Credit Unions Advised to Shift Their Digital Lending Strategy to Stay Current

1/8/2019

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Northwest credit unions looking to stay current with the latest digital lending strategies should focus on long-term value, according to Strategic Link partner, CUNA Mutual Group.

CUNA Mutual recommends credit unions should no longer question whether or not to invest in digital, but focus on how to deliver long-term value by leveraging three core components.

Member Experience

Consider the member experience. As the world turns increasingly digital, member behavior continues to shift and presents challenges. Member dependence on digital channels to manage their finances puts a premium on delivering a dynamic and integrated experience to meet heightened expectations. In addition, operating in a digital environment that members control makes it difficult to understand these expectations and how to best address them.

Member Data

Working through these challenges calls for member data – the second element.

The digital footprint each member produces has grown exponentially over the last decade. The data contained in credit union systems, along with advances in analytics, provide the ability to develop insights into member preferences and behavior like never before.

Think of data as a roadmap to understanding not just what members look like (demographics), but who they are, how they behave, and how they want to interact with you (psychographics). Having an intimate knowledge of members produced by these data-driven insights helps move the strategy beyond segmentation and toward personalization.

Digital Technology

This information guides the development of the third element – digital technology.

Credit unions’ technology decisions shouldn’t be based solely on internal needs or workflow. This approach puts the organization’s perspective before the members’. Your member experience should be the basis for everything you do.

Use the member insights gathered from data analytics to shape the digital strategy. Don’t view lending as a process managed from acquisition through servicing. Look at it through members’ eyes, and focus on the customer journey, or, in other words, the steps they take to secure a loan. These insights can help evaluate how members are engaging and guide the technology solutions to put into consideration.

How do you know if you’re on the right path? Review the member experience and ask questions, such as:

  • Are more loan applications being completed online?
  • Have new pain points developed?

Analyzing new data will provide fresh insights and validate strategies for meeting members’ shifting expectations.

Member experience, data, and digital technology integrate to form the foundation of a digital lending strategy. Focusing on these core components can help you deliver long-term value for both your members and your credit union.

Editor’s note: For more information about CUNA Mutual Group’s lending solutions, contact NWCUA VP of Strategic Resources, Jason Smith. To learn more about Strategic Link’s partnership with CUNA Mutual Group, visit its webpage.