The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically curtailed in-person activities, including shopping, dining out, and visiting credit unions or banks. During the past five months, people have discovered new, and often more convenient, ways of remotely accomplishing routine activities. Those ways, many of which revolve around Text Messaging, are here to stay.
New business protocols may include calling ahead and Text Messaging upon arrival for curbside delivery. Such offerings streamline transactions and make them more efficient overall, not just during Covid-19 restrictions. People are enjoying the convenience of using online services. Recent research from CommerceHub, a distributed commerce network, found that many consumers have increased online transactions and will continue to do so in the post-Covid-19 period.
In addition, a significant number of credit union members are shying away from branch visits, according to a survey from the Berkeley, Calif.-based digital banking platform Access Softek. According to the study, 20 percent of respondents said that because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they’d make fewer branch visits in the future. That’s good news for credit unions that have adopted digital solutions, such as Text Messaging, to keep customers engaged.
Access Softek reported that nearly 30 percent of respondents said they would continue to use new digital banking features. That includes mobile check deposit and online bill pay, which are generally done on a regular basis. However, certain other interactions – such as creating applications for personal loans or mortgages – are cumbersome over email and sometimes difficult to handle over the phone. Text Messaging offers members a way to quickly let a loan officer know of the request and get paperwork initiated almost instantaneously.
While members may visit branches less frequently, Text Messaging can help drive more service engagement than in pre-Covid-19 days. Eltropy has built-in ROI for messaging, member/customer engagement reports and insights to drive business decisions. That helps representatives anticipate member’s needs and provides context for them to reach out proactively.
Rather than stopping into a branch to deposit a check and get information on a loan, for example, a member can use a mobile app to check her balance, deposit checks and then Text Message an agent to learn the rate for a home equity line of credit. The agent might then remind the member that her car loan is due the following day. Eltropy has Open APIs, which enable easy integrations with Core Banking, Loan Origination, CRM and other IT systems. The time spent on the remote transaction is shorter than the entire drive to the credit union.
Daily operations at the Credit Union will look different too, as more members use Text Messaging and visit branches less frequently. More time will be spent personally answering members, with nuanced and carefully considered Text Messaging. In addition, solutions such as Eltropy help Credit Unions stay aligned with FCC/TCPA compliance and provide a secure method of exchanging information.
It’s a new day for Credit Unions and their members. With more members preferring to use mobile solutions to reduce social interaction, Credit Unions have the opportunity to make their business more streamlined. Digital solutions allow more transactions to be processed, and Credit Unions are in the unique position of being able to make them personal as well as personable. Offering efficient, relevant services will attract more members – in-person and remotely – to Credit Unions.