Does everything blend together and just…work?

Will it blend? The only CU fintech question that matters.

Quick, go search for something on your site. Now check online banking. Try opening an account. Set an appointment. Pay a bill. Ask the chatbot a question. Now apply for a loan. Take a look at the last few emails you got from your credit union. 

Do these systems all look and feel and function like they’re all one big happy family, or do they look more like a series of ransom notes?

Can you see and feel your brand, your difference, and fulfilled brand promises oozing out of every pixel? 

Does everything blend together and just… work?

Prioritize experience, not features

Of course, any modern credit union has to depend on an array of partners and fintechs to deliver everything its members need. We’ve reached the point where, for any given need or feature, there are multiple vendors out there doing a pretty darn good job of stuffing in cool features.

But we haven’t reached the point where all these vendors and systems will cooperate and coordinate with each other. 

When you’re making tech decisions, there are some very good reasons to keep the focus more on seamless integration, not lists of features.

Look and feel matters.

You might get to choose some colors and upload a logo, but in many of these systems, it’s hard or impossible to go deeper and align the interfaces of the website, app, online banking, application, account opening, email, bill pay, and so on.

For example, can you make the buttons all look the same across all your platforms? Can you use the same typefaces in a consistent way? Is the design and interface “language” the same?

Every time your members see a seam, trust drops, and your brand fades. Plus, you’re training them that any old interface might really be you, which makes everyone less safe.

The solution is collaboration

I’d love to build a near future where we, as the brand and marketing experts and website developers for our credit union clients, can collaborate more closely with folks like online banking and app developers.

For example, maybe we could work with our client’s online banking providers to provide custom CSS so that all the buttons, forms, accents, colors, and other interface elements would speak much of the same design and interface “language” as the website. Obviously, these systems do very different things, but getting everything on the same page visually would go a long way toward polishing out some of those seams and rough edges.

This alignment process could (and should) go a lot deeper, too. For example, where is the Search function and how well does it work and respond? Can members access and use help or chat in the same way wherever they are? Can you make an appointment the same way inside the app or the website? Do you use consistent language and phrasing across platforms? Are the systems forgiving of errors and misunderstandings?

This should extend to Accessibility features as well. Can members using keyboard navigation or screen readers easily skip to content, tab through navigation, and access and use forms easily? Can screen readers understand and present content correctly and quickly? Does this all work the same in all your platforms?

And, of course, all these technologies should talk to each other and work together to the degree possible. 

It’s all about real people and real life

Remember, no one wakes up and thinks “Gosh, I’d sure like to use some fintech today!” The whole idea of technology is to make real, everyday lives of real, everyday people easier and better.

That’s the goal to keep your eye on as you choose and work with your technology, brand, marketing, and website partners

Brian Wringer

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