The financial services industry has evolved quickly as consumer expectations have shifted. Consumers can click one button to order groceries to their door, or request a ride in seconds on their phone. Now, they want this same easy experience from their financial institution as we’ve entered the Consumer First Era.
A few years ago, it was enough for credit unions to simply have a website. Digital lending and online account origination are no longer things credit unions must work toward – they’re a minimum requirement to compete and remain relevant. Consumers now demand a fast, seamless and safe experience across all channels. And a digital member experience is not just digitization of paper-based processes. It’s much more than that – it’s a reinvention of how your credit union engages with your members and your community.
Fields, pages and friction — lending from a different era
Credit unions excel at building loyalty, but the modern member has different expectations, especially Millennial and Gen Z members. By 2019, Gen Z will comprise 32% of the global population and will be entering the credit market in droves.1 If credit unions don’t adapt to Millennial and Gen Z’s preferences, they risk missing significant opportunities to grow their member base.
In the Consumer First Era, credit unions need to meet consumers where they are, when they need services and on the channel they prefer. Consider your credit union’s digital offerings: Does your credit union have an online loan application? How many fields are required before members know exactly what amount, rate or term they qualify for? If there is too much friction or are too many steps, you’re likely losing customers to online lenders or large banks who offer a more seamless and simplified process. To make the process easier for members, explore solutions such as prefilling consumer data during the application process. It sounds complicated, but your competitors are offering these types of seamless experiences on their digital applications.
At the same time, FinTechs and other innovative lenders are using automated underwriting to deliver nearly instantaneous decisions. While understanding a member’s story is important to credit unions, massive amounts of credit data are available today in easily ingestible formats. This allows lenders to quickly see the story behind the score and make a faster decision.
Fraudsters love the anonymity of digital
It’s true – with more online channels and more automation comes more exposure to fraud. Many of the most sophisticated digital lenders rely heavily on real-time fraud detection, identify verification and consumer authentication. These solutions are widely available to credit unions today. With credit, identity and device data, credit unions can confidently approve members whose identities can be quickly verified.
Credit unions can protect themselves and their members from fraud while simultaneously removing friction from the digital application process. The right partner, solutions and strategy can help credit unions deliver a member experience that exceeds expectations and remain good stewards of their members’ hard earned deposits.
Credit unions are critical to the success of the U.S. financial system and help open doors to opportunities for millions of Americans. To compete today and in the future, credit unions need to focus on transforming their digital experience, and finding the right partner to support them in their digital journey.
TransUnion is uniquely positioned to help credit unions create opportunities for their members and the communities they serve in the Consumer First Era. Contact TransUnion’s credit union team using the form below to learn how we can help you.
1 2018 Bloomberg analysis of United Nations data