Sundeep Kapur, digital strategist with NAFCU Services Preferred Partner
Allied Solutions, works closely with credit unions...
range of beneits for all members. It is
no longer enough to have a functional
website. Serving members today — and
10 year...
Thinking Outside the Web
A well-designed, easy-to-navigate
website is still an important part of the
overall marketing and...
how to beef up your organization’s pres-
ence on social media, the irst step is to
take stock of what services your mem-
of 4

NAFCU Magazine July 2014

Published on: Mar 3, 2016

Transcripts - NAFCU Magazine July 2014

  • 1. Sundeep Kapur, digital strategist with NAFCU Services Preferred Partner Allied Solutions, works closely with credit unions to help them better engage with members through technology. Yet when his 20-something son and nephew were launching their own business and in need of a inancial institution, they didn’t turn to the expert in the house. “he irst thing they did was get out their smartphones,” Kapur notes wryly. “Every decision they made was based on their ability to see if that inancial institu- tion ofered speciic services when they looked it up on their mobile banking site. I would have said, ‘Before I decide on a credit union, I’d like to meet someone in the oice and have a face-to-face conver- sation.’ But that’s not how Generations X and Y think. Mobile is becoming a bigger and bigger deal.” It is an increasingly big deal as well for credit unions seeking to appeal to younger members and provide a full MANAGING YOUR VIRTUAL BRANCH Trends in Technology and Mobile Strategies By Robert Bittner THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION JULY–AUGUST 201418
  • 2. range of beneits for all members. It is no longer enough to have a functional website. Serving members today — and 10 years from now — means delivering as many services as possible through as many channels as possible. It also means moving beyond mere mobile account management to fully engage with members through social media and so-called smart technologies. Your Virtual Branch Why focus on developing more diverse and personalized mobile services? “he smartphone is becoming your virtual branch,” Kapur explains. “You can look up account information, you can ‘visit’ the branch, and you don’t even have to go to the Web. It’s a way for members to connect seamlessly with their credit union.” Connecting “seamlessly” is key to maintaining and growing member relationships. “Our job is to provide a delivery channel that every member can use,” says Scott Wilson, president and CEO of Sea- Comm Federal Credit Union in Mas- sena, N.Y. “We did a member survey last year, and more people are saying, ‘I want to do things on my time, not your time.’ his 24/7 access requires you to be in this [mobile] space. Younger demo- graphics are looking for new ways to do business with us. Getting away from things that require having a computer and getting into smartphone applica- tions is the new trend members want.” ‘‘The smartphone is becoming your virtual branch.You can look up account information, you can ‘visit’the branch, and you don’t even have to go to theWeb. ’’—SUNDEEP KAPUR, DIGITAL STRATEGIST, NAFCU PREFERRED PARTNER ALLIED SOLUTIONS T oday’s technologies are already far beyond what could have been antic- ipated just 20 years ago. But they are certainly just the beginning. Dover Federal Credit Union President and CEO David Clendaniel believes payments by smartphones will usher in another major industry shift in the near future.“Instead of a debit card, why not just have your iPhone? I think that’s coming, and I think it could be the next big thing.” That idea is gaining traction. In a May Macworld article exploring the beneits of using a smart- phone as a debit card replacement, journalist MarcoTabini points out that it’s about security as much as convenience. Unlike a debit or credit card, which gets handed of to waitstaf and other personnel, the phone need never leave the owner’s possession. And unlike a debit or credit card number, which typically gets typed into numerous websites where it can be hacked and stolen, smartphone payments could be handled through a coded“bill”delivered on-screen, which would then be captured and conirmed via the smartphone’s camera. But even smaller steps can yield member beneits. It annoys Sundeep Kapur that after years of banking with the same institution, his ATM is still not smart enough to remember that every time he initiates a transaction, he chooses English as his desired language. Personaliza- tion could go a long way toward improving relationships with members.“ATMs should be smart enough to know my last transac- tion, know my preferences and then make predictions about my future transactions,”he says.“The ATM provider generally provides the software to enable such personalization. For improvements to happen, credit unions need to push for these changes.” Regardless of what the future holds, there is no doubt that technology will continue to be an invaluable intermediary in the member/ credit union relationship. And that can only be a good thing.“Even though there’s a cost, technology is the great equalizer,”Clendaniel believes.“This is one area where we can look just as big and just as powerful as Bank of America or any other national institution.” Coming Soon? Continued on page 22 THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION JULY–AUGUST 201420
  • 3. Thinking Outside the Web A well-designed, easy-to-navigate website is still an important part of the overall marketing and service strategy. Yet Wilson points out that for many people under 40, a website today is just as “traditional” as an old-fashioned bank once was. To offer the experiences modern members expect, you must think outside the Web. For SeaComm FCU, such thinking has led to several recent changes. “Last year, we launched an application on our mobile platform for bill pay. And we recently launched mobile deposit capture,” Wilson says. “We’re in the irst quarter, but we’ve seen a positive response. We now have our own mobile app for iOS and Android devices, bill pay and mobile deposit capture. We’ve added a lot of enhancements.” Truity Credit Union, based in Bartles- ville, Okla., has explored a similar path. “We’ve continued to introduce more electronic access over time,” says Presi- dent and CEO Kelly Diven. “We’ve been using home banking and bill payment for some time. We introduced a new mobile app this last fall. And in February we introduced remote deposit capture.” In Delaware, Dover Federal Credit Union has expanded upon these key services with the addition of Popmoney, an Internet-based service members can use to send and receive money from anyone who has an e-mail address and a bank account. Other credit unions are taking technological engagement with members to the next level through the use of SmartVideo, a service from Allied Solutions’ iSolutions division, which delivers brief, personalized videos to members’ inboxes as a way to follow up on speciic activity — a new car loan, for example — and provide information as well as tailored recommendations for additional inancial services. All of these technologies provide tools for getting the most out of credit union membership. But many of them go further: They help bring credit union products and services to the forefront whenever members think about their inances. They anticipate members’ transactions. And they engage with members as unique individuals with speciic inancial needs and goals. Such engagement is critical at a time when the competition is one click away. For that reason, many credit unions are leverag- ing the power of social media to create even deeper personal connections. A Social Strategy In 2013, Truity CU went through a signif- icant rebranding. Prior to that, the orga- nization had eight branches in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Arkansas, each state represented by a diferent brand name. “As we’ve grown and technology has changed, we found that supporting four brands was diicult and expensive,” says Diven. Once the decision was made to unite the brands under the new “Truity” name, Diven and his team looked for ways to let members know that only the name was changing; what they were as an organiza- tion remained the same. “YouTube was an integral step in getting across the message of why the name change was happen- ing and that things weren’t changing.” hrough several simple, slideshowlike vid- eos posted to YouTube, Truity was able to communicate with members and control the message. In addition, Truity is reaching out to members through both Facebook and Twitter, where the focus is on provid- ing community news, links to useful personal-inance information and tips on getting the most from credit union membership. “We have nearly 10,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook,” says Diven, “out of about 55,000 members.” All of Truity’s e-commerce — the website, home banking, mobile and social media — is overseen by a full-time staf of four. SeaComm has a dedicated full-time staf person who handles the website and Facebook updates. But President Scott Wilson is also personally involved in reaching out to members through Twitter. “As CEO, I’m the chief commu- nicator. I use Twitter to let people know that I’m actively engaged with folks. I tweet everything from when I’m meeting with staf to when I’m going to be visiting a branch where members can talk to me in person, as well as information about the economy or the inancial industry. I tweet anything I think is important for credit union members to be aware of. “his is a new process for me, but I am getting tweets back, and folks are asking additional questions. I think it’s a great way to communicate back and forth. I have podcasts and written reports that members can get, but they can’t have a conversation that way. his is a way to have a conversation.” Taking Stock Whether you are thinking of taking the irst steps beyond a home banking– focused website or you are wondering ‘‘I thinkTwitter is a great way to communicate back and forth. I have podcasts and written reports that members can get, but they can’t have a conversation that way. This is a way to have a conversation. ’’—SCOTTWILSON,PRESIDENTANDCEO,SEACOMMFEDERALCREDITUNION Continued from page 20 THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION JULY–AUGUST 201422
  • 4. how to beef up your organization’s pres- ence on social media, the irst step is to take stock of what services your mem- bers currently use and what they expect from you in the future. SeaComm’s Wil- son says, “We did that through member surveys. But you can also explore com- mon member needs through reputable vendors. Take your time to weigh all the risk options. Because nothing is worse than launching a new product or service and having some problem happen.” Consultant Kapur encourages clients to take a hands-on approach to honestly evaluating their own services and rank- ing them accordingly. “Look at how you can be accessed online, and give yourself a score for every category. For instance, look at Google. Do you show up on the first page of search results? If so, give yourself a higher score for that. Pull up your website. Is it easy to look at and navigate? How many clicks does it take to find something? Take a look at your site on a mobile device. Does it look good on a variety of mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets? Give yourself a rating for every possible digital interaction with members.” Explore your services just as a member would. One credit union was pleased to respond to website visitor requests by add- ing an online member application. hey discovered, though, that only 35 percent of those who began the online application actually completed it. Managers needed to ind out why: Was it too long? Too detailed? Or did the technology malfunc- tion along the way, making the process more frustrating than it should have been? Don’t ignore questions of security. In the wake of this spring’s news regarding a security vulnerability on many sites deemed “secure” — a vulnerability known as the “Heartbleed” security law — a number of credit unions made it a point to state on their sites that they were in no way at risk from the security law. Don’t assume members will automatically know how secure their digital information is unless you tell them. “As long as you’re staying on top of getting members' [secu- rity] information, it lets them know that protecting their information is important to you,” says Truity’s Diven. Finally, “engage with other credit unions, get recommendations on ven- dor partners and look closely at other credit unions’ premier partner arrange- ments,” Diven advises. “If you need assistance along the way in working with vendors, don’t be afraid to seek that out. That spirit of cooperation is one of the great things about the credit union movement.” Robert Bittner is a Michigan-based free- lance writer who would be lost without his iPhone and iPad. I love the on-demand modules and webcasts; I can pause or rewind them if something interrupts me. With live training, if I’m interrupted, I miss out. My employees can train without taking everyone out of the office. Great way to keep up our NCCO certification at a reasonable price. Same training for all employees; no-one receives lesser training from, say, a live trainer whose game is off a certain day. Credit unions love our new Compliance Webcast and Online Training Subscription: NAFCU’s new Compliance Webcast and Online Training Subscription. With over 90 self-paced compliance modules and over 30 webcasts, it’s something to talk about. THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION JULY–AUGUST 201424

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