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Keeping Consumers at the Core of Technology Transformations

December 15, 2023|0 min read
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How can financial institutions ensure they make the best use of the latest innovations without losing sight of delivering the support consumers want? We asked a panel of leaders from Suncoast Credit Union, Umpqua Bank, and U.S. Bank at Money Experience Summit 2023 to share their thoughts on leveraging technology to drive better consumer outcomes. 

Tie technology to outcomes. The latest tech capabilities can be exciting – ChatGPT and AI have dominated headlines for more than a year. But they aren’t always the right answer to meet consumer needs. Basic functionality that improves a consumer’s life should be prioritized over the latest bright, shiny technology. “At the end of the day, you have to ask: what's the customer trying to do? And sometimes that can really be misaligned with technology or with what the bank thinks that they want to do or we're prepared to sell them,” explained Casey Reynders, Senior Vice President, Director of Consumer Product Strategies, Umpqua Bank. 

Differentiate in the day-to-day. Being brilliant at the basics can’t be underscored enough. “What I really love, especially about the credit union space, is there is a very needs-based focus, but [the question is] how do you do it differently?” shared Jana Manley, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Digital Strategy, Suncoast Credit Union. “Find out ways to be in the micro moments of a consumer's life, and that is the basics. What are the things they need to do to run their daily lives? And you can build those through the data, the automation, the triggers, and you're there when they need you.”

Focus on functionality and testing. Design doesn't matter if it's not functional. Consumers need practical, easy solutions, not just aesthetically pleasing ones. “Also just making sure you're sort of ruthlessly testing with different customer groups: single product customers, multi-product customers, different affluence levels, getting the bankers involved and actually testing so they understand what's rolling out and when it's rolling out,” elaborates Damien Warren, Senior Vice President, Head of Consumer Digital Channels, U.S. Bank. 

Avoid a bolt-on mentality. As organizations test and innovate, it’s easy to fall into the habit of adding a function or feature here or there. But over time, the organization loses money spent maintaining features consumers don’t use, until it’s eventually ‘unbolted.’ “Anything that you do needs to have a great customer reason for doing it… We need welds, not bolts. It's welded on because it deserves to be there,” Reynders said.

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