Without question none of us are sad to see 2020 come to an end. As difficult as the past year may have been, it did however force credit unions to make great strides in transforming their digital offerings to adjust to the “new” normal. It would be safe to say that years-worth of digital improvements were made within the industry in just a few short months following the onset of the pandemic.

As the pandemic first hit, credit union IT departments and service providers were challenged with enabling certain staff to work remotely. With branch lobbies closing, members began to rely more heavily on internet banking, mobile banking and remote deposit capture among other digital offerings. Interestingly enough, after years of the financial services industry working to promote and encourage the use of digital delivery channels it took a pandemic to make a significant increase in the adoption and use of those channels across all demographics.

Yet despite these changes there remain many questions that credit unions need to ask moving forward. How can we better serve these members when they can’t or won’t come into a branch? How can we create the same branch experience they are used to in the digital world? How can we meet or exceed their expectations and remain relevant?

Prior to the pandemic, the American Bankers Association reported that 82% of people preferred digital banking versus in-person branches. While that number may seem a little high, obviously the trend will continue to increase. That being the case, it is important that credit unions make digital transformation their top priority in the immediate future. Those that don’t may very well not be here tomorrow.

Below are 11 considerations, listed in no particular order, that should be near the top of your list for 2021 and beyond:

  • Cloud Computing

  • Enhanced Online and Mobile Banking

  • Online Account Opening

  • Digital Loan Applications and Closing (e-sign)

  • Marketing Automation

  • Browser Based Core Applications

  • IT Security

  • Financial Dashboards and Analytics

  • Back Office Automation

  • Electronic vs. paper-based processing and storage

  • Re-skilling your workforce

While this checklist is by no means all inclusive, what’s most important is that you have a plan and that you develop the right vendor relationships to help execute that plan.  

Over the course of 2021, we will discuss each of the above priorities in future blog posts. Stay tuned!