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Conexus Credit Union: Customer financial health at the center of digital efforts 22 September 2021

We spoke with Jeremy Trask, Chief Digital Officer at Conexus Credit Union, to understand how their digital transformation is proceeding. 
What does digital mean for your institution?
 
Digital has a few different meanings at Conexus.

First, I would say Digital, Digital Channels, Digital Platforms are used to describe the digital customer facing self-service channels. This would include: public website, online banking, text banking, mobile banking, and mobile app.
 
Lately, there is more discussion around digital transformation and digitization. How can we move analog processes to digital? Digitalization – this means rebuilding processes from the ground up in an intuitive automated fashion. And finally, the culture shift required to make this all happen.
 
What were your institution's digital priorities prior to the start of Covid and how have these priorities evolved since the start of covid?
 
I would say priorities pre-Covid were new digital platforms (online, mobile, public website) and a new in branch tech platform. I would say priorities transitioned to work from home tech, paperless (e-signature), contact center tech, and supporting the government funding programs. We are now getting back to our new platform prioritizations. 
 
Which channel(s) is a priority for digital investment? (e.g. Mobile app, social, online banking, chatbot, text chat with agent, IVR, ATM, Branch, voice in Contact Center)
 
I would probably put them in this order:
1. Mobile app, 
2. Online banking
3. Contact Center
4. Branch
5. Text chat with agent 
6. ATM
7. IVR

 Which interactions are hardest to digitize? (e.g. complaints, problems, advice, new mortgage)?
The more complex an interaction, the more difficult it is to digitize, including: 
• Advice
• Onboarding
• Mortgages
• Estates payout
• Anything requiring wet signatures
 
Do you have a plan to bring remaining interactions to digital?

For advice yes, we have plans underway. For the remaining interactions, we have intentions, but don’t yet have plans.
 
What benefits are you looking to generate from customer facing digital initiatives (e.g. improve self-serve rates, nudge customers to cost effective channels, modern feel, marketing and brand, customer intimacy)

Relevancy is the biggest benefit we hope to generate from our digital initiatives. We don’t feel a financial services provider can survive and be relevant today without strong digital offerings. It’s critical to doing business.

What are the top issues customers face when interacting with you digitally? 

Not everything is available though all channels. There is also a bit of a disconnect between our digital channels and advisors. Wet signatures are still required. 
 
Have these changed with COVID? 
 
We have created many more processes with electronic signatures.
 
What are the barriers to customer digital adoption? 
 
Customers can’t do everything online today. This is a barrier. Additionally, we have an aging customer base. Older customers might have been a little slower to adopt some of the technologies.
 
Have you invested in customer digital adoption initiatives?

Not really, just some in branch training for customers. Overall, not a lot of investment. The current pandemic lockdowns have been the greatest driver of digital adoption.

Does your bank have the required digital skills amongst existing staff, or have you had to recruit for these skills? 
 
We have some but are also recruiting for new skills all the time.
 
Have you considered partnerships to accelerate time to market for digital initiatives?

For sure. We look at many forms of partnerships and outsourcing. Cloud computing, contract style consulting, fintech partnerships, even open innovation style partnerships are being used or considered.
 
What is your planning time horizon for Digital initiatives? (e.g. 1 year, 3 years?)

I would say we use an onion approach. High level planning three years out, then getting progressively more detailed as we get closer to today.
 
How do you demonstrate an ROI in digital?

We don’t always calculate ROI on all initiatives. We do create an expectation(return) of what we want from our investment into the project, But it’s not all in a $/ROI sort of way. As well, we expect to fail occasionally when we are doing truly unique and different work. That’s part of the culture of our company.
 
How is your bank defining digital success?

Overall, our balanced score card is the ultimate measure of success for our company. One of the big measures on our balanced score care is a customer financial health indicator aggerate score. This uses our customers’ data to create a financial health score for each person, which is then aggregated up to each advisor and the entire company. So, we strive to improve our customers’ financial health.  Digital is a big part of that success. We also track a metric that compares digital interactions to branch interactions. We have a target to get all (almost all) transactions out of the branches and leave branches as advice centers. 

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