Keeping Pace With Member Expectations

The Amazons and Ubers of the world are driving consumer expectations for financial services technology. What does this mean for credit unions?

2/13/18

Picture of woman with finger on computer keyWith the credit union industry largely comprised of self-identified “fast followers” when it comes to adopting innovative, technology-driven member experiences, it’s important to ask – how fast should we follow? And who are we following?

How fast?

The digital world is evolving rapidly, and the way consumers interact with businesses is changing along with it. As a credit union, it’s crucial to stay on top of innovative trends to ensure you’re meeting the changing user-experience expectations of your members. And as a fast follower, it is important to consider that the pace of innovation has increased significantly.

Let’s look the last 100 years of credit union history. The first five major innovations in member interaction initially took more than 90 years. In the past six years alone, five such major changes to the member experience have occurred. The speed of innovation is now 15 times faster than it was at the outset!

It’s also worth noting that each major event has lowered the barrier of entry for members to interact with you, making their lives more convenient.

To leverage these benefits in a timely manner, today’s fast followers need to move faster than yesterday’s innovators.

Who are we following?

In the first 90 years, consumers compared your offerings with your peers. The majority of the innovations and user experience expectations in this initial period were self-contained within the financial services industry. However, the majority of recent innovations and user experiences expectations are not set by your peers in the industry.

The Amazons, Googles, and Ubers of the world are the ones driving consumer expectations.

Amazon didn’t invent shopping. With Amazon, though, consumers no longer needed to go shopping and pick up the goods. The shopping experience came to them and delivered the goods. Uber did a similar thing with getting a taxi. They didn’t invent the taxi business. But through Uber, the consumer did not have go out and hail a taxi. The taxi experience came to them on demand. It’s not about an extravagant place, it’s about a rich experience.

In other words, your members’ rich experience expectations are being set by digital disruptors that have changed the experience from a place a consumer goes, to a service that comes to meet them where they are. To meet such expectations, it will be important for credit unions to continue to deliver world-class, member-centered service, whether the member is interacting with them in person or digitally.

Clearly, banking is no longer limited to a place consumers go. It’s also an experience that goes to the consumer. Using technology to deliver such access to your members is critical. For example, hands-free voice banking enabled by devices like Amazon’s Echo will allow credit unions to effectively bring a member service representative right into a member’s living room.

Following fast, yet?

So, credit unions need to move fast to keep pace with member-experience expectations built by the technology industry. Of course, this is easier said than done. To deal with the rapid pace, credit unions may benefit from partnering with technology innovators that cater to their needs.

This article was written by Siva G. Narendra Ph.D., CEO & Co-founder of Tyfone, Inc. Tyfone is one of the NWCUA’s latest Strategic Link partners, helping credit unions in the Northwest apply technology to better serve members. Tyfone’s products enable credit unions to leverage new innovations to deliver amazing experiences in digital banking across all devices, including smart watches, mobile devices, smart speakers, and more.

Questions about NWCUA’s Strategic Link partnership with Tyfone? Contact Jason Smith, NWCUA’s Vice President, Strategic Resources, at jsmith@nwcua.org.