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Credit unions may be a part of the banking industry, but they and their members are unique within this world. While banks are typically driven by the interests of its shareholders, credit unions’ not-for-profit status drives them to focus on delivering the very best service to its members.
With this in mind, it becomes crucial to keep an eye on the latest credit union technology trends that will help them to improve credit union member engagement and experience. This blog will look at the top 4 credit union technology trends in 2022 and how each can help to satisfy the needs of current members, as well as future ones.
Live chat is quickly becoming a necessity for credit unions, and it’s not hard to see why. The average age of credit union members worldwide is mid-to-late 40s. As a result, credit unions have often catered to this older demographic by adopting traditional technologies such as phone and email support.
However, this is now changing. These same members are now far more comfortable with technology, and the simplicity and ease of live chat makes it the perfect channel to support these members. In CFI Group’s Credit Union Satisfaction Index (CUSI) survey, 81% of credit union members were found to have visited their union’s website in the past 60 days and 90% had checked their balance online or via their mobile app at least once a month.
While current members are ‘phygital’ – “active users of both digital and branches”, future members lean even more heavily towards digital support. Grown up surrounded by technology, this younger demographic expects to receive digital support – and moreover, digital support that is fast and convenient. Live chat caters to these expectations better than any other support channel as members can receive immediate support on their desktop or mobile devices.
Importantly, live chat also ensures credit unions can support their members digitally without losing the human touch that is so important to credit unions. Members often choose to join a credit union because they have a connection with it, or value the more personal, CX-first experience. With live chat, agents can develop genuine and personable relationships with members as Cabrillo Credit Union found out:
“Live chat can be very personal. Often people think you can’t engage the same way you can on the phone, but you can. It’s fun, members like it, and you just have to not be afraid to engage and put a little humor or happiness into someone’s day through the written word.” – Cabrillo Credit Union, Kelli Davis, Assistant VP of Member Support
Live chat is arguably the most important credit union technology trend for 2022, but for most credit unions, providing this support 24/7 isn’t feasible. For credit unions wondering how to expand service hours and capacity – without the associated costs – chatbots are the answer.
Chatbots allow unions to add around-the-clock support to the convenience of live chat. When support agents aren’t available, chatbots can continue to manage incoming requests. Best of all, as chatbots have matured to incorporate AI, they now use Natural Language Processing (NLP) that enables them to better understand the human language and provide more helpful responses.
Chatbots aren’t just for after-hours support either. During periods of high chat volume, chatbots work with agents to handle common and repetitive questions so agents can spend more time on complex issues that need the human touch. Because chatbots can manage unlimited chats simultaneously, they don’t come up against capacity limits the same way live agents do. Members benefit by receiving immediate support for their common issues and gaining better access to agents when they need additional attention.
The success of chatbots in credit unions can be seen at Cabrillo Credit Union. After a positive experience with Comm100 Live Chat, Cabrillo introduced Comm100 Chatbot so they could deliver 24/7 support to their members.
“We love our chatbot. We were initially slightly nervous about it… so we started out with about 10% of incoming chats being answered by the bot. However, we soon saw the successes and where it needed correcting, and we now have it set managing about 30% of incoming chats.” – Cabrillo Credit Union, Kelli Davis, Assistant VP of Member Support
A growing trend in the financial industry sees credit unions and other financial institutions moving services to cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services. By adopting cloud technologies, credit unions can introduce security, agility, and system redundancies that aren’t possible with on-site data centres. These cloud computing platforms are also widely supported by the industry, with 42% of credit unions saying they’re committed to adopting cloud technologies while 54% are “curious” or “considering” cloud solutions.
The financial industry must always walk a fine line between innovation and regulation, and this can understandably lead to hesitation with adopting technology. For some credit union leaders, this can lead to a misunderstanding of the regulatory approval around cloud computing. The reality is that regulators support cloud platforms, but these virtual data centers come with the same responsibilities as physical data centers. Choosing a reliable cloud service delivery partner is important, but by looking for industry security compliances, it’s possible to not only mitigate risks but introduce higher standards to financial services.
As we spoke about earlier, it’s incredibly important for credit unions to develop relationships with its members and show them that they care about them as individuals. Achieving this across digital channels can be more difficult as you lose the one-to-one interaction that in-branch support gives.
This is where video and voice chat come into play. With video chat, members can see and hear the agent on the other side, making the chatting experience more human, and even helping to increase trust in the agent. When members are making financial decisions, hearing the voice of an agent and seeing the agent’s undivided attention can provide some much-needed assurance. It also shows each member that they have their full attention.
Change is never easy, but these technology trends provide excellent opportunities for credit unions to grow and improve their member services. More than ever before, digital transformation has become key to credit unions seeking to attract new members and retain existing ones. To read more about growing credit union technology trends, read our full guide on improving credit union member engagement below.
Member engagement is the bedrock of any successful credit union. Read this complete guide to find out how you can take it up a level with digital support.Read more