Technology professionals working with credit unions gathered in Chicago recently for the 2019 CUNA Technology Council conference. Tim Zarkovacki and Joel Troxel attended as silver-level sponsors representing PCS. While there, the team members were able to gain some insights on how small financial institutions are dealing with significant shifts related to technology. Here’s an overview of some of what they learned:
- Customer retention and relationship building pose significant challenges. As demographics and customer expectations evolve, credit unions are experiencing difficulty connecting with Millennials early in their financial lives and building an extended relationship with this large market segment. Credit unions typically struggle with converting entry products such as car loans into long-term, high-value relationship products such as investment accounts.
- Technology development strains resources. The organizational structure of many credit unions slows growth when it comes to advancing technology for customer support. IT departments, typically tied down managing branch employees in high-volume call centers, have a hard time keeping up with the fast-moving technology trends for creating satisfactory customer experiences.
- Disruptive digital trends cause uncertainty. Digital convergence is shaking up credit unions along with most other industries. As customers demand easier access to financial services at all hours, credit unions are scrambling to adopt technology integrations such as AI-driven Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to meet the new expectations for higher service levels.
Credit unions need to move deftly to meet these challenges successfully. The landscape is changing so rapidly that processes that were valid a few years ago no longer work. In order to compete with large banks and the recent breed of maverick technology-based financial services companies, credit unions must adopt new methods. They must learn to take advantage of available tools and leverage technology to their full advantage.
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