The Four Top Innovation Tips for Community Banks and Credit Unions

by | 15th August 2016 | Credit Unions |

The Four Top Innovation Tips for Community Banks and Credit Unions

Innovation has become a buzzword for the financial services industry since the boom of FinTech, but what does it actually mean, and should your institution be doing it?

The short answer is yes. But it’s crucial you know why you’re innovating. If you just follow the crowd and have no plan in place you’ll come unstuck pretty quickly.

So here are our four top tips for innovating if you’re a community bank or credit union.

1). Know why you’re innovating:

You need to understand the reason you’re innovating to ensure it actually goes somewhere. It’s not a one-size fits all practice.

Start by looking at where there are opportunities to innovate.
How can you increase revenue?
Can you increase geographical coverage?
Can innovation help reduce operating expenses?
Can innovation improve the customer experience?
Can innovation reduce drop out/increase application approvals?

2). Understand the barriers to innovation and prepare against them:

If you know what you’re going to come up against when you are innovating you can plan around any potential issues or try to limit their effects.

A common barrier is that other priorities come up. If you’re understaffed or you have an urgent big project in another department then the longer-term strategies tend to get forgotten.

But if you have at least one person in your team devoted to innovation, with that being the main activity on which their performance is measured, you can deal with this potential issue.

3). Identify key innovation areas:

This will be different across different sectors.

Some of these areas are transforming community banks and credit unions better than others, so it’s essential you pick the right area.

For instance, making access to services simpler and more convenient is dramatically improving the experience of users.

Your users need to feel engaged and need to enjoy their experience. Mobile apps are massive now, so the more that your customer does on your app, the more likely they are to become loyal to you.

4). Understand which innovation model would work best for you:

So you’ve done the groundwork now. You know why you’re innovating, you’ve put things in place to limit the effects of any issues, and you’ve identified the key innovation areas, but now is the most important step – you need to implement it.

There are a number of approaches you might want to take when you do this, ranging from doing absolutely nothing and hoping that the innovation you’ve decided you need will come to you, all the way to carrying out innovation challenges.

At the end of the day, each community bank and credit union will make their own decision, but it’s important you understand the process before you take a leap into the dark.

Here at Trusek we use an approach that puts you in control of your project.

Our consultative approach is gaining traction in an industry becoming increasingly crowded.

If you would like to get in touch with us for more information about how we can help your community bank or credit union, email or call 020 7048 0470.

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