It’s simple and convenient to store and access applications, files, and data in the cloud. But is it secure? Most terms of service for cloud providers gives them ownership rights to stored information, meaning you and your members are no longer in control of personal documents — such as tax returns, birth certificates, or medical histories — kept in online data centers.
How most providers handle online storage presents an opportunity for credit unions to offer a needed and sticky service — a place for members’ business and personal papers. Think of online storage as a traditional safe deposit box with online features and more capacity. It would be a safe place to keep copies of wills, passports, social security cards, insurance policies, deeds, and investment documents — even treasured family or historical documents. Make it easy to use and accessible through permission-based retrieval, and members will quickly recognize the value in such a service.
Security And Convenience
Most online storage programs provide the anywhere, anytime convenience your members expect. The real difference between programs is in their security features, which can make your credit union stand out from the crowd. None of today’s typical cloud providers offer in their storage programs the type of robust security protection members expect from their credit unions.
In planning for your online storage program, make sure it includes 24-hour monitoring to assure safety and continuous backup in case of power outages, floods, or other physical disasters. It should also be easy to deploy and integrate well with your existing technology. Ideally, you want a program that appeals and adapts to business members’ document-storage needs as well as a consumer’s needs.
Personalization And Organization
Because today’s technology has rendered one-size-fits-all programs outdated, online storage provides built-in sorting and sharing capabilities that individual members can customize. Members can create and organize folders into categories of their choosing. Members can move, rename, and delete folders and files as needed and can even retrieve deleted documents. Initial storage limits are set, but members may purchase additional space to accommodate personal situations.
Credit unions can develop online storage programs into one of the stickiest services in their product suite, helping to cement member relationships for years to come. The more documents a member loads into the system, the more they personalize the program. And the more files they store to meet their needs, the more valuable — and sticky — the service becomes. Soon, new mobile applications will be available, adding a new level of retrieval convenience for your members on the go.
Whether incorporated as a stand-alone product or integrated into an existing electronic document-management system, implementing a secure, online storage service helps position credit unions as their members’ lifetime financial partners. By offering your members the ability to load important files into a protected document library, you add value, build trust, and deepen the credit union-member relationship.
The clouds are clearing for online storage services. What are you waiting for?
Ron Daly is the president/CEO of DigitalMailer, Inc., a firm providing the self-service digital communication tools today’s financial institutions need in their virtual branch as well as the expertise and resources to use them in their eStrategy to Connect. Communicate. Grow! To learn more, visit www.digitalmailer.com or call 866-994-4900.