We live in an age where life moves quickly. People and businesses desire agility and efficiency in order to keep pace. For credit unions, we know our members are no different. They want all of those things when it comes to banking – at the same time, they don’t want to lose the superior customer service for which credit unions have made their name. In the past, we distinguished ourselves and had an advantage by providing direct person-to-person interaction. In a world that’s becoming more digital, we are now faced with a challenge: How do we translate personal service across both physical and digital service channels?

Partners Federal Credit Union serves The Walt Disney Company cast members and their families. That includes hundreds of diverse companies and partners that are part of The Walt Disney Company. We’ve listened to our members and the feedback we’ve received is that they want to transact and do their banking anytime, anywhere, from any device. The challenge that credit unions have is to keep up with the demand to move more quickly to deliver digital banking services and, at the same time, meld the new digital credit union with the traditional brick-and-mortar credit union. So, that’s the business problem that’s in front of us.

We have embarked on our digital transformation. This isn’t happening behind closed doors. What’s unique about our digital initiative is that we will document the entire process to share with other credit unions that are also grappling with the same thorny issues. We captured the first phase of our digital journey which can be viewed here.

Our digital transformation journey began by selecting trusted partners:

1. We looked to somebody who’s a digital master, and that’s Kony.

2. We looked to somebody who’s an industry leader, who’s helping other financial institutions deal with the thorny problem about how to transform credit unions or financial institutions, and so, Boston Consulting Group has joined us in this effort.

It’s an intense, focused effort in which we’ll develop and put out new services at a faster rate. Based on our members’ and staff’s feedback, we’re asking these questions along the way:

  • How can we make this work happen smartly?
  • How can we make it happen more effortlessly?
  • How do we need to change our culture, our people, our process, and our technology to accommodate this work?

You know, right now, our credit union does big releases of our digital services about every six months – almost in a waterfall effect. We want the results of this case study to show us how we are progressing in our efforts to move twice as fast; so, instead of having a big release twice a year, we’re looking to do a big release every quarter. We know we actually need to move faster than that – not twice as fast, but more like three or four times as fast. But by starting with twice as fast we can begin to understand how we need to change our people, our processes and our technologies on the road to greater agility for our members.

We’re going for progress – not perfection – and I think this is a perfect complement to the pursuit of agility. We want to make incremental improvement at a rapid pace. For instance, one of the things we’ll be doing in the next two months is to give FICO scores on the phone to our members – but it won’t end there. We’ll tell members how improve that score, because we know that it has an impact on what members pay for services like insurance and loans.

We invite you to watch all of the episodes, which will be posted here. We welcome your questions as we seek to learn alongside the others on this journey.