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How to Optimize Your Digital Strategy

Updated: May 6, 2022

A guide to innovating your financial institution’s digital road map using the Pocketnest financial wellness platform

how to optimize your digital strategy

COVID-19 brought a lot of change to the world. Perhaps that’s the understatement of the century! In the face of the economy taking unexpected twists and turns and dives, credit unions, banks and other financial institutions nationwide have dramatically stepped up their digital strategy game.

A 2019 PwC survey revealed that 81 percent of banking CEOs are concerned about the speed of technological change (1) and nearly 80 percent of leaders in the financial industry admitted that the pandemic revealed shortcomings in their institutions’ digital capabilities (2).

Regardless of the type of firm—a bank, credit union, wealth management firm, etc.—financial institutions are working tirelessly to determine how to improve their digital strategy.

First of all, what is a digital strategy?

Your financial institution’s digital strategy is how you integrate your digital assets with your members’ and customers’ experience with your financial institution. Essentially, it's finding how all of your digital services can work together, in unison, to bring your members and customers financial wellness. Whether it's video banking, online banking, your institution's proprietary mobile app, or Pocketnest's comprehensive financial wellness platform, we can help you make sense of your entire digital strategy—and how each piece of the digital puzzle fits together.

Millennial expectations from their banks

A recent Accenture report (3) shares how financial institutions typically invest slowly in improving operations. That means that, while they’re prioritizing regulatory and compliance priorities, their competitive edge and innovative approach to solving their customers’ needs is severely diminished.

The band-aid approach of yester-year simply won’t cut it anymore. Antiquated solutions, ranging from in-person appointments to community events may have worked in the past, but millennials want more digital interactions, innovation and time-saving hacks and fewer brick and mortar experiences.

And, while your mobile banking app and online banking platform is a great start, digital strategy and millennials’ expectations go farther than digital banking. They are desperate for financial wellness. (Psst, did you know that 67 percent of millennials get their financial advice from Facebook and Twitter!?)

How COVID-19 expedited digital strategy

When the entire world shut down, businesses—including, but not limited to financial institutions—turned to every possible digital platform to connect with customers. With shopping, spending, and daily activities completely upended, people turned to their phones and computers for their needs. And businesses followed suit.

Menus? Yeah, they’re replaced by a QR code that you scan and see the digital menu on your phone. Shopping? Thanks Amazon! Register payments? Here’s to you, Apple Pay! What’s the weather? Hey, Siri! Questions about your financial plan...see you at our in-person meeting? Nope. You get the picture.

Financial institutions that had plans to innovate their practices, implement a new digital strategy, and drastically improve their users’ experience with their brand, product and services completely threw out their old playbook. They need things to change, and now.

What’s next for financial institutions?

During this innovative (and crucial) shift of digital capabilities, coupled with millennials’ expectations of their financial institutions, financial institutions are left scrambling to find their place in people’s wallets.

While it’s true that one third of millennials think they won’t need a bank in the future and 59 percent of banking execs believe branch-based banking will diminish by 2025 (4), we recognize the opportunity in that threat. Sure, banks and credit unions won’t exist in the future as they have for tens of years. But, that doesn’t mean they have to go away!

A recent Filene report (5) shares that four key things to guide your digital strategy transformation to help solidify your relevance, relationships and revenue:

1. Leverage tech to improve in-person experiences

Pocketnest provides financial institutions with a complete insights dashboard, sharing members’ and customers’ financial summary ahead of your meeting. Skim the one-pager to get up to speed on what Kate and Jack need from their meeting with you—and quickly. And, get insight into how they work, what motivates them, and how they like to approach their finances. In the dashboard, you’ll see your members’ or customers’ behavioral tendencies, outlining if they want their interactions with you to be just the facts, a slow warmup with some sports chat sprinkled in, or somewhere in between. In short? Improve and expedite your human experiences with your members and customers using Pocketnest.

2. Innovate your curb-side service with tech

Using Pocketnest, your members and customers will be primed for their meeting with you, which will optimize your time together and build your relationship. Ahead of their meeting with you (or drive-by service), they’ll already know what they need from you, specific questions to ask, and products you offer. Pocketnest walks users through all ten themes of financial wellness, giving your members and customers a comprehensive view of their financial situation and, importantly, a chance to identify gaps in their plan that you can fill. We also showcase your financial institution’s products and services in the app, when appropriate, so users are primed with exactly how you can help them. And, not to mention, boost your cross-sell opportunities and non-interest income!

3. Follow your customers’ and members’ lead with communication

Some people like monthly phone chats with their advisors and financial institutions. Others want a quarterly email. Others only want to communicate with their institution the moment they need something—not a moment before. While everyone is different, one thing remains the same: relationships matter! Pocketnest facilitates better, deeper connections with your members and customers. Built on behavioral science and psychology, we get to know each user, how they think, how they like to communicate with their financial institution, and how often. We share these behavioral tendencies with you to guide your communications and experiences with your customers and members, ensuring that you’re meeting them where they are, and how they want to be. Kate and Jack like to talk about the weather, local sports and upcoming vacation before they dig into their finances with you; Gabe and John want statistics, data and proof that your advice will stand in the market. Whatever their communication preference, Pocketnest will help guide you to success.

4. It’s all about empathy!

Especially coming out of the pandemic, and the horrific economic consequences therein, people are looking to their financial institutions for help. Understanding where they’re coming from and the nuances of their financial situation only helps you to better serve them. Did they just buy a house? Have a new baby? Kick up their retirement savings? Need to pay off student loans? Even if not all of their accounts are with your institution, Pocketnest gives you insight into your customers’ or members’ financial situation so you can bring them the right solutions at the right time. (Because no one, especially millennials, likes to be spammed or sold to!)

Improving your financial institution's digital strategy simply means you are investing in innovation and your members/customers. If your community is asking for more, we’ll help you give it to them.

Pocketnest will help you to boost your cross-sell opportunities to grow your non-interest income and grow and qualify leads—all while you bring your community financial wellness.

Want to bring Pocketnest to your community? Schedule a demo!


(1) “Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond: Embracing disruption.” PwC, 2020.

(2) “How the Digital Surge Will Reshape Finance.” The Economist, 2020.

(3) "Fast-Track to Future-Ready Banking Operations: Know the Ultimate Goal." Accenture, 2021.

(4) “A Future with Fewer Banks.” The Economist, 2020.

(5) “Digital Transformation in the Age of COVID-19: What Should Credit Unions Deliver?” Filene, May 2020.


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