Simplify Tech Solutions for 2020

By Corey Smith12.30.2019

The United States represents the largest technology market in the world today. There are so many solutions available to both consumers and businesses that can solve just about any problem anyone could imagine. With a new year around the corner, many of these businesses are looking into what they should add to their budget for the coming year.

Credit unions are not left out of this equation with solutions that do everything. There are mobile apps for members that help them make payments and check balances. There is software to automate many different front-line and back-office functions. For lending, there are solutions that do everything from automating data entry to selecting vendors, generating leads, issuing reports, and more. Credit unions, especially for lending, likely have a solution for whatever problem they might be facing; however, with so many different solutions, it can sometimes complicate the process, rather than simplify it.

Implementing too many different lending solutions can quickly become overwhelming for a credit union. First, the task of managing several separate vendors can be a burden, especially for credit unions that might not have the extra staffing to handle this extra work. More vendors mean more time-consuming implementations, more invoices to add and more due diligence needed, which might not be something on the forefront of a credit union’s mind when considering a technology solution. It is important that credit unions are wary of solutions that might lead to efficiencies in one area but contribute to inefficiencies elsewhere. This is not only true of lending, but the other areas a credit union deals with.

Another issue of having too many separate technology solutions is that of implementation. The development of APIs has helped ease this burden, but there are still a host of issues credit unions can face with implementation and some might not be as seamless as they expect. The more time and effort that goes into multiple implementations takes the staff’s time and effort away from their work on more important and valuable tasks.

With so many different solutions also come the issue of navigation. Each solution might work differently or look different to users and this difference in customer experience can lead to confusion and possible errors when trying to keep so many different windows and applications straight.

With all of this in mind, less might actually be more for credit unions. Finding the right partner that offers the most tools through one single platform is an effective approach to make sure that credit unions aren’t wasting any time with unnecessary implementations or extra vendor management and due diligence responsibilities for its lending staff. It is key that the solutions credit unions choose to create efficiencies are not only useful for creating bottom-line time and cost efficiencies, but also creating efficiencies that help the business run more smoothly overall.

Finding one solution that simplifies vendor management, as well as user experience, is crucial to making everyone’s jobs easier across the board. With one simplified solution, credit unions do not have to worry about paying multiple invoices, doing multiple integrations, and taking care of more due diligence responsibilities. Staff also do not have to struggle with multiple solutions, which keep them working efficiently and reduces their risk of making errors. With the right partner and the right solution, they do not have to force solutions to work that do not fit. This approach closes the gaps that might lead to an unsatisfactory user or member experience down the road.

Corey Smith is chief product officer of Austin, Texas-based FirstClose, a provider of best-in-class property and borrower data intelligence and settlement services.