Innovation enables progress and it drives it too. In the world of credit unions and banks, innovation comes in familiar forms: new ways to improve the customer experience, re-structuring to increase efficiencies, and system improvements.
Naturally, these overlap. After all, the aim is to increase customer satisfaction while also growing revenue and profits. And many innovations are digitally based. Digital means speed, convenience, and flexibility – all of which are in demand from customers and institutions alike.
For credit unions and banks, failing to innovate digitally means risking losing market share.
Digital innovation seems a high stakes game – but it doesn’t need to be
Given the importance of digitization, perhaps it is surprising that progress amongst credit unions seems slow. However, a recent article on pymnts.com* captures the problem nicely: not only do financial institutions fear the challenges of integrating systems and doing so on time, they often agonize about making the right decision.
The article quotes Research by PYMNTS and PSCU, showing that 28% of credit unions worry about misdirecting efforts, and 34% report tortuous internal decision making in an attempt to avoid that same problem.
In fact, these barriers are often misconceived. It’s not that they don’t exist – it’s that there are much easier solutions.
Digital is flexible
One of the great powers of digital technology is its flexibility. Well executed digital innovation can deliver improved services which are more flexible, cost efficient and cost effective than the product they replace. Crucially they can also deliver a more convenient and customer-friendly service – everyone wins.
Digital innovation – a case study
Money 4 Travel is a new offering from fintech specialists Essiell. It’s an easy to use travel money service which enables customers to order currency online, with collection later in-branch. It’s easy to use and convenient for everyone involved.
Importantly, it sits on existing infrastructure instead of replacing it. Integration is straightforward and it solves the perceived problems outlined above. Money 4 Travel is quick to implement, with low set-up costs and low subscriptions. It’s ideally suited to credit unions. Implementation is simple, so resource requirements are modest. Transactions are tracked; success is easily measured.
By Bjorn Larsson, CEO at Essiell Ltd, the power behind Money 4 Travel. Essiell is a leading specialist in fintech solutions for retail travel money, financial control, information technology and data security, and compliance.