In today’s ever-changing financial services industry, configurable, extensible digital channels that enable credit unions to respond quickly and effectively to the changing needs of their members is essential.
Members increasingly expect more from their financial institutions as mobile and social media become more prevalent, especially among younger members that expect a personalized experience.
According to a 2012 Pew Research Center report, 63 million Americans bank online. By 2015, even more people will interact with their institutions digitally, exceeding those who bank through branches.
According to a March 2011 Forrester Research report, there are three areas of personalization to enhance the member experience: content, navigation and presentation.
Content Personalization enhances the user experience through a personal approach unique to that member. Content personalization could include personal greetings, such as “Hello John” or “Happy Birthday.” To further enhance the experience, credit unions should also incorporate information about the user’s last login and most significant transactions that happened since then. In addition, proactive notifications about what actions are required, personalized product offers (e.g. banner ads), forms and tools that are prefilled with existing member information, and information about the nearest branch can create an experience unique to that user.
Navigation Personalization provides the ability to continue where the member stopped during their last visit. Shortcuts to the most likely user scenario, such as paying a bill or checking a budget in a personal financial management tool, as well as different navigation layers presented to different member segments are key.
Presentation Personalization includes language, layout and formatting tailored to different member segments. Site customization by the user also enhances the experience by allowing members to select displayed content and rearrange page layouts. Credit unions can further enhance the member experience by highlighting which products the member already has and which are most relevant.
Members expect not only a highly intuitive, seamless banking experience across multiple channels, but also one that adapts to user behavior and preferences. Appearance and behaviors change based on different circumstances, for instance, the member’s profile and preferences, where the account is accessed (e.g. branch kiosk), type of device (desktop or mobile) and what the member is doing (e.g. transfer funds, pay bills, change address). A dynamic user experience drives member satisfaction and fosters retention efforts.
The ability to configure digital channel capabilities quickly and easily without custom programming can be a significant advantage. For example, a configurable platform can increase the effectiveness of segmented, targeted marketing efforts for improved conversion rates and improve the speed to market for new offers, if the platform allows for real-time changes by the institution across desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
With self-service tools for the administration and configuration of digital channels and extensive member detail (balance, age, how long account has been open, flags on account, type of account, etc.), credit unions can apply their business rules, control a comprehensive marketing strategy and apply a uniquely branded experience to the individual needs of specific member segments with ease and efficiency.
Meeting the demands of next-generation members is also critical to success and longevity; therefore, credit unions should invest in an extensible platform that allows for additional features to be easily added as market demand and technology evolve.
With an extensible banking platform, institutions can easily integrate with third-party vendors or add new features using their own resources. To do so the underlying technology platform must allow for “plug and play” changes without disrupting other features and provide a simple toolset such as a software development kit to create unique services utilizing internal IT resources.
For example, adding a rewards qualification tracking feature within in your digital channel for premiere rewards checking accounts can be both personal to the user and unique to the individual institution. Credit unions that utilize an extensible banking platform will have peace of mind that they will meet members’ needs for years to come.
By personalizing the member experience through a dynamic, configurable and extensible digital banking platform, credit unions can improve satisfaction and increase member loyalty while also increasing the relevance of product offers to improve conversion rates.
Credit unions that do so will have the greatest advantage of maintaining competitiveness and meeting members’ current and future needs.