The technology of credit unions can be hit or miss, depending on who you bank with. Credit unions tend to be smaller, community banks. They don’t have the budgets of banks that are too big to fail.
Does that mean that banking at a credit union is a security risk? Not at all. The big advantage to banking with a credit union is a better customer experience.
You walk in the doors of your bank and you’re greeted with a friendly smile and helpful service. Of course, you want to have that type of customer experience at your convenience, whether in person or online.
Read on to find out the role that technology plays at credit unions to give you the best banking experience possible.
How Does a Credit Union Differ From a Bank?
Before we get started, let’s clarify one question. What’s the difference between a credit union and a bank?
There are several key differences. The first is that a bank is a for-profit corporation, while a credit union is a non-profit enterprise.
If you bank at a credit union, you’re technically part-owner of the credit union and have a say in who serves on the board of directors and how the credit union is run.
A credit union exists to serve a community of people. That community could be servicemembers & first responders, based on geography, member of an association, or a government employee.
Those are just a few examples of the types of communities that credit unions serve. Credit unions are known for better interest rates of savings accounts and loans, better customer service, and have an emphasis on community relations.
Banks, on the other hand, are known for the number of branch locations, and they have the budgets to roll out new mobile apps and technology upgrades faster than credit unions.
Is Your Money Safe at a Credit Union?
The key question for many people is whether or not your money is safe at a credit union. You may feel more secure banking at a larger institution.
You may have images of bank runs in your head like that scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
We’re a long way from those times, and your money is safe in credit unions just like banks. Federally insured credit unions have NCUSIF coverage, which will guarantee up to $250,000 per account holder.
How Technology is Keeping Your Money Safe at Credit Unions
Credit unions understand the importance of data security. When it comes to data security, credit unions know the impact that it has on the customer relationship. A data breach could be destructive to a credit union, causing people to go to another bank, or completely lose trust in that institution.
Once a customer loses trust in a brand, there’s a long and difficult path to regain that trust. Big banks know this, but they have so many customers, if one leaves, it’s not that big of a deal.
It’s much different banking with a credit union. It’s like banking with your next door neighbor. If something goes wrong, you want to be sure that they’re protected and taken care of.
Credit unions are advocating for legislation that will protect consumer data, and have a notification system in place should a breach occur.
There are secure-cloud based systems that credit unions use for loan origination and mobile banking. Rather than invest in the infrastructure themselves, credit unions may opt to use a technology provider who already specializes in that.
You can read more about that here.
One other technology advancement you’ll start to see at credit unions is biometrics. For years, passwords have been used to log into accounts.
We have so many passwords that we can no longer remember, that they’re pretty much useless today. Credit unions are looking at alternatives to passwords to alleviate the frustration of trying to log in to your account and have to reset it.
Biometrics data is starting to be rolled out at some branches for members and employees to enhance security. You no longer need a card to access your account or remember a PIN. You just need your fingerprint.
Consumers are still wary of biometric data, however. They are very concerned about the privacy implications should there be a data breach.
Consumers seem to trust credit unions to store that information. If a credit union uses a third-party vendor to store biometric data, the trust factor goes down significantly.
Technology and the Customer Experience
The technology of credit unions expands beyond the security of your money and information. Credit unions are going above and beyond to make sure that you’re getting the best customer service no matter where you are.
Banking as a Platform
You want to have an easy way to send money and send it fast. Whether you want to pay for a soda at the supermarket or make a safe payment online, you want to do it quickly and easily.
Credit unions have noticed this trend, and some are developing payment systems and P2P platforms to make sending money easier.
A big part of the customer experience is having the ability to have a question answered by someone at any time. You don’t want to have to stop in a branch or call during business hours.
Chatbots are being employed across credit union websites to provide 24/7 service.
Advancements in the Technology of Credit Unions
No matter where you bank, there are a few things that are important to you. You want to have top customer service, banking convenience.
You definitely want to be sure that your bank has security measures in place to keep your money and personal data safe.
The technology of credit unions has evolved to include online banking, apps and security measures to keep your money and personal information safe. All of these technologies combine to give you the best customer experience possible.
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