The New Digital Credit Union (aka Digital 2x)

By John Janclaes, President & CEO, Partners Federal Credit Union

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 that are part of The Walt Disney Company.  We’ve listened to our members or cast 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 (for a sneak peek at our first episode, click 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 2x – but more like 3x or 4x, but by starting with 2x, we can begin to understand how we need to change our people, our process, 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 what do you do to improve that score because we know that it has an impact on members pay for services like insurance and loans.

Watch all of the episodes, which will be posted below. If you’d like to be notified when the first episode is posted, click here to take that journey with us in real time. We welcome your questions as we seek to learn alongside the others on this journey.

Why Partners FCU Accelerating Its Digital Journey 4x Faster Today

Most credit unions today — if not all — are making plans or have plans to go digital. The last couple of years we’ve seen a massive “digitization” movement in our industry to maintain or even enhance the incredible growth that has occurred — and because the bigger financial institutions are doing the same on a much, much larger scale.

For this reason and more, Partners Federal Credit Union is embarking on an aggressive digital acceleration journey to answer its members’ needs. It has partnered with such companies as KONY and The Boston Consulting Group to help it achieve this acceleration, which it plans to increase at four times its current pace.

We invited Partners FCU President/CEO John Janclaes on the show to give us a “behind-the-scenes” look at what this digital acceleration actually means for the credit union and its members. Really exciting and motivating stuff here, as John plans to document their journey on video to share with the rest of the industry. We (CUbroadcast) will post those videos when they are ready. Can’t wait.

Watch the Partners Federal Credit Union Digital Journey intro video here.

In the meantime, enjoy our conversation with John on Partners Federal Credit Union’s accelerated digital journey.

Accelerating Digital Initiatives – White Papers

Partners Federal Credit Union digital transformation will accelerate, in part, through learning from others (e.g. Mc Kinsey, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) , etc.). Here are a couple articles about the competitive landscape; agile methodologies and how agile is changing how work gets done.

Why Aren’t Banks Getting More from Digital by BCG

Digital transformation is the key to a competitive future. But the banking industry lags behind others in making the  switch, and many banks struggle to make digital pay. A BCG survey revealed three challenges: failure to deliver on the vision, challenges in scaling up, and insufficient impact on the bottom line.

Agile Innovation by Bain & Company

Agile methods have boosted success rates of new product development in software. Now they are poised to improve innovation in nearly every function of every business.

C-Suite Interviews #16 – John Janclaes

C-Suite Interviews #16 – John Janclaes

How to Harness the Agile Mindset in your Digital Transformation

Join John Janclaes, CEO of Partners FCU, as he shares part two of his five-part series highlighting Partners’ journey through digital transformation while employing the agile mindset. In this episode, you will hear from members of the cross functional agile team as they detail the last two months of their training and what the agile methodology has done for their teams as they attempt to move 2x as fast through their transformation process.

Read More

Why Fast Integration Is the New Innovation

Partners FCU commits to implementing best-in-class technology twice as fast.

Why Aren’t Banks Getting More from Digital by BCG

The financial services industry is shifting so quickly that it’s hard for credit unions to keep pace. Having built their reputations for superior member service in face-to-face encounters at the branch, credit unions now must meet evolving expectations for state-of-the-art mobile and online access as well. Members want all that delivered seamlessly—along with whatever the next big thing right around the bend may be.

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