Most credit unions recognize the importance of digital; it’s the long-term value that causes angst. Shawna Bellone, business transformation senior consultant for CUNA Mutual Group, recently discussed the three core components of a long-term digital lending strategy: member experience, data and digital technology.
Member experience should be the focus of everything a credit union does, explains Bellone. As the world turns digital, member behavior continues to shift, presenting two challenges: member dependence on digital channels to manage financial affairs has put a premium on delivering a dynamic and integrated experience to meet expectations; and operating in a digital environment that members control makes it difficult to understand these expectations and how to address them.
To tackle these challenges, Bellone encourages credit unions to leverage the data contained in systems, along with advances in analytics. These analytics give the ability to develop insights into member preferences and behavior like never before. “Data should be thought of as a roadmap to understand not just what members look like, but who they are, how they behave and how they want to interact,” she says.
Finally, digital technology has grown exponentially over the last decade. “Use member insights gathered from data analytics to help shape the digital vision,” Bellone says. “Insights can help evaluate how members are engaging and will further guide the technology solutions for credit unions to consider.”
Focusing on these three core components can help deliver long-term value for credit unions and their members.
“How do you know if you’re on the right path?” asks Bellone. “Return to your member experience and look for changes in behavior: Are more loan applications being completed online? Have new pain points developed? Analyzing new data will give you fresh insights and validate whether you’re meeting shifting expectations.”
Shawna Bellone is a business transformation senior consultant for CUNA Mutual Group who works with credit union partners to establish concept validation and recruitment to pilot concepts for lending solutions. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.