Navy Federal launches new initiative to continue member-focused mission

Navy Federal Douglasville e1612535470372


The world’s largest credit union enters a new phase of always putting members first.

Naval Federation Branch in Douglasville, Georgia.

The Navy Federal Credit Union’s mobile banking channel managed 2 billion sessions in 2022. This staggering number will continue to grow as Navy Federal’s 12.3 million members’ service expectations grow.

The evolution of Navy Federal’s mission to always put its members first has fueled strong growth over the years and has made it the world’s largest credit union, but the recent launch of the Member Strategy Office marks a new phase in that mission. I’m here.

Annie Sebastian, who joined the $156 billion Naval Federation in Vienna, Virginia in 2008 and rose through the leadership ranks with key positions in digital, membership, marketing research and strategy, centralized certain organizations is leading this new initiative to The Inner Group will leverage its capabilities to advance the Naval Federation’s mission in competition with today’s fast-paced financial technology companies.

and CU Times In the interview, Sebastian, as the Naval Federation’s Chief Member Strategy Officer, shares her insights on the Member Strategy Office and how it is expected to enhance the Naval Federation’s mission.

CU Times: Why did the Navy Federal Credit Union establish the Member Strategy Office?

Sebastian: Our members have always been our mission, and the way we deliver on that mission continues to evolve, but providing great products and services is not enough. The competitive landscape is changing rapidly and we recognize that we need to adjust and innovate in slightly different ways. , there was no centralized way to leverage and coordinate some of the capabilities we built to get to know our members better. Therefore, as part of our strategic approach to membership-centricity, we have established the Membership Strategy Office.

CU Times: How does the Federal Navy currently try to understand what its members want as far as financial services and goods are concerned?

Sebastian: We have a strong research group that conducts surveys, focus groups, and individual conversations with members. We have an amazing user experience design group that does prototyping and understands what types of experiences work well for their members. And then there are the strategy groups that go deep into the minds of their members. All of these groups will be combined into one group within the new member Strategy Office and Analytics. So understanding the voice of your members using data, business intelligence, and better analysis of what’s happening within your membership from segment views will tell you what’s most important to work on. Consolidating all of these groups into the new Membership Strategy Office will elevate the group to work corporate assets across products and channels to better understand member needs and enable innovation and innovation. . Not just in the product space, but really in the service space as well.

CU Times: How does Navy Federal see change within its members and in the marketplace, and how does that affect how the credit unions view themselves in serving their members?

Sebastian: The mission of a member-centric credit union has always been a competitive advantage. However, many fintechs have emerged, focusing on the very niche needs of their members and focusing on a wider range of consumers, so depending on how their members move their money, they can buy now, later. Pay with, or we’re seeing the various rises of cash apps. increase. We always want to not only offer great products and great rates, but we also want to focus especially on service. Our branches and contact centers are an important means of achieving this. And while we have an amazing, award-winning digital channel, we really want to focus on that kind of connection with our members, innovation and service across all touchpoints.

CU Times: Do you think the Navy Federal will compete with fintech in these niches?

Sebastian: I don’t know about the competition in the niche market. We already have very clear membership areas and we are really proud to offer them. We continue to think about what recruits, active service members need, or what those who have recently left the military need, and think in terms of their segments and niche opportunities. , there are many micro-segments needed to keep winning. This is part of what the Member Strategy Office does, incorporating principles of user experience design, UX research strategies, surveys, focus groups, and advanced analytics to understand the minds, hearts and behaviors of our members. increase. they. The goal, of course, is one-to-one type of personalization, not even segment-based, but to understand what one member needs is different than another, these How do you build your functionality?

Annie Sebastian

CU Times: What percentage of members download fintech apps?

Sebastian: Certainly some members are connected to fintech, a metric they actually track. It will also be smarter as it has individual use cases such as getting a mortgage and connecting with Plaid as part of our Open Banking Initiative. But there are more disruptive use cases such as Acorn and Robinhood that compete for our business. These different use cases and how we are able to provide complete solutions to our members are also very important.

CU Times: How will the Navy Federal’s extensive branch network be affected by the Member Strategy Office?

Sebastian: We are committed to building chapters and know that the majority of our members actually live within a 30 mile radius of an NFCU chapter. Connecting with people and services is really important. So while all channels are fully integrated into the member strategy office, digital is clearly a big factor. Last year alone, he had 2 billion sessions on mobile platforms. But I’m also adding a branch. We currently have 355 branches worldwide. Also, our contact center is very unique in that he has a 24/7 US based representative who is committed to service on all fronts. One of our philosophies is to always walk the human path. We recognize the importance of human connection, but with so much digital interaction, there is a need to innovate in service and connection in the digital space, humanizing digital channels. You also need a way to make something.

CU Times: Are you concerned that there may be obstacles or challenges to getting everyone involved in this new initiative?

Sebastian: One of the very smart things we did in setting this up was putting together an executive working group to help define the opportunity and collectively create what this looks like. That’s it. So even before construction, I had buy-in from the front office and colleagues that this was the right thing to do and that it would help us. Are there any humps along the way? of course. But everyone understands the power this can bring, so I’m sure we have the buy-in of the organization to achieve it.

CU Times: Have you set a timeline for when your membership strategy office will be fully operational?

Sebastian: Certainly not a quick build. Luckily some of these features already exist, so we’re taking advantage of them today and hope for some key insights and quick wins. But it will take time. It takes time to align an organization and understand new processes. But I think sooner or later you’ll get some insight on what to do.


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