Whether they use one software application or are totally paperless, nearly every credit union uses technology on some level. Technology is continually evolving, as software providers are learning about the ways that software can enhance credit union operations. For the protection of their loyal members, credit unions tend to approach change more slowly and cautiously, especially when it comes to technology. With so many new technologies emerging at once, credit union boards should be looking at the top seven trends in technology for credit unions.
The time has come when credit unions can’t handle security entirely on their own. Moving forward, they’ll need to rely on software programs and technical services to keep their customers and their information safe. Credit unions retain much personal data on their customers. IT security programs prevent hackers from tapping into their computers and systems and stealing confidential data. The challenge is finding software programs that have the high-level security necessary to protect consumers, yet don’t make it overly difficult or time-consuming to get past all the passwords and encryption protocols.
Cybersecurity is a big issue for credit union board directors and will continue to be so in the coming decades. Now is the time to line up the right partners and services to ensure that the credit union protects their data.
Using cloud-based storage is one of those areas where credit unions have been slow to make changes. Overall, most experts state that data is at less risk when credit unions store it in the cloud. They claim that it’s easier to manage crises and cyber-attacks and to recover from an incident when they use cloud-based storage.
Other experts argue that there are pros and cons to cloud-based storage, especially for financial institutions. Credit union boards will need to review all options before making the best decisions for their credit unions. The best solution may even be cloud-based storage combined with other software solutions. The sooner boards resolve the data storage issues, the sooner they can refocus their efforts on expanding their membership and enhancing the good customer service for which they’re known.
In the commercial space, digitization is continually evolving. Financial institutions are usually the first ones out of the gate in testing the latest innovations that technology has to offer. Credit unions can learn much from the successes and challenges that banks face when finding the best ways to digitize.
The quality of websites is far greater than it was over the last decade or two. Credit unions should be looking at modernizing their websites, as well as how they deliver their banking services. The best thing going for credit unions as they experience change is that their members tend to be extremely loyal.
Marketing automation is a game changer for credit unions. Historically, credit unions haven’t maintained very large budgets for marketing campaigns. Direct mailing campaigns are a thing of the past. Marketing automation allows credit unions to run many marketing campaigns at the same time, with automated responses that turn prospects into customers. There’s a huge cost savings in marketing for credit unions when using internet campaigns. Perhaps the best investment that credit union boards can make in marketing is the investment in a highly qualified digital marketing manager.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
The new kids on the block for technology are artificial intelligence and machine learning. Most credit unions haven’t delved into these waters just yet. Other industries have shown that artificial intelligence and machine learning vastly reduce costs and enhance service programs. These types of programs are also in a state of evolution. Credit union boards may not be ready to invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning programs just yet, but these topics should remain topics of board conversation as new programs emerge.
Analytics has long been a staple of credit union strategic planning. Technology offers ways to extract data and use it for various new purposes. Software programs assist credit union board directors by pulling data together to give them a clearer picture of their financial status and programs. Clear and accurate analysis is vital to credit union boards for long-term strategizing. Some credit unions may be able to build these programs in-house; however, it may be cost-effective to partner with a software provider rather than build a new program from scratch.
Fintech is a new term that refers to financial technology. It was developed to describe the transition from using traditional financial delivery methods to using technology to manage financial services. Credit union customers expect to be able to use their smartphones for mobile banking and investment services. Fintech also refers to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.
Many fintech companies are startups; however, others are established financial or technology companies that aim to replace or enhance the current financial services that existing companies are already using. Some financial experts see fintech as the wave of the future. Credit union boards will need to decide how fintech fits into their current business structure. They’ll soon be facing such decisions as whether they will develop new fintech programs in-house or partner with other corporations to handle these services.
How BoardEffect Software Solutions Support Credit Union Technology
As the financial landscape continues to evolve, credit union boards need their own software solutions, such as the BoardEffect board portal. Credit union boards have many technology-related issues to discuss that will determine the future of the financial institutions that they oversee.
The time has come where credit union board directors need a safe, secure online space to discuss future initiatives and to monitor the effectiveness of their efforts. BoardEffect is the software solution that drives efficiency, effectiveness and engagement among board directors, executives and administrators.
Over 100,000 users within more than 1,400 leading organizations rely on BoardEffect to help them manage board-related information and advance their board work. Credit unions can join the ranks of other institutions like hospitals, healthcare systems, nonprofits, foundations, educational institutions and government entities that have discovered how the BoardEffect board portal streamlines their duties so they can focus on other priorities, such as how their credit union can make the most efficient use of technology for their customers.
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