It's understandable to assume that such a lofty technology as artificial intelligence is reserved for the major banking and financial institutions. After all, only the big players have the bottomless budgets, the teams of engineers, the robust R&D departments that an AI solution requires, right?
Well, while that has historically been the case, it's certainly not any longer.
Artificial intelligence has come a long way in the past couple of decades, even in the past 5 years. Once something confined to governments, the ivory tower, multinational corporations, and the elite, AI has now begun to permeate our everyday lives.
Nearly all of us regularly use artificial intelligence without even realizing it. Our smartphone’s camera is equipped with AI to help us snap the perfect portrait, our Netflix feed relies on AI to suggest content tailored to suit our taste, and AI powers the real-time traffic updates for our commute home from work.
No question, we're already benefiting from artificial intelligence as consumers.
But the good news for small to medium-sized outfits — and credit unions in particular — is that we've reached a tipping point where AI tools and services are now within reach to help us run our companies, manage our employees, and satisfy our customers.
Let's take a look at the top three ways artificial intelligence is poised to impact credit unions, as well as the AI applications you can take advantage of in the here and now.
3. Enhanced Member Understanding & Protection
Credit unions are only as strong as their members are satisfied and safe. Ensuring members' needs are not only met but anticipated is essential to inspire loyalty. Luckily for credit unions, they have at their disposal loads of member data. Perhaps not so luckily, however, is that many credit unions are unequipped to effectively interpret and leverage this data.
This is where AI comes in. Artificial intelligence, especially when combined with machine learning, can be deployed to analyze these vast archives of disparate data to gain critical member insights.
"Credit unions differentiate themselves by being close to the member, unlike the big banks. AI is the digital tool in your arsenal to understand your members now." - Fotis Konstantinidis, CO-OP’s Senior Vice President of Fraud Products
This smart data analysis will be at your disposal in the not-so-distant future, but as far as keeping your members safe, there's an AI-powered solution on the market now.
CO-OP Financial Services recently launched their COOPER system, "an advanced data-driven platform designed to detect and fight fraud faster than ever before." COOPER utilizes the vast amounts of member data to "learn" how and why they spend in order to more quickly and accurately pinpoint when a member's security has been compromised — and machine learning coupled with artificial intelligence will serve as the backbone of the product.
2. More Competitive Loan Origination
When it comes to real estate, term loans, lines of credit, and small business loans, the power has traditionally been in the hands of the large financial institutions. After all, the big banks have the budgets to deploy the technology necessary to effectively compete with alternative sources of loans like credit unions.
But with the help of artificial intelligence, the tide is turning.
Mirador has built an AI-powered lending platform that "uses machine learning and predictive analytics to help some credit unions level the playing field against larger financial institutions in originating lending to small businesses."
The genius of the platform is that it puts the focus on smaller loans — loans that may not be that attractive to the big banks — and, because of the newly streamlined and efficient application process that Mirador facilitates, those small loans suddenly turn into big money-makers.
“We have a loan application process on the front-end that can be done via online or in the branch depending on how the customer comes to the lending institution. It facilitates a dynamic series of flows depending on what answers the potential borrower provides.” - Mike Camacho, Mirador's Chief Product Officer
Odd as it may seem, a high-tech platform like this is a natural extension of the member-centered ethos of the credit union. With the power of artificial intelligence, credit unions are able to offer an easier, friendlier, more personal loan approval process — something that's simply out of the big banks' grasp.
1. Instant, Exceptional Customer Service
Earlier I mentioned how AI has begun to permeate our everyday lives, how we're already benefiting from artificial intelligence as consumers.
On that note, I just picked up my phone, said, "Okay Google," and found the capital of Zaire. It took precisely 0.86 seconds. AI is part of what made that convenience, that instant access possible. (The capital of Zaire is Kinshasa, by the way.)
But the convenience we enjoy in our lives as consumers isn't commensurate across the board. I mean, would you rather buy a pair of shoes off Amazon or renew your license at the DMV? It's a no-brainer.
So, how does your credit union stack up when it comes to the high consumer expectations of today?
How long does it take one of your members to find your business hours? How about how to apply for a loan? What about your IRA rates?
If it takes much longer than 0.86 seconds, your members' banking experience is going to fall far below their expected consumer experience. Thankfully, artificial intelligence is here to give credit union members the immediate, effortless interaction to which they've become accustomed.
Here at Jane.ai, we've built an AI-Powered Teammate that can live on your website to give your members instant, round-the-clock access to all the information they need.
"A good integration of chatbots as part of the engagement process can provide consumers with quick and personalized interactions, using machine learning and artificial intelligence as a foundation." - The Financial Brand
Here is Jane fielding members' questions on West Community Credit Union's site...
Interested in opening a checking account? Just ask Jane.
Kicking the tires on your future loan? Just ask Jane.
Jane can answer hundreds of questions from hundreds of members simultaneously, providing instant access to vital information — so you can spend less time regurgitating the same information over and over again, and more quality time connecting with the people who make your credit union possible.
Jane is hard at work, as we speak, giving West Community Credit Union's members a better banking experience. No longer do they have to hunt and peck through pages and pages of the website for the information they need. They don't need to send an email or create a customer support ticket and wait for a response.
They just ask Jane.
Want to see firsthand how Jane can transform your credit union?