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Translating Consumer Expectations Into A Practical User Experience

Flexible, scalable technology helps the credit union and members succeed, and it must be intuitively easy to use.

When it comes to technology services, finding a balance between what members want versus what they need is no easy task. However, understanding what a member needs is the best way to ensure your technology is adopted and used regularly. If your team is spending a lot of time talking about improving or standing out in the customer experience arena, then this article is just for you.

Let’s take a look at five consumer expectations from the technology industry to see how we can repurpose them for financial institutions. Looking to outside industries for inspiration is not a new concept. There’s a fun study from the Harvard Business Review that looked at three different groups to help solve a problem. The group who was furthest removed from the original problem came up with the more novel solutions. As you read through, think about your own financial institution and ask yourself, or your team, how you are using these attributes to contribute to an enhanced member experience.


The space between making a transaction and seeing it appear on a payments platform is shrinking. Members expect to see near real-time information to successfully manage budgets and ensure their loan payments go through in a timely manner.


Flexible, scalable technology that is usable on multiple devices is critical to adoption. Four-in-10 adults in the U.S. now own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. Having platforms that are device agnostic, meaning they can operate on multiple systems such as iPhone, iPad, desktop, and other tablets, will help with recurring usage.


I know folks who go six to eight months without stepping into a brick-and-mortar branch. Twenty years ago members were required to go to a physical location to conduct business with their credit union. Now with the infusion of technology and demand, financial institutions are poised to bring requested services to members on the go. By providing mobile accessible payment platform options, you are empowering members to take their financial health into their own hands.


People want technology that is not only helpful, but easy to learn and understand. If members are already strapped for time, they definitely don’t have time to invest in learning a platform that does not feel instinctive. Intuitiveness also goes beyond the usability of a program. It’s about delivering a product that offers to make a member’s life easier and not harder.

Personalized And Timely

Technology that delivers what members need or want before they know what they want is how platforms scale to satisfy needs. If you’ve deployed your payments platform but it’s beginning to feel stagnant, you may wonder what’s next. Making payments with facial recognition is quickly becoming the standard in China. Experts believe this trend will soon make its way into the U.S. Facial recognition technologies offer a personalized and secure way to verify the payee’s identity. With security and privacy concerns at an all-time high, members will appreciate the added layer of payment protection.

Analyzing what consumers demand in technology can be beneficial to any financial institution. Understanding their needs will help your team deploy technologies, such as online payment processing, for your borrowers.

Keep in mind that consumer demands constantly change. It’s best for your team to continue evaluating the latest trends to determine what services members need or want in their payment platform. Also, you have access to the single most powerful research tool available ― your members. Actively listening to members through online reviews, emails, or comments collected from member representatives either in-branch or via phone, all offer a great resource to discover what your members want and/or need.

To discover how SWBC’s consumer-facing payments platform, Bacon, meets consumer demands, click here to watch our short video and schedule a demo today.

Jason O’Brien is senior vice president of payments at SWBC.

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
September 11, 2017

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