Few sectors were at a point of their digital transformation that would sustain an online working environment when Covid-19 hit in March 2020, resulting in the unforeseen closure of thousands of organisations. Prior to the pandemic, Credit Unions were already dealing with a disruptive era in the industry and had begun a transformation that put them ahead of the curve, by implementing the tools and technologies to keep them connected with their team and customers. In 2019, ActionPoint surveyed 100 Credit Union CEO’s and managers to gain insight into their digital transformation journey’s, their obstacles and plans for the future. In the wake of the pandemic, new challenges presented themselves, with Covid-19 coming to the fore and shaking up priorities. This September, we re-surveyed our respondents to see what these priorities were and what the future holds for Credit Unions.
Although the beating heart of the Credit Unions lies with members in-branch, the ability for staff members to work from home has provided a new way of working. Microsoft Teams and tools like VPN’s have provided a platform for board members to attend meetings and off-site staff to work as normal. By adopting cloud technologies, Credit Unions can continue providing services during times of uncertainty, while also enabling innovation to deliver new products and services to customers. According to the report, 100% of respondents agreed that IT investment was a priority. This includes integrating productivity tools such as Microsoft 365, implementing cloud-based disaster recovery and business continuity plans, or moving some workloads from physical to cloud-based data centres.
Compliance and Security
With pressure from the central bank on compliance and security, it’s no surprise that this has become an area of concern for Credit Unions, with 80% of respondents stating it was their number one concern. Ensuring the safety of member and organisational data is a non-negotiable for the organisation. However, 40% of respondents said that they feel vulnerable against cyber- attacks. This highlights a need for some branches to up their game in terms of their security investment in order to remain compliant whilst protecting their data.
The report also found that as a result of Covid-19, the collapsing demand for loans and competition in the marketplace from large institutions and emerging fintech companies has added to the pressures faced by Credit Unions. This, alongside heightened concern over interest rates, were flagged by attendees in a separate poll conducted during ActionPoint webinar “Remote Working and Collaboration for Credit Unions”. However, a number of industries are facing structural change and Credit Unions have been one of the first to embrace this by adapting digital. With many branches having accelerated their digital transformation and providing more online services, it has become a revolutionary time for the industry. Their willingness to embrace change and progress their IT infrastructure is paving the way for the future of Ireland’s Credit Unions.
ActionPoint are proud to have been a trusted partner to Credit Unions for the past 15 years. We have extensive knowledge in the industry and work closely with our clients to create their IT roadmap and take their digital transformation to the next level.
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