In a landscape that’s fast evolving to match the needs of tech-savvy customers, credit unions are innovating to compete with larger commercial banks and FinTech firms to attract and retain customers.
These innovations can range from more engaging websites and improved mobile experiences to biometric authentication solutions, including Touch ID and facial recognition. The new Credit Union Tracker™ looks at how credit unions of all stripes are embracing change to stay competitive in the financial services world.
Around the Credit Union World
Over 100 credit union websites across 14 states fail to meet the standards outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — often finding themselves susceptible to complaints and lawsuits.
Those are challenges that several solution providers are working to address by helping credit unions improve their online experiences for disabled credit union members. BloomCU, for one, recently collaborated with web accessibility firm User1st to access automated scanning and plug-and-play accessibility services.
A credit union service organization (CUSO) for first responders is also working to ensure that their members’ websites are ADA-friendly. The National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions (NCOFCU) agreed to work with web design firm OMNICOMMANDER. Under the partnership, OMNICOMMANDER will offer built-in mobile responsiveness to ensure that websites are mobile-friendly, offer SSL encryption and align with ADA guidelines.
It’s not just online experiences that are getting upgrades. Several credit unions and their partners are also rolling out solutions aimed at improving members’ mobile experiences. CO-OP Financial Services, for example, recently launched a new feature for Sprig, the company’s mobile banking solution. The new upgrade allows its members to use a mobile app to make charitable donations to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Embracing Tech Change to Win Over Millennials
While some credit unions have invested in online and mobile innovations, others have invested in solutions designed to change how members engage with their local branches. Earlier this year, SAC Federal Credit Union rolled out interactive teller machines (ITMs) at its network that allow members to engage with staff through live video screens.
These devices, said SAC FCU president and CEO Gail DeBoer, are not only offering members a new way to interact with staff during their visits, but they also allow the credit union greater flexibility in how they staff their branches and create new career opportunities for employees.
The ITMs are just the latest of SAC FCU’s tech upgrades. In the May feature story, DeBoer explained how the credit union has adopted a series of innovations, including Touch ID and facial recognition, in order to appeal to its millennial members.
“We embrace technology and I think our members have, too,” DeBoer said. “You can’t be afraid of it. You have to look at it as an opportunity.”
To read the full story, download the latest Credit Union Tracker.
About the Tracker
The Credit Union TrackerTM, powered by CO-OP Financial Services, is your go-to resource for staying up to date on a month-by-month basis on the trends and changes in the credit union industry.