A ‘Modern Payment Solution’ Doesn’t Only Mean Digital

A ‘Modern Payment Solution’ Doesn’t Only Mean Digital

Originally published on Callahan and CreditUnions.com, our VP of Product Management, Ashish Bhatia, explores the importance of a simple, intuitive user journey across all payment channels and how to leverage new technology like open banking solutions. 

With consumer behavior gravitating towards digital banking, and branch closures continuing, are we on-track to become a completely digital banking ecosystem? Not exactly, say some analysts. McKinsey recently reported that although 74% of consumers are willing to use mobile banking, more than half of this group still prefer to bank in-person. A survey by Mercato Advisory Group confirmed similar preferences for specific transactions. In the U.S., more than 40% of respondents prefer to deposit checks of $1,000 at the branch instead of through a digital channel. Most also showed the same preference for $50 checks.

The question remains what role the physical branch will have long-term and why some consumers still prefer in-person banking to the convenience of their homes. Is it the human element? Are they not technically savvy? Do they not trust digital solutions? Perhaps all of the above depending on the transaction. Regardless the reason, banks and credit unions must recognize the branch as a key piece of the banking puzzle and leverage it to maximize engagement, in parallel with remote channels. 

If we pick just one takeaway from the digital side of the business that can bridge remote banking and the branch it’s the importance of ‘user experience’ and the overwhelming need for intuitive user journeys. No transaction, regardless of channel, should feel like it’s being completed in a vacuum. 

Is that realistic with separate and unique platforms often installed across each point of capture? The aging architecture of these solutions naturally limits the exchange of data between lines of business, hindering streamlined workflows with real-time responses, or the ability to start transactions in one channel and complete them in another. 

Cloud capabilities offer a more centralized deployment approach with added flexibility, often consolidating deposits’ infrastructures for interoperability. Combining the benefits of the cloud, with an open banking platform, brings additional potential for financial institutions by creating an environment where the member journey sits at the forefront. Banks and credit unions can easily offer convenient and affordable add-ons as well, complementing traditional banking through API-based capabilities, enhancing personalization and financial transparency. 

But that’s just the start. Leveraging a modern, single platform across all image acquisition channels is where the true value is felt. Overhead costs decrease by sustaining just one set of code, making maintenance and the roll-out of new capabilities faster. A common platform also allows for real-time posting of transactions, and the ability to leverage the same set of image and data validations in real-time – benefiting your institution and delivering a premium member experience.  

Ready to get started on your modernization journey? Learn more about Unify, our patent-pending, open banking platform. The only solution of its kind that universally addresses all image acquisition channels with a single external API and common set of code, benefit from simplicity and commonality across all in-branch and remote points of capture, paired with holistic reporting capabilities for faster, better business decisions.  

Don’t forget about the branch when modernizing your member-facing solutions. User experience is critical in the fight for institutional loyalty and digital, although significant, is just a piece of the full puzzle. 

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