Partner Article: Four Awesome Forces Shaping the Credit Union Digital Landscape

The following post is part of a series of blogs written by MeridianLink Partners who will be attending MeridianLink LIVE! User Forum in May 2022. To learn more about the event,Click here.

By: Kevin Polinsky, Principal, CUNA Mutual Fintech Solutions

Financial services continue to experience rapid developments which create an increasingly competitive environment. While there seems to be no shortage of areas that need critical attention from credit union leadership, there are four common threads that together wield a transformational influence on the digital landscape of credit unions.


1. The convergence of buying and borrowing

Borrowing is to allow members to meet their purchasing needs. The traditional role of the credit union is to provide funds — for a car, a house, a vacation — but members often don’t start the buying journey with their credit unions. Often, a member’s first point of interaction in their buying journey is a salesperson, and increasingly those who sell consumer goods and services have greater influence over where your members get a funding. This disintermediation is not new; This has been a reality since store-brand credit cards first appeared decades ago, but the trend is accelerating in today’s environment of one-click purchases made anytime, anywhere. This 24/7/365 shopping experience is increasingly being served by instant credit decisions made within the retail experience rather than at the credit union.


2. Always-on digital service

The terms “digital” and “technology” have become ubiquitous for what credit union strategy often aims to achieve: growth and efficiency. As such, not all numbers are created equal and mean different things to different credit unions. From the members’ point of view, however, digital should be understood in one sense: simple, contactless, reliable. Turning on a switch means you get light quickly. Digital should invoke the same trust for members. It should be a readily available utility.


3. Velocity drives success

Understanding digital as a utility means credit unions need to focus on velocity to enable growth and efficiency. Many credit unions operate with a legacy technology model based on different components from different vendors that are all at different stages of modernization. The resulting ecosystem has many vertical points that require ongoing integration, maintenance, and resources to achieve core function. It’s an expensive model that often limits the ability to get the Amazon-like experience that members demand. Too often, legacy technology is disconnected technology that requires staff to progress members through the process, limiting digital decision-making to credit union hours.


4. Think like a member, solve like a fintech

Credit unions must present solutions to members’ problems, challenges and desires. The relationship of trust between members and credit unions is key to this success. Central to this approach is building a digital offering that reduces disintermediation by placing credit unions at the front, middle, and end of the member buying experience. The solutions used by credit unions must enable an end-to-end experience that includes purchases, contracts and financing. Credit unions should look for fintech partners who invest heavily in their own products. This enables credit unions to provide the experiences members seek while operating with greater competitive strength.

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MeridianLink Inc. published this content on April 01, 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on Apr 01, 2022 4:27:00 PM UTC.