This article was originally published in The Financial Brand

Financial institutions could drain the vault investing in technology improvements. With finite budgets and a wide array of pain points and initiatives to support with technology, how do executives decide which receives budget dollars?

It can help know what peers have done.

The Financial Brand talked with a bank, a credit union, and a fintech about their chosen investment. Here are their opportunities and challenges and what they learned using technology to tackle them.

Lone Star Credit Union: Empowering Employees

For Lone Star Credit Union in Dallas, Texas, upgrades to employee engagement were a strategic priority.

“We believe if you have an engaged employee, you have an engaged member, and that leads to growth,” Marcy Phillips, president and chief executive of the credit union, tells The Financial Brand. “When you add in technology, they can help the members with their financial success.”

The credit union recently remodeled its home office and brought a heap of new technology into the branch, such as cash recyclers from Kinective to eliminate teller boxes and an ITM for self-service transactions. “We’re using that [technology] to empower our employees to be more advanced and consultative,” says Phillips.

Because the credit union has added new technology, employees can elevate to new roles in the organization. For instance, some staff are training to become certified financial counselors, according to Phillips. “They’re going to be able to give back more to our members,” she says, “they can spend more time with our members. They don’t have to worry about the teller line because there isn’t one.”

Lone Star added the same tech to a new branch opened in July 2023. Members at that location were new to the credit union overall, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. “They love and enjoy it because they don’t have to wait,” says Phillips. “And [employees] get to make more decisions. They’re looking at members’ accounts, seeing what members are doing, and helping them solve their problems.”

As she looks to the future, Phillips says the credit union will continue prioritizing upgrades that support employees, such as AI, to help the call center and fraud controls for online account opening.

“When you’re looking at a new piece of technology, we can all think it’s wonderful, and then an employee can say, ‘You know, that’s not going to be good for us,” Phillips says. “You have to bring in your team, talk to your team, and get their buy-in — even from the lowest level — anytime you bring in anything new.”


Click here to read the full article at The Financial Brand.