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How to Boost Member Experience in the Era of Digital Banking

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By Seth Brickman, CEO, QCash
January 17, 2024

The impact of digital banking and artificial intelligence (AI) on the financial services industry is impossible to ignore, and I think the credit union industry is finding itself smack in the middle of that realization for better, or in some cases, for worse.

Almost every single financial institution – and every industry, if we’re being honest – found itself knocked for a loop by these technological changes from the pre-pandemic days. I believe this boost in innovation is a boost for the credit union industry, an industry universally recognized for its crisp attention to member relationships and focused engagement.

What we now like to call digital transformation doesn’t simply show what is possible for the consumer’s need for updated and mobile-friendly products and services, but the very expectations and standards to which financial institutions ultimately hold themselves accountable in this new digital era. According to Retail Dive in early December 2023, nearly half of 1,000 U.S. respondents claimed they plan to spend more time online over the next 12 months. Convenience was the top motivation for moving purchases online.

Efficient and easy-to-use products like the QCash small-dollar lending platform are now the norm – the expectation – for consumers when it comes to today’s efforts in product innovation. The challenge, or maybe the perception of a challenge, is that digital transformation is seen as an obstacle for credit unions because of their reputation of being – rightly or wrongly – lighter in the technology budget than other, more stockholder-friendly institutions.

To succeed in a financial world increasingly dependent on digital inclusion, financial institutions have to recognize where they stand in their digital transformation journey. Running internal, departmental examinations and audits is important, alongside budgeting for cost-effective digital platforms that meet or exceed a constantly-changing financial services market. It’s a rewarding snowball effect for all parties, actually: By incorporating the needed financial technology and digital assets to enhance and improve your members’ financial health goals, your credit union would have the ability to raise the quality of your risk management evaluations, which may help surpass your prior member experience goals.

Boosting Your Credit Union’s Digital Member Experience

According to a 2023 Chase survey, 90 percent of consumers now prefer to manage their finances online, including such conveniences as monitoring account balances, mobile check deposits, applying for mortgages, or accessing digital small-dollar loans from credit union-dedicated platforms like QCash that, if approved, deposit members’ loan amounts into their accounts in less than 30 seconds.

In an Insider Intelligence report in 2022, 1,961 U.S. digital banking users ranked security as the primary feature that builds digital trust, along with privacy, ease-of-use, reputation, and reliability. Members are clearly telling us that features like safety and ease-of-use are consistently top-of-mind for their financial institution’s digital features.

Relational underwriting and fraud protection help to address directly some of the obstacles credit unions aim to solve. One of the big ones is the always-annoying manual processing of small-dollar loans and other operational constraints and inefficiencies. By implementing such financial technology solutions like the QCash small-dollar loan platform, credit unions can provide a seamless, annoyance-free, and efficient experience for members considering a digital banking program from a credit union that invests a heavy amount of digital products and services in their suite of banking services. With that operational mentality, the credit union builds an unmistakable foundation and reputation of trust and loyalty.

Speedy and efficient digital technology platforms like QCash assist in helping credit unions remain competitive by providing real-time, fast-working decisioning that focuses the power of credit union data that tells a more complete member story. From an organizational perspective, credit unions benefit greatly from a powerful yet nimble digital small-dollar lending experience.

The credit union small-dollar lending environment today is distinctly different from the industry dynamic we were used to pre-pandemic. I predict the same will be said in a year or two. Partnering with a dynamic loan platform like QCash offers data-focused insights that can empower your credit union to scale up your operations for future growth. As the U.S. continues its successful climb out of the turn of the decade, your credit union’s digital banking advancements will only benefit and build up your member experience goals.

Learn more about QCash and reach out with your questions or thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

About QCash

QCash Financial offers relationship-based small-dollar loans. The CUSO’s lending platform enables credit unions to help their members responsibly when they face financial challenges from unexpected life events. From application to account funding, the process is complete in under 60 seconds, no credit check required, and completely digital, needing no effort from staff. When life happens, be there for your members anytime, anywhere and from any device.

Ready to level-up your members’ experience? Consider Life Event, Specialty, and Financial First Responder Loan programs, all using QCash’s patented relational underwriting.