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The Magic of
Making Digital
Banking More Human

Partners Federal Credit Union serves 180,000+ of The Walt Disney Company’s employees & cast members. Diverse demographics and distances drive the demand for digital banking services even higher – so how does the credit union adapt?

Blog,
Luis Landivar – VP, BSG Infinity – North America

Digital transformation that truly delivers value requires a steadfast focus on the needs and experiences of the people it aims to benefit. In banking, this ideal requires that individuals and organizations continually ask a fundamental question – how do we make digital banking more human? The answer rests in our individual and organizational abilities to personalize experiences, practice empathy, and create digital interactions that optimally blend both people and technology. Here, we’ll dive deeper into the practices that support successful transformation and look at how one thriving credit union is bringing the magic of digital banking to its members.

The events of 2020 pushed all of us further and faster in a digital direction as organizations were compelled to dramatically redefine models of engagement to make lives easier and keep people safe. In parallel, individuals have continued to expect increasingly more consumerized experiences across all phases of life – experiences that happen on their terms and at their time of choice, no matter where they may be.  Access to information plus technology that leverages it is now helping financial institutions shift from more reactive rear-view mirror banking practices to GPS-like experiences and tools that help consumers better navigate and take control of their financial futures. Jim Marous, the publisher of The Financial Brand, points to seven things that organizations must do to fully unlock this promise of digital transformation in banking:

Seven Essentials of Digital Transformation in Banking

  • Elevate data and the application of analytics. Strive for digital maturity so that information can proactively drive decisions and engagement options.
  • Simplify engagement. This means not just enabling digital engagement, but doing so in a manner that reduces steps, saves time, and clarifies communications.
  • Foster innovative mindsets. Introduce and insist on ideas and action for new products and new use cases that elevate experiences.
  • Invest intelligently in technology. Identify quick turn technology that will help consumers now as well as exploration of emerging technology that will change the game tomorrow.
  • Evolve back-office processes. Digital service success requires the right array of capabilities and support from back-office processes and teams.
  • Reskill and retrain the workforce. Ensure that team members understand how they add value to digital banking services and what these tools mean for them and those they serve.
  • Demonstrate digital leadership. Take legacy learnings and apply them in shaping a better, more human digital future.

Delivering Digital Banking Magic for Members

Partners Federal Credit Union is an institution that embodies and enables the magic of digital banking for its members. That should come as no surprise given that they are singularly sponsored by and part of The Walt Disney Company, serving the world-renowned organization’s employees and cast members. Partners’ membership is also disproportionately represented by Millennials who demand ever-increasing digital capabilities (64% of Partners’ members are under the age of 50). While most of Partners’ more than 180,000 members reside near Disney parks and studios in California and Florida, a growing number live and work in different countries around the globe. Both demographics and distances are driving the demand for digital banking services even higher.

Chris Parker, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Partners, and his team began addressing the evolving expectations of their members and the challenges of an aging infrastructure before the pandemic and have accelerated their advances in the period since its onset. They started by ensuring a clear understanding of member needs and what resources the organization would need to support them. One of the pivotal resources in elevating member experiences is Temenos, whose technology solutions power Partners’ online and mobile banking, loan origination system, and collections platform. Partners’ digital offerings have also looked beyond the obvious challenges of time and distance to minimize the monotony of “financial chores” like payments and deposits for its members. Partners’ achievements have included:

  • Introducing the “Partners Pay” person-to-person payment system to make the process of self and person-to-person payments easier and more intuitive.   
  • Streamlining mobile deposits in a manner that has increased the percentage of deposits made via the Partners app to more than 75% and limited branch traffic to support health and safety.
  • Online scheduling tools that let members determine when it’s convenient for them to visit a branch in person.
  • Virtual banking sessions that enable Partners’ staff and members to connect from wherever they may be.
  • Loan application efficiencies that reduced consumer loan application time from 25 minutes to ten.
  • Contactless debit cards and tap-and-go payment that has made checkouts easier, safer, and faster for members.

Parker and his Partners team have also enhanced their services to deliver more personalized experiences to members. Advances in their business intelligence and analytics capabilities are enabling tailored offerings and educational experiences across face-to-face, virtual, and contact center interactions with member service representatives. Members exit these interactions with the comfort that Partners knows who they are, understands their goals, and will be there when new needs arise.

More Magic to Come

There is more magic in store to build brighter financial futures and better, more human digital banking experiences for members. Determining what’s next means maintaining a strategic and forward focus on emerging needs and the technologies that show promise in better anticipating and meeting them. Items on the radars of Parker and Marous include the applications of sweeping technologies like 5G, blockchain, and robotic process automation, along with micro-savings borne out of advances in digital identification tools, intelligent alerts, and the digital issuance of plastics that all add up to make banking better for everyone.

Original article featured in CUTimes.com.

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Blog,
Luis Landivar – VP, BSG Infinity – North America