The Point

Top Innovations That Are Changing Credit Unions

Sep  13 
Ryon Packer  Senior Vice President, Product Management, Credit Union Solutions, Fiserv 

While I was waiting in line at the movies, my daughter texted me. She needed gas money. At a glance, I saw her balance and mine and quickly transferred the money before I reached the front of the line. In today's fast-paced, instant-access world, banking is no longer an event – it's simply a part of our lives.  And we've only scratched the surface of what that could eventually mean.

Just as none of us could have once fully imagined a smartphone and what the device would mean to banking, the innovations to come promise to be equally dramatic. Even the act of pulling out my phone to check balances and transfer funds could one day be viewed as arduous and a barrier to the frictionless experience we all want.


In today’s fast-paced, instant-access world, banking is no longer an event – it’s simply a part of our lives.

To envision the future of fintech, look no further than the fitness tracker on your wrist, which reminds you to keep moving as you go about your day. In the same way, banking technology will enable new levels of knowledge and awareness to shape our financial health and well-being. As technology further integrates into our lives, innovation will likely surpass past evolutions to bring us innovation we can only begin to imagine.

This week at Fiserv Forum 2016, the Solutions Center features a hands-on, interactive experience that guides attendees through some of the innovative concepts that are changing the way people manage their financial lives. From biometric technology to mobile account opening and remote experts, here are a few of the innovations credit unions are engaging with at Forum. 

Biometric Authentication
Using human characteristics – voice, fingerprints, facial features, palm or iris vein patterns – for task initiation or authentication removes barriers and more fully integrates technology into our lives. Using touch ID to log into mobile banking or scanning your palm to authenticate your identity in the branch means you don't have to interrupt your primary task to input a PIN or dig through your wallet for an ID.

Staff can use biometrics to be authenticated for the wide variety of applications they use every day, as well as to access different areas of the branch, including doors, vaults and lockboxes.

Innovations in Account Opening
Data sources can inform what's offered to members at the time of the account opening – and inform and automate prequalification decisions on credit approvals and loans. To open an account, it's no longer necessary to sit in the branch, fill out forms and struggle to make the best choice from various accounts and services – and then have to wait days for your new debit card.

Now that innovations like remote identification verification, instantly issued debit cards and funding a new account with mobile check deposits have changed the account opening process, members increasingly expect that with just a little information and a few minutes, they can quickly choose the right bundle of services. With data-driven service, the new accountholder is now ready to build on a great first experience and begin using their new products and services. 

On-Call Expertise
Unified communications ensures all members have access to banking experts – a real person to talk them through what they need, when the need it. From remote assistance to instant messaging, virtual meetings and IP-based calling, unified communications brings specialized skill sets and services, including mortgages and wealth management, to every branch. Providing this type of access at every branch has traditionally meant bearing high personnel costs. However, unified communications takes away distance and personnel costs as a barrier to serving members with highly skilled staff members, whenever and wherever they're needed.

With face-to-face expertise, people get the same care, attention and insights they would if they were talking in person, while staff are still able to read visual cues and have a very personal, private and controlled conversation.

The Pace of Change
Every credit union I visit realizes they are just as much a technology-based organization as they are a financial institution. In addition to personal service, credit unions today are also tasked with differentiating with products and services enabled by technology. Innovation will continue to be driven by essential, intuitive financial experiences that meet your members' increasing expectations for ease and speed.