It’s a challenging time for credit unions, with increasing competition and high member expectations contributing to the pressure to innovate. The 2021 Credit Union Innovation Study found that 22% of all credit union members would consider moving to an alternative financial institution if their credit union fails to innovate.
Younger demographics feel even more passionate — 30% of millennials and 31% of bridge millennials reported being “very” or “extremely” likely to leave their current credit union for access to more innovative products and services. Online and mobile capabilities are the key areas where members say their credit unions are missing the mark.
With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that digital transformation is the number one priority for many credit unions today.
Some credit union leaders also acknowledge that partnering with a third-party vendor can help them better meet members’ needs and expectations. But finding the right vendor can be stressful. Here’s what to look for in a credit union software vendor to help you innovate and create seamless end-to-end customer journeys:
1) Industry experience and customer centricity
Many software providers offer generic applications that you can adapt for your business, but technology that is built specifically for consumer finance can deliver so much more.
When software is purpose-built by technology partners who combine financial services industry experience with an intense customer focus, you are better placed to stay ahead of competitors, launch products quickly, and deliver an exceptional member experience.
2) A unified approach
The best credit union software vendors can support a cohesive strategy across channels and products.
With a consistent experience for digital, phone, and branches, you can meet individual member preferences. And with a unified application experience across products — including deposit accounts, personal loans, and vehicle loans — you’ll no longer have to send your members away from your website to a different URL.
This approach can help members feel more comfortable because they know what to expect across interactions. It can also streamline the cross-sell process.
3) Flexible closing options
Look for a solution that gives members the ability to close how they want, whether it’s in-person or completely remote. In addition to improving the consumer experience, this capability can improve efficiency.
4) Tech that offers more than digitalization
It’s not enough to simply digitize paper-based processes. A more effective approach delivers speed through the automation of manual steps that can cause delayed approvals and drawn-out closings.
5) An exceptional user interface
Convenient and easy-to-use online banking capabilities are among the top reasons members provide for being satisfied with their credit union. Making it easy for consumers to connect their financial data sources and complete tasks online can increase application completion rates.
Why Blend is the right credit union software vendor for your organization
Our Consumer Banking Suite helps credit unions deliver a seamless journey for members, from application to close.
Members are put at ease by Blend’s application, which enables credit unions to offer a consistent look and feel across products and channels. This is bolstered by our conversational interface that guides users through the application in clear, easy-to-understand language.
Meanwhile, Blend allows borrowers to connect their bank accounts and payroll providers to supply accurate information. This functionality cuts down on manual data entry, helping to ensure borrowers are providing the correct documentation.
All of this helps credit unions create the deeper relationships that are imperative to delivering on their member mission. With Blend, credit unions can raise NPS scores, accelerate loan cycle times, increase pull-through rates, and make personalized offers, while increasing productivity and expanding market reach.
The benefits of putting members first
Credit unions across the U.S. are using Blend to offer a best-in-class digital lending experience, including Kentucky-based lender Rural 1st, whose members appreciate the navigability of Blend’s platform.
“We still had customers that were apprehensive of using an online application,” said Tori Sommer, a Rural 1st consumer loan processor. “Blend helps our customers to be more engaged, which saves time, especially with follow-ups.”