Credit union products and services tend to be extremely similar. Applying for a loan, getting a credit card, and taking out a mortgage — these things don’t vary much. That’s why in recent years, institutions have prioritized the member experience.
A positive member experience can be characterized by many things, but one of the main ones is the ability to digitally complete transactions faster. Ultimately, credit union members simply want to finish the tasks they begin quickly, efficiently, and painlessly.
This is where the concept of digital completion comes in. Digital completion refers to the streamlining and automating of member-facing processes and minimization of human manual involvement. Here, we’ll discuss more of what digital completion refers to, and how digital completion can help improve credit unions’ NPS and loyalty.
What Does Digital Completion Mean For Credit Unions?
Digital Completion refers to the intelligent automation and delivery of member-relevant tasks into simplified, accelerated completed member journeys. The goal is to deliver step-changed business efficiency, error-free compliance, and member delight.
Until now, too many CIOs and CTOs have been nearly unitarily focused on ensuring operational continuity and stability, and member-facing interactions have been afterthoughts. As a result, we have seen incredible progress in internal digitization but have neglected front-facing systems. For member-facing processes, credit unions have typically cobbled together a combination of digital point solutions, mixed with legacy interactions. But these are disjointed and far from complete.
To leverage the investments already made, credit unions need to add a business-centric digital front. This is everything that is visible to members and directly impacts the quality and speed of their experience. The approach should be focused on streamlining the entire road to completion, not on piecemeal solutions that end up in silos. Ultimately, half-measures only add greater confusion and choppiness to the member’s journey.
Credit unions that have achieved digital completion are:
Truly real-time: The credit union shares and collects all tasks requiring completion in real-time with members.
All in one place: The credit union can consolidate all member-facing tasks into a single interactive experience.
No-code automation: Any business user is able to design digital workflows that automate the full journey and tailor it to each member.
Fully integrated: credit unions are able to get more out of their existing systems via APIs.
Obstacles to Harnessing Digital Workflows For Credit Unions
On the one hand, members like to be able to complete credit union tasks independently. On the other hand, they still prefer to receive agent-assisted guidance — as long as it doesn’t involve mandatory branch visits or waiting for extended periods on the phone. An approach of digital completion means blending complementary elements — employee guidance and automation — for the purpose of removing obstacles that stand in the way of completing credit union tasks.
An approach that emphasizes the digital completion of processes aims to tackle two culprits that have long thwarted members from getting stuff done with digital workflows: The prevalence of silos and legacy channels. Credit unions that have the right tools in place can eliminate silos and legacy channels, which in turn makes completion possible. And more tasks completed faster means a better member experience.
Silos in the System
Credit unions today usually employ technology to enable digital interaction. Yet many of these technological tools end up creating more silos because they fail to connect the dots of the member’s journey. For example, a credit union may allow members to begin the account opening process online, but redirect them to a physical branch when it comes time to sign.
In such cases, digital processes are not integrated and lack cohesiveness. Members are bounced from one channel to another, leading to frustration. It’s also common to see things like members being able to fill out some forms electronically, but the forms don’t remember information that was supplied at another stage of the process.
These choppy digital journeys have too many touchpoints and lack a sense of continuity. And this is often due to the fact that companies tend to adopt digital tools as point solutions.
Many members who encounter siloed processes or too many touchpoints during their journey will simply give up. In other cases, members do complete the journey but their experience has been badly tarnished, putting the credit union at risk of reputational damage and churn.
Prevalence of Legacy Channels
Credit unions may think that eSignatures connected to PDFs and websites are member-centic and digitally advanced. But in today’s world, mobile is king.
Like all consumers, credit union members love their smartphones, which allow them to get things done from any location. From ordering goods to trading stocks, consumers today are accustomed to taking care of practically any matter from their miniature handheld computer.
These habits would seem to naturally carry over to how consumers prefer to fill out forms and sign: through their phones. Yet when consumers attempt to submit financial information and sign via PDF on their mobile phone, they encounter intolerable friction. Many existing software solutions on the market require mobile users to open their email, download the pdf, and complete and sign their documents in A4 or Letter size on small screens. The forms aren’t optimized for mobile. And some formats require users to download a particular app in order to digitally fill out the form.
Legacy channels and formats such as email and PDF contribute to excess time to completion, or failure to complete the transaction at all. A study of over 1,000 Americans surveyed respondents who didn’t complete a contract that required an eSignature. The results show that 27% lost or forgot about it, and 35% said it wasn’t mobile- or user-friendly enough. The digital and non-digital channels of decades past aren’t equipped to promote completion for today’s on-the-go, mobile-first members.
Notably, some of the legacy eSignature solutions have tried to integrate PDF with additional member-facing capabilities, but this hasn’t yielded the desired results. The experience is still centered around the PDF and therefore difficult to streamline, automate, and make intuitive.
How Do Digital Workflows For Credit Unions Promote Digital Completion?
Credit unions are starting to understand that no amount of exciting marketing, friendly service, or attractive rates can compensate for long and tedious credit union processes.
Digital workflows ensure seamless continuity in member-facing tasks. Digital workflows are:
- Simple: A single system controls the entire end-to-end process with a simple drag-and-drop interface.
- In one digital suite: At various stages of the workflow, rules trigger the sending of requests for eSignatures, eForms, document collection, digital payments, and ID verification.
- Streamlined: Easy and intuitive conditional rules can be set to ensure business logic between steps, within steps, and within form fields.
- Optimized: Each customer interaction can be optimized across touchpoints and existing systems.
- Geared for visibility: Digital workflows come with dashboards that allow business leaders to gain visibility into the KPIs that matter most, such as onboarding rates and turnaround time.
- No-code: Project managers can adjust their business rules according to their needs without requiring IT support or coding.
Digital workflows promote the ultimate goal, which is the seamless digital completion of tasks. And in turn, digital completion helps improve the metrics credit unions care about most, such as NPS and CSAT. Here’s why:
1. It’s Mobile-First
Digitally complete credit unions are mobile-first. members are able to complete any task, from applying for a loan to changing their address, from the comfort of their mobile phone. members should be able to send stips, forms, and signatures to the credit union agent via text message — just as they would interact with a friend. No apps or PDFs are required, relieving the burden of having to download special software.
2. Proving Identity Is a Breeze
Digitally complete credit unions make it easy for members to get their ID verified. Instead of having to show up in person, members simply take a selfie with their official photo ID. The selfie and the image in the ID are instantly scanned and a match is confirmed. By making KYC instant and digital, the member is able to complete the task quickly and painlessly.
3. Forms Are Intelligent
Digitally complete credit unions allow members to fill out responsive electronic forms from any channel, including their mobile phone. Fields are revealed or hidden based on conditional logic, saving the member precious time and minimizing the likelihood of error (and having to redo the form).
4. Signatures Are Instant
Digitally complete credit unions don’t force members to repeatedly sign their name, whether electronically or on paper. Members digitally sign once, tap the signature, and place it on all documents where it’s required. In addition, multiple signatories can affix their signature remotely. This saves members the headache of having to coordinate a branch visit among multiple account holders.
5. The Human Touch Remains
Digitally complete credit unions strategically use human input. They know how to harness human talent to expedite rather than prolong member journeys. For example, having employees manually input member data prolongs time to completion and frustrates everyone. Yet having employees remotely guide members through a credit union task or provide guidance can speed things up — and improve the member experience.
6. Security Is Frictionless
Digitally complete credit unions always prioritize security. If they didn’t, member trust would go out the window. Yet digitally complete credit unions also understand that issues like security and compliance should coexist with an efficient member experience. A secure credit union frontend can rely on measures such as one-time passwords, single sign-on, and audit trails that don’t unduly burden members.
Digital Workflows For Credit Unions Pave the Road to Digital Completion
In today’s fast-paced, instant gratification world, creating a digitally complete experience means allowing members to complete tasks quickly and easily. By eliminating siloes and replacing legacy channels with end-to-end digital workflows, the member experience in credit unions is positively transformed.