Westminster Savings ‘credits’ innovation for modernizing the banking experience
When you think about banking, the first word that pops into your head probably isn’t “innovation.” But Westminster Savings Credit Union wants to change that. Westminster Savings is a local credit union that:
- was the first bank in Canada to implement remote deposit capture (depositing cheques by taking pictures of them)
- won an Adoption of Technology Award at the 2016 Technology Impact Awards for their “Voice of Customer” program
- aims to create a personal experience for their members by leveraging innovation in everything they do
We sat down with Apoorv Dwivedi, the Director of Marketing and Channel Management at Westminster Savings Credit Union, to discuss their latest technology investment, how Westminster Savings approaches innovation, and why despite technology adoption, people will always be the backbone of their business.
Adopting technology to make your life easier
Westminster Savings’ approach to innovation starts with a simple question: How can we come up with technology innovations that make the customer experience better? A couple years ago, the team at Westminster noticed that mobile phones with cameras on them were becoming more and more popular. At the same time, they realized that having to go to a physical bank to deposit a cheque was a pain point for many customers. They put two and two together to solve that problem, and ended up being the first bank in Canada to implement remote deposit capture.
Dwivedi attributes Westminster’s quick adoption of technology to the relatively small size of the company. “We’re large enough to have backing, we’ve got a lot of very smart folks working for us, we’ve got people looking out into the market and seeing what’s going on and what’s coming up…but at the same time, we’re also small and nimble,” he says. “We could actually work on the technology and develop it and get it to market quickly.”
Getting physical in a digital world
Westminster Savings recently won an Adoption of Technology award for their Voice of Customer program, which sends out customer satisfaction surveys to their members on an ongoing basis. Through this program, they are constantly getting feedback on everything from the mobile and online banking experience to the services that they offer. And according to Dwivedi, this feedback was the reason that Westminster Savings built three new physical branches in 2017.
“It may fly in the face of convention,” he admits. “People may think, ‘Whoa, why would you build physical locations when everyone’s going online or mobile?'” But sometimes, no technology can replace a face-to-face human connection – especially when it comes to something as personal as finances.
“[Our members] want to have a relationship with someone at the financial institution, with the financial institution itself, someone that they can trust, someone that they feel can be their financial partner,” says Dwivedi.
People-focused and future-facing
For Westminster Savings, technology is a tool they can leverage to create innovative customer experiences and to make their services faster, better, and more reliable. Still, Dwivedi notes, technology isn’t everything.
“When we look at innovation…we look at [problems our members have] and say okay, maybe there’s a technology solution, but it doesn’t just have to be about technology. There could be other ways of doing that better,” he explains. “At the end of the day, we’re still social animals, we still like to deal with people…and people are really the backbone of our organization.”
If you want to learn more about Westminster Savings, you can visit them online here.