Last week, CU Direct hosted its annual DRIVE conference in Las Vegas, NV. During the three-day event, three major themes emerged that will help credit unions stay relevant in an evolving and competitive landscape: speed, innovation, and relationship management.
CU Direct’s mantra is: “getting to yes faster.” There are many ways that credit unions can get to yes faster. In general, properly analyzing credit union and member-level data allows credit unions to make speedy, smart decisions. Credit unions can get to yes faster by partnering either with suppliers or CUSOs to gain efficiencies.
In terms of auto lending, speed is critical to dealer relationships. Auto dealers want a quick turnaround on loan approvals. Credit union competitors such as Capital One give auto dealers speedy turnarounds, so credit unions need to keep up to remain competitive and maintain market share.
Conference speaker and self-described “futurist,” Jim Carroll, talked to the group about the importance of innovation in every industry. He quoted a study that found 65% of the today's pre-school children will work in jobs or careers that do not yet exist.
What does that mean in terms of credit union auto lending?
With the rise of Uber, Tesla, and autonomous vehicles, it should be no surprise the auto industry is a hotbed of innovation. Think about how innovation could impact both the credit union's products and staff. Data is changing how the industry operates, so building robust business intelligence teams is integral to future success. Short of that internal investment, credit unions can create strategic partnerships with organizations that analyze data.
3. Relationship Management
Despite the rise of machines and technology, human interaction in the auto-buying process has not been replaced. Personal contact and decision-making can make or break a relationship with auto dealerships, which are critical to the success of an indirect auto portfolio.
A panel of auto dealers at the conference discussed what they look for in credit union partners. Speed, as discussed above, is a major factor. Others include incentives, credit score and risk, flexibility, honesty, and relationship. If credit unions can clearly state their mission, terms, and rationale, dealers can better understand why their local credit union is the right partner.
Next year’s DRIVE conference will be held in Grapevine, TX. For more information, check out this site: https://www.cudirect.com/drive/.