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The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it’s been widely recognized in the last year, accelerated mobile banking innovation in the financial services industry.

While it’s also true that the technology for mobile banking had already set sail towards beautiful horizons, the coronavirus sped up our efforts in digital innovation in virtually every respect. Some credit unions, to their credit, were already incorporating new member-friendly financial technology into their systems, fintech like our CUSO mobile life event lending platform, QCash

Such platforms enabled members to perform their banking tasks remotely, thereby not risking their health by frequenting their usual brick-and-mortar locations. Fintech has provided both credit unions and their members new life, not to mention increased consumer expectations. 

In June 2021, the Credit Union National Administration’s (CUNA) Credit Union System Digitization Working Group expanded on that spirit of innovation with their most recent industry overview by discussing high-level takeaways for how credit unions can utilize digital to strengthen the credit union experience. 

Consumer expectations for financial institutions are fast evolving in response to the breakneck pace of innovation, says Filene. In fact, a 2019 survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 81 percent of financial institution executives said they were concerned about the speed of technological change.

Who is the Credit Union System Digitization Working Group? Well, they consist of 41 credit union leaders across the movement “who collaborate to create a roadmap for digitization that will help credit unions adapt to the changes in consumer expectations, demands, and behaviors.” With their 2021 overview, the group’s focus is to pinpoint strategic directives and opportunities of which credit unions can take advantage in order to remain relevant to their community. 

Collaborating with outside platforms will enable credit unions to encourage improved access to both new and existing digital banking solutions which will inevitably inspire increased member satisfaction. But firstly, we must set the table to evaluate the specifics as to where the credit union industry currently resides in this era of digital transformation and platform innovation.

According to the Credit Union System Digitization Work Group’s overview, their analysis consists of seven insights they claim fulfills their current outlook on the credit union industry in 2021:

  • Digital transformation doesn’t always fit into a single approach for every credit union. Each organization must see where they stand in their readiness to adopt. 
  • There are numerous cases where accessibility and speed come before the traditional credit union value proposition for younger members or future members. 
  • Digital innovation can be limited for certain financial institutions especially if they’re attached to a complex regulatory federal environment, unlike fintech . Good news for credit unions looking to upgrade their digital innovation efforts by investing in QCash
  • The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is increasing their efforts toward hiring talent with backgrounds in fintech.
  • Artificial intelligence and self-determining finance platforms like QCash’s relational underwriting algorithm are a primary driver in the digital transformation movement. Credit unions’ relevance will be determined by their willingness to incorporate innovative products and services to their existing financial services systems. 
  • Credit unions who have already adopted digital banking possess the capability to share best practices to create an industry-wide blueprint while offering awareness of essential member-facing fintech.
  • It’s important that credit unions keep an ear to the rail and stay in touch with the current trends, maintain awareness of competitors’ journeys, and remain in touch to promote and support knowledge sharing. 

If you would like to explore the Credit Union Digitization System Working Group’s 2021 Industry Outlook further, particularly their insightful Roadmap to Digitization, click on the link here.

Which point of insight above speaks to you or your credit union the most in 2021? Explain in the comment box below!