Supercharging Credit Card Account Origination

By: Scott P. Young, Vice President, Innovation and Design, PSCU

Consumer expectations are rapidly changing to reflect the latest technological and cultural shifts, and it is essential for credit unions to meet members where they are today in order to compete for tomorrow. Members are becoming increasingly accustomed to immediacy – whether that comes in the form of Amazon same-day or next-day shipping, Netflix on-demand streaming or Uber Eats food delivery – so it’s no surprise that members are beginning to expect immediacy from their financial partners as well.

In today’s digital-first world, any kind of a waiting period, even several days for the approval of a new credit card and several more for the delivery of a plastic, can be too long of a wait for many members. Enabling business processes to take place both digitally and instantaneously can help alleviate unnecessary friction while also meeting – and, ideally, exceeding – members’ expectations. This especially rings true surrounding the often lengthy process for account opening and credit card application approval.

There are three important areas to focus your efforts on when supercharging your credit card account origination strategy.

  1. Convenience
    Offering digital issuance of the credit card itself, once approved, is critical to meet the growing expectations of today’s consumer. Card credentials should be immediately generated and provisioned to a digital wallet, providing members with the ability to make purchases online or via mobile wallets right away. A physical card can follow in the mail soon after. The objective is immediate usage of the account. If consumers don’t find this level of immediacy and convenience with your credit union’s credit card account origination process, they may look at competitors’ solutions. 
  2. Personalization
    Typical credit card applications require consumers to manually enter an average of 30 fields of information. In today’s world, having to answer or input that much information is a deterrent that can lead to abandonment of the application and seeking to find a more convenient solution. Utilize technology to optimize the application experience with personalization – and significantly reduce the number of required fields with the pre-population of member data. Additionally, consider including the ability for consumers who are not yet members to apply for credit union membership as a part of the credit card application process.
  3. SecurityMany fintechs and credit union service organizations (CUSOs) have advanced identity verification technology, allowing members to quickly and easily apply for credit cards from anywhere and be approved instantly. This proprietary technology can simplify the security process for many applicants and reduce the need to participate in additional verification steps like uploading a photo of their driver’s license or passport. Too many unnecessary steps can create friction – causing credit card applications to be abandoned before completion.

Leveraging technology to create a more convenient, personalized and secure credit card origination experience might be too much to do on your own. Consider partnering with a fintech or a CUSO to help meet your goal. For example, PSCU has just partnered with Amount, a fintech focused on next-generation digital account opening, lending and buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) solutions for some of today’s larger financial institutions. With this new partnership, PSCU and Amount will soon provide credit unions with digital account origination technology through an innovative platform that delivers the digital experience many members are seeking today.

Easy is the new loyalty. Make the experience of a credit card application and approval so simple that it is too good for members to pass up. If you demonstrate that the new account solution offered by your credit union is convenient, with immediate access to spend, your members will be more likely to look to you to meet other financial needs as well.

Scott P. Young oversees the Innovation, Design and Integration Teams at PSCU. With over twenty-five years of experience in payments, Scott started his career at First Data in Omaha before moving to Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) and more recently, Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union, before joining PSCU in late 2019. A passionate advocate for the credit union movement, Scott is also a leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts at PSCU and across the industry. Scott is a graduate of the University of Nebraska.

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