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How to stay ahead of the digital curve

Credit Unions That Don’t Include Wealth Management as Part of Core Offering Risk Losing Members

By: Justin Steitz, Chief Operating Officer

While credit unions were once known for dragging their feet amid the ongoing digital transformation of financial services, the pandemic changed that dramatically. Today, digital has become table stakes for credit unions, which have always been known for their member-first focus and mentality.

What do members want most in 2022? They want the same convenience and personalized experiences from their credit union that they can easily get from banks, shopping apps and more. In today’s digital economy, the line between digital and human customer experiences has become increasingly blurred, and financial institutions must innovate to keep up, or they risk losing members to banks and fintechs that offer what they do not.

The Fintech Revolution

To be more specific, when it comes to experiences in financial services, credit unions should keep in mind that members today are living in a “zero-fee” world. In today’s digital economy, consumers with even small to no net worth can easily invest in some of the highest-priced stocks and work on growing their wealth – and track their progress from an app on their phone.

Financial planning apps that make retirement planning fun and simple are also easily accessible to consumers. Credit unions falling behind on these times risk losing current clients and will struggle to attract the younger generations as new members in the future.

Reasons to Pivot

We have all witnessed the typical mindset seen at many financial institutions that are not tech-forward and don’t offer wealth management and financial planning services. We often hear – “Changing direction is not easy, especially for small credit unions like us—with fewer resources than the big guys.”

But believe it or not, change is often easier for smaller firms, because their size makes them more nimble.

Credit unions should keep this in mind, and remember they don’t have to shift lanes on their own. The right partner can make all the difference. (Indeed, 42% of credit union executives surveyed by PYMNTS said it is essential to work with outside vendors to ensure the smooth rollout of digital services. Forty percent said the same about credit union service organizations (CUSOs).

Where to Next? How to Stay Ahead of the Digital Curve

Yes, digital is the new table stakes for credit unions. And while it is important to keep up amid the current rapid pace of disruption within the industry, it is equally important to look ahead and be prepared for the next wave of innovation in our industry.

In a world where consumers can easily open a Robinhood or Coinbase account, they expect the same tech-enabled ease and convenience in every aspect of managing their financial lives. Consumers today want to seamlessly access their investment portfolio as well as cutting-edge financial planning tools from within their banking apps (from one single sign-on, of course), and the smartest and most prescient credit unions are offering these types of services now.

For this group of early adopters, the ability for members to see their wealth management balances front and center when they sign into online banking is already table stakes. These are the innovators and disruptors that we are proud to partner with, by powering next-gen, unified digital experiences for their members and customers.

We often advise credit unions to look at how different the industry is today compared to just five years ago. Now look ahead and imagine the capabilities and offerings that will be the norm in five years from now. Given this, where do you want to be?

Talk with us at Copper Financial, and we can help make your vision for today and tomorrow a reality. With best-in-class technology, we have built investment programs from the “inside” with direct guidance and oversight from an executive team who has walked in your shoes. In addition to serving credit unions, we are credit union owned. So, we understand the needs of credit unions on a first-hand basis.

Copper Financial (“Copper”) is an SEC registered investment advisor, FINRA registered Broker-Dealer and state registered insurance agency offering a breadth of investment and financial planning services to credit union members across the country. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of CommunityAmerica Credit Union, we understand the importance of meeting your members’ unique needs wherever they are in their financial journey. Our fully digital experience and best-in-class technology platform allows members access to their accounts from anywhere at any time, and ensures the advisor and member have more time to focus on what matters – the path to financial peace of mind.

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