George Estrada, Principal Strategic Advisor for Credit Unions at AWS, emphasizes that listening to the needs of your accountholders and community members is very important to retain them. In this episode of the Digital Banking Podcast, Estrada and host Josh DeTar considered the relationship between a credit union (CU) and its members. They discussed the importance of user experience, the positive impact of innovative external sources, and how to develop a data strategy that protects your data as a CU.
⚡Maintaining a relationship with members is crucial for any CU. The impact of technology and digitalization is growing, so the expectations of people and organizations are also changing. People are looking for innovation in other industries. Estrada pointed out that it is therefore very important for credit unions to pay attention to the experience of their members through open communication with them. “When you look at the CU space, that membership experience is vital to the relationship,” he began. “As an advisor, I speak and meet with a lot of senior executives at credit unions, and I work with them — not to tell them what to do or necessarily even why to do it, but to help them understand what kind of questions they need to ask to then be able to make informed decisions.”
⚡CUs can’t be afraid of innovation. Estrada advises credit unions to pay attention to how their members consume technology as well as their needs and expectations. He also noted that CUs should keep up with innovation and take full advantage of technology. “We can’t be afraid of the players that are jumping in there because sometimes they’re just solving the problem quicker and faster than you could,” he said. The question is: How could I integrate and leverage that? And that’s the key there — integration. And moving to the cloud is what’s going to open the gates for that kind of integration.”
⚡How to develop your data strategy. Without the right information, you can’t make the right decisions. Credit unions have a lot of data at their disposal, but that data is used inefficiently. According to Estrada, developing a successful data strategy starts with deciding what you want to achieve. “The first step in developing your strategy is, what are the outcomes that you’re trying to achieve? The second thing is — start with a narrow scope; deliver an early win,” he suggested. “If you start too broad, you might end up needing more resources than you can afford. So define a very narrow scope that allows you to deliver an early win out the gate.”