Members Will Feel the Difference of Integrated Services

More than a buzzword, integration now dominates conversations about member experience and technology. If you’re looking toward the future, you must provide a seamless, omnichannel, frictionless experience.

But integration is also about operations: How will data from your card accounts inform service at your call center? Can integration help you run a better credit union?

We suspect so. What can integration deliver?

  • Control. Technology is rampant, which is another way of saying it sometimes feels out of control. Integration tames the savage beast. By forcing various elements to work effortlessly and in concert, integration makes your technology – and therefore your credit union – easier to manage and use.
  • Convenience. It’s just plain better to do more with less effort.
  • Security. To be sure, new integration-oriented products can enhance security. The soon-to-be-released CardNav by CO-OP, for example, enables members to turn cards on and off, set usage rules and limits, and receive security alerts via text. But CardNav-enabled accounts aren’t just more secure: They feel more secure. As difficult as it is to deliver enhanced security, it’s even rarer to achieve that sense of trust.
  • Efficiency. Integration saves time and effort, but it can also make you more effective. Sprig by CO-OP allows your members to view account balances across multiple shared branching credit unions and make loan payments from one credit union to another – and then check their transactions online at their convenience. This creates an efficiency that didn’t exist before. Bonus: Seamless processes are more efficient for you, too.
  • Intelligence. Integrated transactions leave a data footprint, the better to help you fine-tune your efforts, spot security issues, create micro-targeted marketing and anticipate member needs.
  • Consistency. Just as bumps in the road are more noticeable at high speeds, quirks in your member experience stand out when members are interacting more frequently. An integrated experience is a consistent one.
  • Branding. With consistency comes branding. For better or worse, members associate your brand with a particular experience. The more integrated that experience is, the more positive that association will be.
  • Engagement. Simply put, members who are given powerful, usable tools to do more, will do more.
  • Capacity. Streamlining creates capacity. It’s oversimplifying to say that members who aren’t spending eight minutes logging into multiple systems to get a simple account balance will be more inclined to apply for a loan – and that frontline staff who aren’t consumed with manual processes will be able to cross-sell with abandon. However, it is not a stretch to say that freeing up space makes room for possibilities.
  • Actualization. Integration isn’t the answer to everything. But if the goal is to provide a better, deeper, more delightful member experience, integration goes a long way. And if, concurrently, your credit union needs to become more efficient, effective, proactive and relevant, then integration will help there too.

Learn more about the road ahead for credit unions – including why “Integration Is the New Black” at CO-OP’s regional Think It Out events this fall. Click here for more details.

Strategic Link is the NWCUA’s wholly-owned service corporation, using the power of aggregation to provide the Association’s member credit unions with exclusive, high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. Contact Director of Strategic Partnerships Craig Reed at creed@nwcua.org today to find out how Strategic Link can help your credit union save money while meeting its goals in 2014 and beyond.

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