Life After Disruption: An Opportunity for Member-Centric Solutions

FGS Credit Union Blog_FinTech Growth Syndicate
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If you are a Credit Union in Canada, your market is changing. Today, members are more than just a savings and chequing account. Your members are looking for solutions to their everyday problems: FX fees, ways to track spending, or even the ability to lock their credit card without having to call their bank. As the market continues to be disrupted, the ability to understand the experience and pain points of your members will increasingly become a differentiator. The current solutions provided by legacy companies are failing to solve member pain points. As new entrants begin to offer solutions to your members’ problems, the ability to understand your members; what they need, what they want, and the kinds of experiences they expect to have, will soon separate the innovators from the problem solvers. So how does building member-centric solutions benefit you? 

New Kids Not On The Block: Challenger Banks 

 In Canada, the financial services space is changing; with new entrants not only creating more competition but also change. Challenger Banks specifically have become the unlikely competitors to Credit Unions; delivering the solutions that members need, capturing our attention on our mobile devices, and shifting our spending. In recent years, the Canadian market has become a unique opportunity for Challenger Banks; one reason being that Canada is recognized as a market opportunity for their products and services. A Challenger Bank can be defined as a financial technology company that offers banking services, only through digital channels, without any physical branches. Today, with so many new Challenger Banks in the space such as Revolut, PC Financial, and Brim, for instance, incumbents have to move fast to stay relevant with their members. Although existing services and products offered by incumbents like savings accounts, chequing accounts, and mortgages have been effective anchors at keeping members, soon this won’t be enough. Choice, convenience and personalized experience will be the new anchors for a member. If you are a Credit Union in Canada, it is more important than ever to innovate; partner or build solutions to tackle your member’s pain points or risk losing them to Challenger Banks. 

The Member-Centric Approach

As new entrants continue to offer products and services that members want, Credit Unions need to adopt a ‘member-centric’ approach when building solutions. Understanding your member’s experience and pain points should serve as your organization’s biggest source of inspiration when building new solutions. Today, your members are looking outside of your organization and are using new services to solve their pain points. Challenger Bank STACK, for instance, noticed that there were parts of Canada where people had limited access to physical bank branches. To solve this problem, STACK identified Canada Post as the common player present in the most remote areas of Canada. STACK established a partnership with Payment Source, which now allows Canadians to add additional funds at any of the over 6,000 Canada Post outlets. Today, Credit Unions are making huge strides and are poised for partnering, creating marketplaces, as well as growing their member base with a focus on what their members want. 

Your Gaps are Your Opportunities 

Your member’s pain points are also the gaps in your organization. In order to fill these gaps, research should be your first step through using market intelligence tools such as Maple by FGS. Gaining a deeper understanding of your market; who your competitors are and what they’re offering your customers, will help your team in mapping out what your current offerings are, identify your member’s needs, and fill in the gaps. With an innovative approach based on research, your team can avoid building products and services that don’t solve member’s needs, and build a solution for $10K and not $10M. The end goal should be to build a product or service that considers the needs of the member throughout the process; a product or service that is desirable, feasible, and viable. 

To learn more about how we help innovators succeed, check out our podcast The Disrupticons where we share stories with innovators and why it matters.