Bankrate and MONEY partnered together to release their list of the best credit unions in the U.S. They looked at financial institutions that offer both a free or cheap checking account and a savings account that pays a high interest rate or holds the line on fees.
So, who made the cut? The top 5 look like this:
Alliant Credit Union
American Airlines Federal Credit Union
Wings Financial Credit Union
First Tech Federal Credit Union
Bethpage Federal Credit Union
Paying high interest rates is certainly one way to be recognized as a top credit union, but there are other options to earn loyal members. Here are 3 areas that can take your credit union to the next level to increase membership.
It’s no secret that financial institutions have struggled to embrace digital transformation over the last few years, but several credit unions are being recognized for their impressive approaches to technology. One of those, Arizona based Hughes Federal Credit Union, has recently been recognized with a national technology award for its biometric system. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Technology Council awarded Hughes for successfully piloting a palm authentication system to replace passwords.
“There are common problems logging onto secure systems, such as forgotten passwords, password resets, insecure password storage; and most of all, loss of employee productivity due to these issues. To save employee time and increase member convenience and security, we agreed to pilot the Verifast Palm Authentication system. It works below the surface of the skin, reading the vascular signature of the palm, which is unique to each person and replaces the need for manually entering usernames and passwords” explained Rich Griesser, VP of IT at Hughes.
“It’s been a huge success so far, it’s fast, secure, and easy to use. Since implementing this technology, employees have saved hours of time previously spent logging into each application every time they need access and it’s saved numerous hours in help desk support for failed login attempts and password resets” says Griesser.
Many credit unions, like Hughes, have introduced new and exciting innovations that enhance the member experience. However, many still struggle with navigating both new and legacy systems that require development and ongoing support. It’s vital when introducing new technology that front-line staff are trained properly and can support every product.
2. Staff efficiencies
Managing staffing at a credit union is challenging – having the right number of employees at each branch with the appropriate training to meet member demand for depositing checks, applying for loans, withdrawing cash, etc is more complicated than it may initially seem. Credit unions are looking to make their branches more profitable and efficient. The easiest way to achieve these goals is to implement scheduling and queuing software to better meet the needs of a credit union’s members and employees.
Appointment booking empowers credit unions. No one wants to wait in line. Our appointment booking solution solves two problems just about every financial institute has – everyone comes to the branch at the same time and not having sufficient staff to meet these crunch time visits. Our appointment booking platform is an easy win to increase staff efficiencies because it allows people to pick a convenient time and it allows branches to time-shift visits across the schedule.
Implementing technology that creates staff efficiencies is key but it’s also just as important to ensure the technologies enhance the member experience. Providing personalized service enhances member loyalty and to do this effectively you must ensure each member’s data in your CRM is accurate and integrated with other systems such as your Marketing Automation System.
It is crucial that every member-facing employee has access to the member’s information so the member doesn’t have to explain their needs over and over. Providing a quick snapshot of the member’s transaction history and how previous issues were resolved to Member Service Representative (MSR) as the call is connected can go a long way towards improving member experience and building trust.
When a member walks into your branch for an appointment with a MSR are they greeted by name? And is the MSR prepared to discuss why they scheduled the appointment? If not, this is not only inefficient, but it does not provide the member with a personalized experience.
Imagine, a member schedules an appointment online or through your credit union’s mobile app for a time that is convenient for them to apply for a mortgage. While booking they answer several important questions around the need of the appointment, amount needed for the mortgage, expected interest rate, and current income. Upon completion, the member receives personalized confirmation email and SMS text reminders with a list of items they need to bring to the appointment, and the option to reschedule should their plans change. The MSR is alerted of the appointment and can prepare the necessary documents.
The member walks into the branch and is greeted by the MSR and can immediately provide valuable information about mortgage options that meet their specific needs. Not only does this provide a great member experience but it also allows the branch to be staffed appropriately.
Simple things like knowing why a member is at the branch and knowing their name goes a long way to increase member loyalty.
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