Core technology is constantly evolving to meet member expectations and help credit unions operate more efficiently, but these changes can pose challenges for credit unions. Although enhanced core technology offers the potential for new cross-sale and service penetration opportunities at a lowered cost, it may also reveal gaps and shortcomings in daily operations.
Credit unions often use modules from different providers for services such as mobile banking, online banking, and electronic payments — just to name a few. When these modules function differently from the core platform, operational gaps are inevitably created that result in cumbersome and repeated processes, negatively impacting employee morale and productivity.
To avoid these challenges, many credit unions are moving towards integration — where the core platform is seamlessly connected to each module and data is routed more swiftly and easily. This represents what Fiserv calls a technology ecosystem, as modularized technology is becoming the new normal.
Years ago, operations and IT executives viewed the core platform as the ultimate destination for data and technology, but this belief is changing. Modularization is enabling more opportunities for different levels of solutions to be integrated with the core — allowing credit unions to select the right functionality to meet their unique business model.
Integrated technology with data analytics can help credit unions better understand each touchpoint they have with members. Relationships can be further assessed, and opportunities to add more services and grow wallet share can be more easily identified.
The Ecosystem Evolution
As core platforms evolve, vendors are opening up their middleware to enable collaboration with different modules, regardless of the provider. Transactional data from each module can be streamlined back to the core platform, creating additional value to credit unions and their members.
This changing structure is creating opportunities for credit unions to form stronger partnerships with their core providers, who are gaining a better understanding of credit union’s unique needs. With an increasing focus on delivering superior member experience, credit unions and core providers are moving in a more harmonious and cohesive direction.
An aspect where members are gaining tremendous benefits from this direction are the many channels they can use to interact with the credit union. With rising member demand for self-service options and mobile apps, core platforms will continue to evolve in order to enable integration with innovative offerings. Much of the focus for the branch of the future involves a seamless blend of technology within the branch and beyond. Integrated technologies have the promise of allowing members to start a process in the branch, add to it at home on their tablet, and complete the process with signatures on the go from their mobile device.
Companies like Google and Amazon have shifted member expectations entirely. Innovations such as targeted offerings, auto-complete, and interactive channel-to-channel synergy are increasingly becoming standard services as a result. Larger banks have swiftly adapted to these newer standards, and in order to remain competitive and relevant, credit unions must adapt also. All of this is driven by data — and the ability to route it from your core platform to each modular channel, and back.
As more member data becomes available through the core platform and each module, the right human resources need to be in place to ensure it is properly leveraged by member-facing staff. When leveraged appropriately, strong data can help develop more impactful member relationships which transcend the lines of traditional branches and move more in tune with the faster pace of life that we are all becoming accustomed to.
Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) is a leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry. Fiserv provides integrated technology and services that create value for our clients. Fiserv drives innovation that transforms experiences for more than 14,500 clients worldwide including banks, credit unions and thrifts, billers, mortgage lenders and leasing companies, brokerage and investment firms, and other business clients. To learn more, visit us at www.fiserv.com.