By: Dave Stafford, CIO for PSCU
Conscious regard for the facts tells us that fintechs and big banks are innovating at a rate that far exceeds credit unions, primarily in the areas of channel integration and data delivery. But with a commitment to strategic transitions and renewed focus on the member journey, credit unions can overcome any gaps in top technology trends, and even use it to their advantage.
What Are the Top Four Tech Trends Credit Unions Face in 2020?
When you think of the sum total of digital interactions between a member and your credit union, what is the resulting impression that member walks away with? In other words, how does your credit union’s messaging, personal banking functionality and branding appear on a PC, tablet or mobile phone? Aside from discovering your own honest answers to those questions, it is important to remember that digital experience is no longer just part of a strategy: it is an assumed part of delivery!
Physical infrastructure is moving to virtual and cloud infrastructure at a hurried pace. And since most fintechs and banks have already made the transition to the cloud, it is crucial that credit unions join their ranks now to take advantage of the agility unique to this technology. Not only will cloud adoption improve the scalability of web and database capabilities while reducing cost and risk, it can also bolster in-house data security and help mitigate user identity privacy concerns – a shared area of importance for credit unions everywhere.
We are all familiar with the term “business intelligence” (BI). We know this traditional style of analytics helps turn data and insights into action, but there are some drawbacks. Historical data handling for BI is high, and there is limited adaptability for new business techniques. This is why member intelligence (MI) is now taking precedence over BI. For credit unions, this means your tools and service providers must be equipped to manage and, more importantly, collaborate on the output of data-driven decisions – those which revolve around buying patterns, household information, member transactions and account types to inform you about what your members will buy or do next.
Blockchain is, of course, a database that is shared across a network of computers, and a compelling use-case for this newer form of trending technology is consumer or member authentication. Ultimately, blockchain has the potential to be a very important enabling technology despite its relatively slow advancement at this time. At present, it may appear to be an eloquent solution in search of a problem. But when it does evolve to its full potential, credit unions will need to be ready. Expectations around the faster and safer transfer of money, data and information can more easily be met with the help of a blockchain-based application. Additionally, the decentralized nature of this technology can give credit unions a much needed edge.
With these top technology trends in mind, as well as the gaps credit unions must fill to stay relevant and compete in 2020 and beyond, you are probably wondering where to start. The immediate answer may feel cliché, but it is paramount to focus on the member journey and the member experience. Ensure that your team strives daily to provide an integrated experience, free of obstacles and unnecessary clutter. The best way to do this is to take the journey yourself. Set some time aside to see what it is like to open an account or apply for a card. This will provide you with the best and earliest opportunity to streamline processes and make headway on improvements.
Remember too, that PSCU is positioned to help credit unions overcome many of the technology obstacles that might currently exist in your space. This is part of the reason why we have invested so heavily in trying to productively coexist with core processors and banking providers. We know you want a seamless experience, and we are committed to helping you by enhancing our platform, modernizing operations and diversifying product offerings.
As Chief Information Officer of PSCU, Dave Stafford is responsible for providing vision and leadership for developing and implementing information technology initiatives that align with the mission of PSCU. In this capacity, he directs the planning, implementation and operation of enterprise IT systems in support of company operations to improve cost effectiveness, service quality, responsiveness, availability and scalability of corporate systems. During his tenure at PSCU, Dave has also been responsible for leading Product Development and Product Management, Analytics, Strategic Partnerships, and Innovation.