Digital Transformation Offers Credit Unions a Glass Half-Full Perspective
By Kristin Roche, Director, Program Management, QCash Financial CUSO
December 12, 2023
Welcome to the era of digital transformation! More credit unions than ever are rolling out tech-forward solutions knowing they will help their members to live better financially – and also give the credit union a competitive edge locally.
For those of us that have been in credit unions for a while, we’re not strangers to the ups and downs of the financial services industry. Whether the years turned boom or bust, looking back I can’t help but feel thankful for what those highs and lows taught; for the ways they challenged credit unions to think bigger and get better at doing what they do best, serving their members.
With those challenges, credit unions have evolved to bring something different to the table to meet the unique needs of their community. Offering a diverse set of products and services not only shows members their credit union cares, but also that the credit union is constantly searching for better, more advanced financial tools to improve member experience.
Consumer statistics back that up. According to Forbes, 78 percent of Americans prefer banking digitally, while 87 percent use mobile banking apps at least once a month. Drilling down to small-dollar lending, small-dollar loan volume broke the all-time record high in 2022, reaching $227 million, largely due to digital automation.
Embracing Change and Its Benefits
According to PYMTS earlier this year, credit union members said they are interested in using innovative products, with 27 percent willing to switch financial institutions in search of more innovation. That’s an increase from 17 percent in 2017. Depending on your disposition, that may sound discouraging or what we refer to as the glass half-full perspective. Consumers are ready and willing to join your credit union if your product set meets their needs! A tech-forward credit union has much to gain.
- Superior member experience: Odds are strong your members have come to expect convenient, affordable, and accessible solutions from virtually every service provider, including their credit union. According to CUManagement, research shows credit unions that provide a great member experience see great results, including stronger financial outcomes including lower operating costs.
- Increased productivity and efficiency: Are there opportunities to automate a manual process? For example, if small-dollar lending requires extensive effort from your team, a digital small-dollar lending solution like QCash will not only boost productivity and efficiency for credit union staff operations, but it will also lower costs. This results in faster processing times, a better and more accessible member experience, and strong potential for increased revenue, as proven by Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union last year.
- Competitive market positioning: Tech adoption is increasing, and embracing new forms of technology can level up your credit union from the competition. In late 2022, 40 percent of financial institutions claimed to be working on adding digital improvements. It’s now been a year. Have you expanded your digital offerings?
- Capacity to serve more members: Digital transformation can expand your reach and deliver service to more members in your community. For example, in a recent CUInsight article, we spotlighted Tropical Financial Credit Union, who upgraded their small-dollar lending platform three years ago from a manual system to QCash’s automated digital platform. They now routinely triple their average monthly transactions each Black Friday season during their three-day promotional period! With the help of automation, Tropical helps more members access small-dollar loans during their time of need.
With a people-first philosophy and an eye toward innovation, credit unions have unmatched potential to propel our members and communities to new horizons. If your credit union is ready to enter a new, more successful era of digital automation, connect with QCash to learn more.
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.