Mapping our digital future.
After a successful 2019, including a 30% increase in loans provided and welcoming 2,500 new members, 2020 is set to be an exciting year for Bristol Credit Union. Our key objective for this year is to continue our growth and increase awareness around alternative lenders, who provide fairer interest rates for their members than high street banks.
This month, I have been particularly interested in Fair4All Finance’s scale-up programme, which has the aim of scaling up the alternative finance sector by ten times. As I am passionate about providing local people with a fair alternative to high interest loans, I am particularly pleased that Fair4All Finance is committing to this programme.
At Bristol Credit Union, we also have our own plan to triple our membership and help even more people in Bristol and the West of England. A big part of that growth plan is the development of our digital platform this year.
There are three forms of digital improvement we are planning throughout this year. The first is building a new website which is more compatible for mobile users because we know people have active lives and are often on the move. In fact, over 75% of people who visit our website do so on mobile. Therefore, we are keen to improve this platform and make it more accessible for everyone.
We are also going to be improving our digital application process for loans as there is a demand for easy-to-use online services; already around 80% of our loan applications are submitted online. We understand that, for many people, it isn’t always easy to get to our branch, so we are improving our online platform to make the digital application process easier for our members.
Lastly, as an extension of this we will also be developing our overall online platform for our members, making it easier for them to access information about the accounts they have with us and get facts about other services we offer.
Of course, in the midst of the current coronavirus crisis the importance of remote services and digitisation is more apparent than ever, and as an immediate response to our need to keep members safe we introduced electronic signatures and direct debit loan payments within a matter of days in March.
We're also able to support members of the team in working remotely and we're looking to build on that so we are even more resilient moving forward, particularly in the event of further restrictions on movement or even a second wave of Covid-19 infections.