DON'T JUST INSTALL TECH, INTEGRATE IT.by Nina Penson
As featured in CU Insight, February 24, 2020:
Credit unions and community banks thrive on delivering highly personal, relationship-driven service. These attributes are – and should remain – the core of a financial institution's mission. In today's world, that increasingly means enabling technology with a purpose: creating high-touch, personalized relationships through smart technology integrations.
According to Deloitte, today’s consumers expect their financial institutions to act and interact more like top technology brands. In an age where smaller financials need to do all they can to avoid being “Rocket Mortgaged,” and consumers seek a fast, frictionless financial experience across various mediums, technology integration must be a top priority.
If you’re not thinking about technology, you’re in the minority. In 2018 78% of financial executives believed their work was going to change in the next five years because of new digital business trends. But investing in technology for your institution is about more than “keeping up with the Joneses.” It is not simply installing screens blandly showcasing your most recent auto loan rate, or CD or using ITMs in your branches. To achieve the maximum return on investment, technology must serve a purpose. It must be integrated into your visitor’s journey, identifying, addressing and easing friction points and acting as a seamless expression of your brand.
So, what is the right kind of technology to focus on? There is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to technology integration. It’s important to leverage community and demographic insights to determine what your customers care about and use available technology to help you connect with them. How do you know when it’s time to consider an update? If you’ve found yourself or your team saying any of the following, it’s time:
“MY BRANCH FEELS OUT-OF-DATE AND OUT-OF-TOUCH.”
Technology integration enables you to create a customized, personalized environment that is adaptable, modern and experiential. It is not just about digital display, it’s about digital engagement. Taking your brand digital means you can quickly and creatively deploy custom content that instantly rejuvenates your brand and your message. Where in the past, you invested in static signage and it was “one and done,” a one-time investment in technology integration unlocks a plethora of opportunities to engage with branch visitors and staff through meaningful, timely and relevant content.
“I DON’T KNOW WHAT MY MEMBERS WANT AND NEED.”
No one expects you to be a mind-reader. A critical first step of technology integration is to conduct demographic and user research to discover what, if any, points of friction currently exist within a customer's user financial experience. We then determine how best to leverage technology to address those issues. This is not a guessing game; it’s rooted in data and actionable insights and should clearly demonstrate a return on investment.
“I NEED TO DO MORE WITH LESS.”
How people use branches is changing. As branches become a key place for conversation and consultation, technology can supplement existing staff to ensure that while your employees are guiding individuals and families through some of life’s bigger moments like mortgages and loans, others can still quickly and efficiently carry out their day-to-day transactional needs in a way that provides a user-focused, individualized experience.
The topic of technology is hot right now – in just about every industry. But it must be more than a “hot topic” – it must be an intentional, purpose-driven business investment. The ROI is clear. True technology integration will drive business growth, profitability and engagement, and set your institution up to evolve alongside your community.