In early 2020, everybody had to adjust to a new, mostly digital, way of life, including banks and credit unions. By having your credit union connected to cloud services and digital management, your company will have a far easier time when it comes to remote work. Many experts expect remote work to continue, and even increase, in upcoming years, and your company will want to be prepared as the world continues to trend that way.
Using a cloud-based system also makes it easier for your company to upgrade software and hardware once it becomes outdated, and your IT staff will be able to work more efficiently to solve technology problems. Credit unions that don't implement cloud services and data management are likely to get left behind by institutions that do. Failure to implement these critical aspects in your bank makes your institution seem outdated and less appealing, especially to those of younger generations.
If your credit union only does one thing to keep up with the future of banking, it should be implementing a cloud service and data management system as soon as possible. Without these enhancements, it will be difficult to carry out any of the other trends on this list.
Mobile applications allow customers to access bank and loan information right from their smartphone or tablet, making it easy to check balances or carry out banking tasks from anywhere at any time. One new feature of mobile apps that customers love includes cardless ATM transactions, which generate a QR code that is scanned at ATMs to withdraw funds. This eliminates the need to carry around a debit card that can get stolen or lost, as well as having to type a password in public that others can see.
In 2021, 18% of credit unions had deployed chatbot technology, and this will continue to be another key feature of mobile applications in 2022. Chat bots can answer basic questions for customers in mobile applications without having to use a representative. Representatives should still be available for more advanced inquiries, but the use of chatbots helps customers get an answer quickly, while freeing up the line to speak with a representative.
Finally, many customers have come to appreciate money management tools, which help customers track their spending habits and create budgets based on what they already do. Many large banks already do this, and they take it a step further by providing quick tips and recommendations to enhance the account holder's financial health. If you want to up your mobile application game in 2022, money management tools may be exactly what you're looking for.
Although there are some sectors in the population that still prefer in-person banking, the vast majority of Americans would rather use digital banking tools than in-person visits to handle their various banking needs. Some trends that are here to stay in the digital transaction space include:
Instead of requiring customers to book an appointment to meet with one of your swamped loan officers, why not offer small personal loans applications online? Your bank can have the application analyzed by artificial intelligence in seconds, which can then determine how risky the loan is and what an ideal interest rate would be. This frees up precious time for your staff, while also pleasing your customers with instant results. Online loans gained popularity in 2021, and they are expected to skyrocket into 2022.
Online and mobile banking have been around for a while, but there are several new features that have made the process easier and more secure. One important feature is biometrics, which helps keep accounts secure from hackers. Biometrics can include a finger or face scan, which many phones use instead of a password. It's far easier for customers to gain access to their account, and it helps to protect them from criminal activity that can wipe their balances clean.
Many of the big name banks already offer online bill pay, which allows users to issue recurring payments through their banks. This makes paying bills much easier for customers, and most people appreciate the option to have their bank send checks on their behalf. If you don't already offer online bill pay, this is a banking technology that you should work to offer as soon as possible.
When many people hear the terms "machine learning" and "artificial intelligence", they conjure up scary images of robots or computers that take over the world. In reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence simply refer to new ways of analyzing and interpreting data, which can help you and your credit union make far better decisions that stand a significantly better chance of attracting and retaining customers.
For example, machine learning and AI applications can analyze billions of data points about which types of people are most and least risky when it comes to giving out loans. Emerging research continues to show bias when it comes to loans and other financial tasks, but relying on AI to make credit decisions for you can actually help reduce bias, making bank loans more fair, according to the Harvard Business Review. Making your company more equitable can not only help you capture customers you may not have been able to reach before, but it also helps to enhance your company's reputation.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are still largely in their infancy, and it will certainly be exciting to see where they can take credit unions and banks in the future.
With the increased dependence on technology during the pandemic, many people also saw an increase in cybersecurity concerns. Digital hackers continue to develop new strategies and techniques to get valuable information from vulnerable people, and many institutions have also seen data leaks and hacks, despite their own cybersecurity measures.
Customers want to know that their money will be well taken care of, and that the credit union or bank they choose to use prioritizes cybersecurity and safety. Interestingly, Forbes reports that 9 out of 10 Americans are now "at least somewhat concerned about hacking that involves their personal information, financial institutions, government agencies, or certain utilities." Additionally, approximately two-thirds of Americans say they are "very or extremely concerned".
Not only is taking cybersecurity seriously the right thing to do to protect your customers, it can also prevent your credit union from experiencing costly data leaks or hacks. IBM reports that 2021 had the highest average cost of cybersecurity breaches ever reported, with the average data breach costing companies 4.24 million. It's easy to overlook cybersecurity when running a business, but it should be at the front of your mind in 2022 and beyond.
Banks and financial institutions should have a team of cybersecurity professionals that constantly monitor threats, which allows for quick management and minimal damage. Next, financial institutions should have a backup and disaster recovery plan in place. Although it's important to take preventative measures for hacks, it's just as important to be prepared if one happens to your company. You can find a detailed template to create a disaster recovery plan at IBM.
Finally, many companies have begun relying on authenticator apps, which eliminate the need for passwords by allowing users to confirm their login attempt with their phone or by other secure methods. This can't completely stop cyber hacks, but it can reduce the number of password-related attacks.
These are just a few of the many emerging technology trends in banking and financial institutions, and it can feel impossible to keep up on your own. The good news is that you don't have to try to stay on top of credit union technology trends by yourself- Co.tribute can help financial institutions like yours stay on the cusp of cutting edge technology. We offer dozens of digital tools that can help you optimize your sales funnels, obtain and onboard new members in just a few minutes, and keep existing members satisfied and impressed with an intuitive digital platform.
Many of the large financial institutions have the advantages of large marketing budgets to attract and retain customers, but Co.tribute helps level the playing field for local banks with easy-to-implement software that can seamlessly integrate with your core banking system. If you'd like to learn more about who we are, and what Co.tribute can do for your business, please schedule a demo today!