PSCU 5 key factors blog

Five Key Factors that Can Help Credit Unions Deliver a Winning Member Payments Experience Strategy

By: Dean Young, EVP and Chief Experience Officer, PSCU

If you’re attending this year’s virtual CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) next week, one of the ways you can engage with PSCU is by checking out our “5 for 5” video in the On Demand section of the GAC event site. In the five-minute video, I explore five key factors that can help credit unions define and deliver a winning member payments experience strategy. If you’re not able to attend, look no further than this blog, which outlines those five key factors on what it takes to deliver on that strategy.

1. Know your member.

Shifting consumer preferences were becoming apparent prior to the pandemic. However, what we’ve seen is an acceleration in these shifts – especially in the digital space.

It’s important to listen, learn and act. Knowing more about your members’ behaviors allows you to personalize their experiences and provide an engaging, immersive experience that offers targeted and easy access to solutions. Members expect you to know them – their products, their preferences and their needs. Experience personalization starts with leveraging your analytics tools, which help you to gather and aggregate data. This data will not only help you create a holistic view of member behaviors, but will assist your credit union in journey mapping your members’ experiences.

2. Identify your members’ channel of choice – and make it easy to use.

It’s essential that you identify your members’ channel of choice – and then make it easy to use. In a GAC session, PSCU Chief Growth Officer Brian Scott and PSCU Vice President of Innovation Scott Young will discuss how “easy is the new loyalty.” With the adoption of all things digital continuing to accelerate, the reality is that some members may never feel comfortable stepping foot inside a branch again. Those members may choose to conduct routine activities exclusively through digital channels. However, other members may choose to migrate back to the branch for that human interaction. Members will still want choices – and it’s important for credit unions to be optimized in their preferred channels.

3. Develop a robust digital enablement and engagement strategy.

As more and more consumers are taking to digital channels to conduct transactions, you must have a robust digital enablement and engagement strategy. To keep pace with member demand and compete with other financial institutions, member experience winners continue to innovate in the digital space, using advanced technology across their channels. This results in more ways for members to self-serve across banking, payments, loyalty and member care.

Digital solutions are now at the forefront of member expectations as part of a seamless experience. It’s important for credit unions to ensure that all channels work together, in harmony, to provide members with the personalized experiences they are seeking – now and into the future. Your members will be looking to you to educate them on these new opportunities and reduce friction.

4. Offer your members a relevant solution set.

As an example, we’ve seen increased adoption and usage of contactless cards and mobile wallets as members prioritize convenience and safety to conduct transactions. Contactless “tap-and-go” credit and debit transactions continue to show strong user acceptance. PSCU’s weekly transactional insights report that contactless payments have more than doubled year-over-year.

Additionally, consumers are choosing convenience as they continue to conduct more transactions online, as evidenced in the significant increase of card-not-present (CNP) activity throughout the past year. These shifts further emphasize the need for a well-planned digital strategy and the appropriate solution set to meet your members’ evolving needs.

5. Wrap safety and security around solutions and channels.

As credit unions continue to optimize consumer channels, remember that risk mitigation is more important than ever. With members shifting to conduct more CNP transactions, we know the fraudsters continue to innovate and find new avenues of attack.

In PSCU’s Eye on Payments 2020 study, credit union members reported – for the third year in a row – that they make decisions about how to pay based in part on which is the most secure method. So, we know this is top of mind.

Exploring options to keep member information safe, including leveraging authentication advancements like biometrics and artificial intelligence, will ensure members that they are protected. It is also important to empower your members with features like mobile alerts and controls through digital banking solutions, creating a heightened sense of security when conducting transactions with their credit union-issued cards.

Risk mitigation is a balancing act. Credit unions should consider partnering with providers that deliver strong fraud mitigation offerings coupled with delivering an optimal member experience.

A Digital-First, Member-Centric Approach is the Way Forward

While the five factors covered above can help your credit union deliver a personalized, seamless experience for your members, a digital-first, member-centric approach is critical to meet the evolving needs of your members.

Services and solutions need to reflect and be adaptable to changing consumer needs, wants and expectations across all channels and among all touchpoints. It is more important than ever for credit unions to understand their members and what is important to them – including convenient, easy interactions that provide a personalized experience – while being safe and secure.

The digital habits credit union members have adopted over the past year will become permanent in the post-pandemic world. Are you ready?

In his role as EVP, Chief Experience Officer, Dean Young leads the development and execution of PSCU’s cross-company member experience focus, overseeing the organization’s Project Delivery and Platform Operations (PDPO), Service Delivery, Marketing, Industry Engagement and Center for Process Excellence (CPE) teams. Young has been with PSCU since 2005 and has held leadership positions in Account Management, Service Delivery and Industry Engagement.