This sounds preposterous. However, this lack of service and absurd business model is all too common in online banking. Of course, not all cases are this extreme. In today's market, a lot of credit unions still have some hurdles to clear before their Web site will be viewed as a viable resource for conducting business as a traditional brick and mortar branch.
Potential and existing members, who are searching for new financial products and services are all starting the process online. They are visiting not only local community institutions but exploring the entire Web. Knowing that, it is the logical next step for a credit union to bring all of its in-branch services online-including opening a new account instantaneously. Offering online account opening and funding services meets minimum requirements for a virtual bank, and not offering the services will prove to be detrimental to business in the very near future.
Javelin Strategy & Research recently reported the 45% of consumers have attempted to open an account online, and that percentage is expected to grow exponentially. Credit unions must leverage the many benefits that online account opening has to offer so that they can maximize efficiency and achieve a great ROI. When applied correctly, this simple member-on-boarding service can improve customer retention. It can be complemented by account to account money transfer solutions that increase cash flow. And it can be leveraged in the branch and via the call center to help facilitate a fast and delightful user experience through all channels.
A member's commitment to his or her credit union can also be strengthened through by integrating a switch kit into the online account opening experience. This will increase the number of relationships they maintain at that particular credit union, thus increasing wallet share. A strategic cross-selling effort made while the member is in a secure, online banking site can result in additional service or new account in a matter of a few clicks of the mouse. When taking this strategy into consideration, it is important to view online account opening as an opportunity for all accounts, not just deposits.
Leveraging credit and loans as a sales possibility can increase loan volume while reducing both risk and approval times by using automated online decisioning. Once this process is implemented, credit unions can not only provide traditional educational tools such as loan payment calculators and online rate information to help members make informed decisions but also provide automated recurring payment services using money transfer service to improve their on time payments and credit worthiness.
Online account opening solutions are designed to increase accounts, and subsequently increase assets, but there are other services that will actually help a credit union boost member wallet share and grow deposits and loan transactions. Fully automated switch kits provide a quick, easy way for customers to switch their existing financial institution relationships (deposit accounts, loan accounts, direct deposits, automatic payments and credit cards, etc.) to the new accounts they are opening online. Adding this option with the account opening transaction can immediately increase commitment and simplify the entire process.
Similarly, an external funds transfer service should be added to a credit union's online account opening platform, enabling members to move money from an outside account on an ongoing basis. For instance, the service can be used to make loan payments or bimonthly deposits into a savings account. It is a secure, reliable way to transfer funds from any other institution from convenience of the member's home.
The same secure, efficient solution that was selected for online account opening can be applied across all sales channels. Deploying such a synergistic approach would streamline processes for members and the credit union staff.
Javelin reported that eight out of ten online households bank online, and 61% of those make it a weekly habit. Credit unions need to offer online account opening to reach all of those members and visitors that are already online, especially if they want any hope of securing Gen X and Gen Y for a solid future. Just like in a branch, it would be outlandish not to offer the ability to open new accounts and move money. Once online account opening is applied, and a sound strategy is enacted, ROI will be fast and the possibilities for growth are endless.