10 Ways Digital Transformation Can Modernize Your Credit Union


Digital transformation. We’ve all heard the term and have an idea of what we think it means. However, are we just being brainwashed by vendors who are trying to sell an idea to sell more products or is digital transformation something we really should be doing? There’s no doubt that the financial services industry has created some issues over the years with its legacy and disconnected systems, but is digital transformation (DX) the answer?

Over the years, I've seen multiple vendors pitch different systems that pull us even further from connecting our member experience. And yet we buy in because we are desperate to fix the issues at hand and think that yet another piece of technology will come to our rescue. There is no core system on the market today that can truly connect all the puzzle pieces to create less friction for our members and employees.

We must start thinking about DX as our engagement layer. It is not a core or an underwriting system; instead it’s a layer in our technology stack that bridges all the disconnected systems so that we can fix our disjointed member experience. Digital transformation is about being in real-time and bridging the member experiences across all products and services. DX means that we begin to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance the member experience by using data to problem predict and serve up useful solutions for members and employees.

Here are ten things a Digital Transformation can do for your organization.

Connect Advertising & Marketing

Gone are the days where it's okay for marketing to run billboards or radio advertisements and hope for the best. Your digital layer should help the marketing team leverage 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd party data to provide relevant and timely advertisements that can be tracked through to conversion – not just clicks to a page, but allowing them to connect through to actual funded loans and open accounts. They should be able to show how many leads, opportunities, applications, and funded/open accounts you receive by day, week, month, and year. They should also be able to provide reports to show which channels are providing leads, and which channels have the highest conversions.

Turn the Website Into a Digital Branch

DX can elevate your website; it should be a lead-generating machine, producing more leads than your top branches combined. If the site is not using data to provide personalized experiences for visitors then ask why not? Your website should leverage data about your known and unknown visitors, so they have a personalized, relevant experience. Leveraging chatbots and cloud scheduling should also be on the to-do list. Feedback needs to be an option so your members can engage and provide comments giving you insight into which content is useful. The website should also kick off journeys for main product lines and content asking members to sign up throughout the site.

Make Reports & Dashboards Available Company-wide

Using Excel spreadsheets to provide organizational reports should quickly become a thing of the past. Your engagement layer should provide employees access to their daily and monthly goals compared to production in real- or near-time. Making good strategic decisions should be easy with data visualization tools that enable you to see the same data in ways not possible with basic tools.

Lead Scoring

DX should leverage ML/AI to learn how incoming leads perform and serve up a lead score that predicts the likelihood this person will purchase.

Next Best Action

The engagement layer is built on data and must go beyond the linear next best product suggestions that some systems provide. People don't purchase in a linear fashion so the engagement layer must use ML and AI to identify products that are appropriate for your member based on their behavior; not what product or service the credit union thinks is next.

Unified Login

If your members need to have more than one login, then digital may never provide the connected experience. Asking members to create different user names and passwords every time they do something new with your institution makes it difficult to connect their experiences. If a member has online banking then they must be able to use that same login to apply for any loan, open any account or create service request, check loan status, etc.

Connected Applications

The application process should provide online decisions in seconds. Members must have the ability to upload documents via a mobile device, log in and see where they are in an application process, and have intelligent next-best offers based on data pulled from the credit report during the application process. Just because they are applying for one product doesn’t mean multiple suggestions cannot be proposed. If you’re paying for a credit report, get the most out of it.

Automated Journeys That Leverage Website Actions & Transactional Behavior

Journeys are more than emails; they include a variety of channels and can be completely automated. Journeys can be for marketing purposes like onboarding or retention, and they can also be useful in application processes, and leveraging your content to help members that are early in the buying process researching, or even credit building journeys to help when you deny a loan or providing guidance during fraud.

All Members to Submit Service Requests Online

Submitting service requests through chatbots or directly on account management pages is important. Being able to login and see all service requests, the status of all requests, and to communicate directly with employees regarding their service requests is necessary.

Give Employees a 360-Degree View of the Customer/Member

In the engagement layer, employees see the members’ entire relationship. Not just core-related information, but marketing offers received, how many times they clicked on those offers, what they visited on your website, their financial goals and aspirations, open and closed accounts, application statuses, which service requests are active and the status, chats, phone calls, etc.; everything about the member in one place.

Your digital transformation efforts should help in all areas of the business and having a digital roadmap will be critical since DX is an evolution; it is not one that is completed in a few months or even years. Digital transformation should be an ongoing process that never ends, but adapts and builds a more connected experience for both members and employees over time.