Keeping Your Credit Union Ahead of the Tech Curve

“One of the biggest barriers credit unions face in improving internal efficiency and member service is integrating different technologies into a seamless experience,” says Credit Union Magazine.

That’s important, because credit union members are quickly embracing all the latest high-tech gadgets and enjoying the speed and freedom they offer. Chances are they’re wondering why they can’t use all those wonderful tools to do business with you.

That’s why you need to figure out an integration strategy. Now. Because if you don’t have a centrally located and secure place to store, manage and route all your current information, regardless of file type, pushing it out via high-tech gadgets is meaningless. You need to go beyond your core banking solution, because you don’t just handle banking documents.

There are two key ways to ensure you successfully integrate your technologies. One, it needs to be easy. And two, it needs to be non-interruptive, so your employees continue to focus on providing superior member service while you improve your internal systems by decreasing your dependency on paper and manual processes.

To make that solution easy, focus on an integration strategy that can be handled without custom coding. That way, as your credit union grows and evolves, your technologies can, too – without paying solution providers tens of thousands of dollars to write custom code for you every time you want to make a change.

Being non-interruptive will come naturally if the solution is easy to implement. That’s why you should do your homework when researching vendors. Remember, too, that it’s all about tying your systems together so they communicate, giving your employees access to member information at their fingertips, without leaving the applications they’re familiar with.

What does a successful integration look like? It looks like one that most employees don’t even realize is there. All they care about is that they can get the information they’re looking for quickly – without putting a member on hold while they search for it in an unfamiliar system.

Not giving your members – and the millions of people now looking into credit unions for the first time – the options they’re looking for means they’ll look elsewhere. And they’re looking. According to Callahan & Associates, the credit union industry added a record 1.8 million new checking accounts in 2011 and 440,000 new members in the fourth quarter of 2011 alone.

So don’t wait. Now is the time to increase your member service by offering the latest tools. And the first step is integrating your technologies, so real-time information is flowing through them.

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle has expertise in the financial services industry and has been a contributor to the Hyland blog.

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