Originally posted on Credit Union Time by Michael Ogden

Digitized and self-service technologies have consumed consumers of all types – especially in the financial world. Two credit union-servicing companies, Constant and Alkami, announced they’ve joined into a new partnership to bring digital and self-service solutions to credit unions across the nation.

The two fintech organizations announced Wednesday that they have combined resources to enhance digital loan servicing and loss mitigation for credit unions.

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According to a joint statement, despite credit unions having some kind of digitization with loan applications, loan servicing and loss mitigation processes are typically handled by people in the middle who rely on manual and paper-based processes. “This can lead to a delay in response times, costly errors, lost files and increased non-compliance risk,” the statement said.

“Our partnership with Constant is an exciting venture and one that will give us the opportunity to offer banks and credit unions in our client community a platform that digitizes antiquated, manual, back-office processes so borrowers can access debt payment relief and financial wellness information around the clock,” Alkami Co-Founder and Chief Strategy and Sales Officer Stephen Bohanon said. “Constant will help us deliver an enhanced digital experience that will empower our clients and their customers or members to obtain debt payment assistance seamlessly. We are thrilled to have them as a member of our Gold Partner Program.”

New research from the digital consulting firm Mobiquity found 63% of consumers are more likely to visit stores or businesses that have full digital offerings than ones that do not. Capgemini Research Insitute, a global, digital think tank, found that 59% of consumers avoid businesses that lack automated technology. In short – no digital, no deal.

Those numbers, added with wait times that come with manual processes can be devastating for credit unions whose members expect and demand a fully-digitized experience.

“With increased consumer protection scrutiny and borrowers demanding faster turnaround, servicers will need to refresh their strategies for managing customer and member interactions, retention and sustained financial hardships,” Constant CEO Catherine York Powers said. “As payment assistance, forbearance and foreclosure relief come to an end, there is urgency to make those preparations to prepare for increased delinquency trends and avoid unnecessary consumer harm wherever possible.”

Constant and Alkami’s new partnership abilities will be tested as they provide their new services to the Portland, Maine-based cPort Credit Union ($376.9 million in assets, 27,966 members). According to Constant and Alkami, they will offer its hardship relief and financial wellness solutions to cPort. “As the first credit union in Maine to proactively offer expanded, digital loss mitigation services to its members, cPort is delivering on its commitment to operate responsibly and generate long-term value and stability for those that need it most in the local community,” the statement said.

“When it comes to financial hardships, asking for help can be difficult. We care deeply about the communities we serve so making it easy for our members to connect and get the help they need was important to us,” SVP and CFO for cPort, Kelsey Marquis, said. “Constant allows us to deliver on our commitment to continuously drive innovation and provide leading-edge solutions to meet our members’ changing needs with the honesty, respect and fairness our members expect from us.”

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