Today’s consumer expects speedy, seamless digital experiences at every turn. And tomorrow’s consumer will expect even more. To serve members, credit unions need to invest in the right self-service platforms and strategies to cater to a breadth of requirements now and in the future.
“ATMs have been around for decades, so members are very accustomed to banking through self-service channels,” said Nathan Rogers, Senior Manager of Product Marketing for CO-OP Financial Services. “What’s happening today is that the technology is quickly evolving to both enhance the member experience and fit in tighter in-branch spaces with a much smaller footprint.”
The Impact of Mobile
While ATMs and kiosks continue to serve as the primary self-service platforms in the branch, new, emerging technologies are guiding the direction of this technology. According to Rogers, the most important technology impacting self-service banking today is mobile.
“Mobile is in everyone’s hands now,” he said. “People expect to do things at the speed of their mobile devices, and this has implications for the way members perceive technology in the branch.”
“While consumers are not generally comfortable yet with digital wallets, they soon will be,” he said. “The companies innovating this technology are working hard to ensure that this is the case. So if I can visit any retail, dining or entertainment venue without ever producing a card, as a consumer my expectation will be that I can operate my branch ATM without a card.”
Serving the Member of the (Near) Future
If today’s consumer demands technological elegance, Rogers notes, members in the near future will arrive in the branch with a host of new, even more complex digital requirements.
“Ultimately, self-service platforms will need to connect to an individual member’s own technology, whether that is a smartphone, a wearable or something else altogether,” he said. “In the future, members will expect an ATM or other in-branch device to identify who they are and even what they want to accomplish in the branch from the minute they walk in the door. And they will expect to be able to interact with devices with minimal effort. That is why it is so important to invest in a platform today that will carry your self-service model into the future.”
On this journey, Rogers advises credit unions to partner only with top providers that demonstrate a proven track record of success and a deep understanding of how technology is evolving.
“Choosing the right partner is critical given this rapidly changing landscape,” he said. “Having the guidance of a reliable organization that offers an insightful vision for the future will ensure that you are deploying the right technologies to serve your member base well.”
While investing in advanced self-service technologies is fundamental to your long-term success, Rogers emphasizes that it is how members experience these tools that counts.
“Self-service platforms provide members with all the speed and convenience they expect in the branch, but they can also be a source of confusion,” he said. “So it is essential to have trained employees accessible to members to assist them through transactions when needed.”
He continued, “The value of that personal touch is time-tested and not going away, even as self-service technologies expand their presence in the branch. In fact, the service your employees provide to members will prove even more valuable in the future as technology marches on.”
Learn how CO-OP Connect is helping credit unions of all sizes deploy self-service technology in the branch and beyond by clicking here.
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