A Digital Banking Platform Can Bolster Member Connection During COVID-19

Narmi LogoThe COVID-19 crisis is pushing credit unions further into a “digital first” way of doing business, and one idea that has become popular with credit union executives is incorporating new technologies to launch a digital banking platform. 

Narmi has taken part in a large number of these conversations with credit unions leaders. The company provides credit unions with superior technology solutions — mobile and online banking, digital account opening, and banking application programming interfaces (APIs) — so they can offer superior member services, creating a diversified and engaging financial ecosystem.

Narmi is currently working with Northwest Credit Union Association member credit unions impacted by COVID-19 and waiving all of its service setup fees. Additionally, the company is offering free access to its latest webinar on opening accounts digitally. 

The Strategic Link partner has created The Playbook for Launching a Digital Bank, a comprehensive guide for credit unions interested in launching a digital banking platform or brand. Here are three considerations from the playbook that credit unions may want to keep in mind. 

1. Put the user experience first. 

It’s important for credit unions to prioritize user experience when developing and releasing new functionality. The most successful digital brands offer strong functionality and deliver it via a superior user experience. Consumers and businesses expect digital transactions to be seamless, intuitive, and immediate. Credit unions can build loyalty in the form of increased deposits and additional accounts by offering a better user experience.  

The goal with any digital-first solution is to offer a comprehensive and seamless process from start to finish across the entire user experience. The core areas to consider include: 

  • Ease of account opening 
  • Smooth mobile and online banking 
  • Convenient digital and phone support 
  • A useful website 
  • Easy-to-use applications 
2. Throw out existing processes and automate where possible.  

The creation of a digital brand or bank presents a unique opportunity for credit unions to evaluate existing processes and determine if there are areas for improvement. Credit unions should not be afraid to throw legacy processes “out the window” and optimize for user experience or new types of efficiency. They may very well use existing processes in the eventual implementation of their digital brand, but they must be willing to evaluate all existing processes through an experienceminded lens and try to improve them.

Replacing manual processes by leveraging automated technology can immediately create a noticeable benefit for both internal and external users. For example, over the last three to five years, great advancements have been made in KnowYour Customer (KYC) and identity verification systems. Leveraging an automated KYC and identity verification platform for digital account opening can reduce fraud while keeping the user experience positive. 

3. Open accounts digitally, quickly, and safely.

Launching a digital brand or bank requires a serious focus on digital account opening. Credit unions want to make account opening simple and seamless. This involves permitting consumers and member to open accounts when and where they want, all while ensuring identity verification standards are met. 

It is important for credit unions to craft a digital accountopening strategy and consider which of the below factors they want to optimize for: 

  • Largest number of new customers 
  • Highest initial deposit 
  • Highest number of products opened during account opening

Regardless of which strategy a credit union employs – launching a digital banking platform from scratch or moving to a digital brand – an emphasis must be placed on the technology and user experience. When done correctly, credit unions can set the stage for several more years of scalable, organic, and profitable growth. 

To learn more about partnering with Narmi, visit its Strategic Link partner page or contact Jason Smith, Vice President of Strategic Resources, at 208.286.6794.