are set up to support crypto customers and offer them the best experience possible. Having a CX platform that is open, scalable, flexible and nimble will allow CUs to enable a quick integration and thereby deliver the same experience to their crypto customers as they do to the rest of their members. This will also allow credit unions to accelerate time to value for their crypto investments while also ensuring members are delighted in every interaction.

Similarly, support agents need tools with which they are familiar and comfortable if they are to provide superior service to members seeking information and advice regarding crypto products.

Tightly integrating their new crypto platforms with other systems, such as customer relationship management technology, allows credit unions to ingest and aggregate data from multiple sources, which enables a 360-degree view of the member and empowers support agents through intelligent tools that provide them with the information they need, when they need it.

Financial services organizations have been slow to recognize the opportunity presented by cryptocurrencies as well as the threat posed by agile and innovative fintech companies. By attaining a thorough understanding of cryptocurrencies and member expectations, providing members with education, insights, advice and learning resources, and ensuring crypto channels and data are integrated with their CX platforms, credit unions can better serve members while realizing value by adopting crypto as a key part of their future business strategies.

Rahul Kumar is director of industry strategy for financial services at Talkdesk.

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