We are lucky to live in the digital era. At a time when “social distancing” has become the norm and credit union lobbies across the country have had to close for the time being, the ability to provide remote access to credit union products and services has never been more important. More and more members are using digital banking to conduct transactions and manage their accounts.
Digital Banking Is Just Banking
Consider how we tend to characterize common tasks. We grab our phones. We read the news. We scan social media. We don’t say “digital phone,” “digital news,” or “digital social media.” So why do we refer to digital banking with the term “digital,” when really, it’s just banking? Most functions that can be completed in a traditional branch setting can also be completed using digital banking.
The fintech sector brought banking into our digital age. For consumers, the products, services, and user experience accessed via in-branch or digital banking simply boils down to banking. Are we being pedantic in our insistence that there is a difference between “digital banking” and “brick-and-mortar banking?” It’s all banking. And, as figures are already showing, successful financial institutions (FIs) can’t opt to be in one space or the other; credit unions must have both a physical and virtual presence to be where their members expect them to be.
What Is Digital Banking?
“Digital banking” is an umbrella term for the processes, services, and transactions credit union members conduct online. This may be via online banking, accessed on a computer or tablet, or via mobile banking, which likely has an app for easy connectivity and usage. It also could encompass newer technologies, such as Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) and voice banking.
“Digital banking has evolved far beyond its beginnings as a website accessed from a desktop computer,” commented Ben Jordan, Senior Vice President of Information Technology for Synergent. “Consumers have reached a point where they trust and are comfortable with using digital channels to manage nearly every aspect of their daily lives. While security has to be a top priority, members expect to be able to do on their smartphones nearly everything they can do in their credit union’s branches.”
Choosing the Right Digital Banking Solution
Different credit unions have different needs. Membership size, demographics, and services offered are a few of many areas that vary from credit union to credit union, and these areas can change over time as a credit union grows and evolves. Digital banking is essential for all credit unions, but not all digital banking offerings are the best fit—one size does not fit all when it comes to digital banking solutions. Some considerations to keep in mind when implementing or upgrading digital banking include:
- Consumer and Small Business Functions
- Mobile and Desktop User Experiences
- Account Opening & Servicing
- Member Support (Chat)
- Member Engagement
- Integration with Additional Products & Services (Bill Pay, Remote Deposit Capture, Remote Loan Payments, etc.)
If you’re looking to add digital banking at your credit union, or you’re looking for a solution that is a better fit for where your credit union is at today, contact us. Synergent works with numerous digital banking partners and can help recommend the best digital banking solution to fit your credit union’s unique needs. We also encourage you to read the full white paper, which covers:
- Facts and Stats
- The Disruption of Digital Banking
- The Tech Behind Digital Banking
- How to Achieve Digital Banking Success