7 Issues All Credit Unions Face and How to Solve Them with IT

As unique as every business is, it can be startling how similar the issues they face can be. Later this month, we’ll be at the Great New England Credit Union Show  and I, (Bryon Beilman) will be giving a presentation about the problems that credit unions face. Of course, there are some issues that can’t be generalized across the board, but whether you work for a credit union or another type of business, some or all of these seven issues may seem all too familiar.

cultural fit

These issues are:

  1. Hiring and culture
  2. Long and manual processes
  3. Complexity
  4. Human error
  5. Improving member experiences
  6. Data and record privacy
  7. Business continuity

In this post, which is based off of my presentation, we’ll take a look at each of these issues and provide a bit of insight into how the right IT infrastructure and processes can help you solve them.

1. Hiring and Culture

Hiring the right people and fostering a positive work environment are two things that will help keep any business on the right path. Not quite sure how IT can help? Streamlining and automating your hiring processes with the right technology tools will ensure that all of the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted. Additionally, the culture that your employees enjoy - or your new hires expect - can rely heavily on the technology available to them. Outdated technology or an infrastructure that is constantly plagued with problems could lead to a frustrated workforce. By updating and maintaining your equipment, you can help head off these issues and increase productivity and efficiency

2. Long and Manual Processes

There’s nothing worse than doing things one way “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Yes, of course, sometimes the old way is the best way, or the task has to be done in a very specific manner for very specific reasons, but we’ve found that a lot of credit unions get stuck in long, arduous processes because… that’s just how it’s always been! When you use technology to streamline processes and automate activities, you will increase productivity and efficiency (hey, where have we heard that before?). This positive impact can trickle down to your members who will notice that things are moving much smoothly when they conduct in-person business or have a customer service issue that needs to be addressed.

3. Complexity

Again, this is another area where “this is how we’ve always done it” can get people into a bit of a bind. Often times, things are made more complicated than necessary because there’s no documentation or everything relies on a single individual. When no one else knows how to complete a task things can get sticky. This is where - once again - updated IT processes and procedures can help make things move a bit more smoothly. With proper documentation in place and revised procedures that are simplified or automated, unnecessary complexity will be a thing of the past.

4. Human Error

Every organization, regardless of their industry, needs to be weary of human error in terms of cybersecurity. When it comes to IT it’s almost an unavoidable fact that someone, somewhere is going to click something that they really shouldn’t have clicked. This might mean they’ve clicked the link in a phishing email or they’ve accidentally deleted an important file. In either situation, technology can step in and help. The first step, of course, is educating your team on what to do (or not do) in certain situations. The second is the technology that can address the issues when they inevitably crop up. Strong data security procedures will help prevent the chaos that could ensue when someone accidentally downloads a virus while standardized, automatic backups will help alleviate the stress that comes with a deleted file.

5. Improving Member Experience

Technology, especially in the banking world, has a huge impact on the customer experience. This may be even more true for credit unions, where your members are most likely hoping for a more personal touch to their transactions. Nearly every large bank today has robust online and mobile options to offer their customers. Additionally, credit unions that are providing an excellent customer service experience typically use state-of-the-art CRMs to keep customer information at hand. By upgrading your technology and systems to provide a similar experience to your members, you’ll eliminate the risk of losing them to a competitor.

6. Data and Record Privacy

There is absolutely, positively, without a doubt nothing more important in the banking world than robust data and record privacy. Your credit union undoubtedly holds an incredibly large amount of data on your customers and your own employees, and it all needs to be protected as well as possible. Financial institutions are primary targets of hackers - in fact in 2018 they made up nearly 13% of all data breaches. Therefore, having the proper technology in place will help to ensure that your data and records are secure.

7. Business Continuity

Finally, one of the most important factors to consider in the banking world is the uptime of your organization. In the event of a disaster - natural or otherwise - your members need to be 100% certain that they can rely on you to be back up and running as quickly as possible. After all, you’re not simply providing them with a service, you’re the gatekeeper to their money! A strong business continuity plan will give your customers peace of mind, knowing that in the most dire circumstances they’ll still be able to access their money.Now that you know the seven issues affecting credit unions, and you got a sneak peek at how IT can help solve them, it’s time to dig deeper. Schedule your FREE IT assessment today and let us help you leverage your existing technology - or make the appropriate upgrades - so that your credit union will continue to thrive.

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