BY MEREDITH DEEN
Technology is changing the retail experience and consumers’ expectations in the process.
Take Starbucks, their Mobile Order & Pay applets consumers order and cover the cost of their latte via their smartphone, so when they stop by it’s simply in and out.
More hair salons are letting people schedule appointments via their mobile device—accommodating hectic schedules and taking the pain out of booking last-minute haircuts.
Merchants, too, are leveraging Bluetooth technology-driven proximity marketing to offer shoppers on-the-spot discounts and deals tailored to their buying habits.
And now McDonald’s is experimenting with self-service kiosks that let customers order on their own and pick up their food at the counter.
These advancements in retail service are markedly changing consumer expectations across all retail channels, including financial institutions. That means credit union members are becoming more tech savvy and demanding high-tech services from their FIs—which have some catching-up to do.Consensus among industry analysts is that credit unions trail many industries in using technology to enhance the consumer experience, and they may also lag behind the tech skills of their own customers and members.
Time To Step Up
But more credit unions are stepping up to meet consumers’ emerging needs. We are seeing FIs blend e-services with bricks-and-mortar. For example, universal associates armed with tablets now work side-by-side with members, reviewing their financial needs, delivering a heightened level of personal service.