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COVID: Working Past the Pandemic, Remotely

Working remotely during this COVID-19 event has much of the world reflecting on priorities and work-life balance. Some businesses have been able to transition to remote operations, while others that rely on onsite activities have suffered. Everyone has been asking when commercial activity and daily life will return to normal.

That same reflection is taking place within the world of financial goods and services, and begs the question: are there encounters or actions which MUST be done in person, and cannot be done by other means? It’s old news now, but years ago the FI world insisted that checks needed to be reviewed manually by a person at point of deposit. If you wanted a deposit to post quickly, you would deposit in branch. Today, mobile remote deposit capture (MRDC) accounts for the majority of all deposits, and human review is limited to a few checks that except out. Not only is the process painless, but it is also faster than teller deposit. MRDC is a better process, and the lack of personal encounter is not perceived as a loss to the consumer; and the cost savings per transaction is extraordinary. So why, specifically, is this a better experience?

Daland CUSO has been engaging CUs in this type of discussion for the better part of a decade: what represents a better process, and what experiences are (or aren’t!) relevant and meaningful to the end consumer? The technology is no longer the limit; the idea or concept is. Many CUs cripple themselves with an irrelevant, outdated concept of member service and member engagement. Dollars and sense don’t always go together; and community FIs aren’t always the best guardians of their own strategy, because they are unaware of the advances in the FI world at large. Banking is changing, rapidly; and the objective isn’t to put a teller into a video chat, for example, when a member would rather self-service using a simple, yet robust app.

COVID-19 introduced a new factor into this discussion, the concept of risk due to personal contact. Face-to-face contact with members ranges from valuable to expensive, depending on who in the FI you talk to about it, and now we might say face-to-face is potentially risky. Nonetheless, and frankly, face-to-face might not be the most relevant way to demonstrate value to members. I personally would rather deposit a check with my mobile phone, or even better, send money digitally, than go to an ATM or teller. If the wide-open potential of today’s financial technology isn’t causing your organization to restructure and rethink its operations, your organization is prioritizing the status quo over relevance and long-term sustainability. If your FI isn’t empowering members with tools and literacy to manage their finances well, another FI or fintech will.

DaLand’s CODE suite destroys the outdated concept that technology is the limit. CUs on a relevant core processing system simply don’t need to engage expensive third-party vendors and platforms to deliver to members. If your FI can think of it, the DaLand team can help you leverage your relevant core and extend the desired experience to members. We don’t use the term platform or channel for the solutions we provide, because a relevant FI is a data and technology organization, that happens to serve its members’ need for financial goods and services. Our solutions are portals, providing end users view of their financial data on your relevant core; and the core is the single hub of activity and data, with transactions and actions taking place instantly.

The difference between most community FIs and say, Apple or Google or Amazon, is that we’ve come to expect bureaucracy, paper pushing, and day-old ledgers from our FIs, and to demand instant delivery from our tech organizations. If the link on Netflix doesn’t load within ten seconds, we try again; if it doesn’t load for a minute, we assume the internet is down. If our FI says they need three days to process a loan application, we consider this fast. This is rapidly changing in the FI world, and if your organization doesn’t have a strategy to get on board, you’ll still be waiting for your future to load when your members have found their future elsewhere.

DaLand CUSO has been pioneering and proving these strategies and solutions for the better part of a decade. The point isn’t to throw money at technology or to “upgrade the system,” but rather to pursue and achieve relevance, financial literacy, and democratic access to financial goods services in a world of instant demands, narrowing margins, and increasing centralization. When you’re ready for a conversation, give us a call.

Contact us to learn about how our business has always been setup to succeed in today's environment; and our products and strategy can help you do the same!

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