Creating a Map for Credit Unions’ Digital Readiness

Posted by Loretta Weller-Mowers on Feb 23, 2023 11:09:00 AM


The future is digital, and credit unions’ ability to deliver an exceptional experience will be a critical benchmark for success. Strategic questions abound. How do you harmonize the digital channel with the personalized in-branch experience? Should you partner with fintechs? If so, which providers and services should be prioritized? Do you understand what your members want and how you stack up against your competition?

The prospect of a digital transformation can be so daunting that credit unions often struggle with determining where to start. This can result in a dangerous loop – without a sound digital strategy, credit unions are prone to lag in crucial areas like operational efficiency, time to market, product innovation, and meeting member expectations.

Drawing from our extensive experience, we’ve developed a proven diagnostic approach to support credit unions in tackling these challenges. The DigitalMAP (Maturity Assessment Program) has already been deployed at dozens of credit unions spanning virtually all asset sizes, enabling a digital transformation to proceed in realistic, digestible chunks.  

Filling in the Technology Gaps

The DigitalMAP helps credit unions answer several vital questions. Where do we stand today? What do we need to do first? How do we put a comprehensive plan in place? We inform these decisions through a variety of resources. After leadership completes a self-assessment, we interview and survey select staff members to gain a well-rounded perspective on strategic goals, business requirements, and existing skill sets. Our team also performs a thorough evaluation of the software applications that comprise the current digital ecosystem.

Technology should help a credit union achieve its goals. It can become a hindrance if deployed improperly. Our evaluation ensures proper alignment – the DigitalMAP deliverable includes a clearly defined roadmap focused on filling in the technology and product gaps, causing friction in achieving the organization’s strategic goals.

Establishing a Baseline – and a Plan

The first objective is to determine the starting point for the journey. And although we’re unable to resist the “roadmap” metaphor, that terminology is misleading because it implies a predetermined endpoint. There’s often a temptation to treat transformation projects as a one-time implementation with a defined destination. Given the rapid evolution of technology and changes in the financial services sector, credit unions will inevitably find themselves driving toward a moving target. This is no excuse for inaction, however. Start the journey as soon as possible; otherwise, your landing place will only recede further into the distance.

The Bottom Line

We understand that credit unions, by definition, run lean. For this reason, we’ve designed the DigitalMAP process so that our team performs much of the incremental work based on inputs provided by CU leadership.

I encourage you to consider how this diagnostic tool, combined with our customized expertise, can help set your digital transformation on its proper course. As always, please reach out to learn more about our process and any emerging trends tied to digital transformation.


Topics: Fintech, Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Digital Map, Strategy

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