Representative of the Lithuanian Central Credit Union: digitisation allows us to remain competitive

Credit unions, like the rest of the financial services industry, are undergoing a transformation.

According to data from the Lithuanian Central Credit Union (LCKU), which oversees the activities of the Lithuanian Credit Unions (LKU) group, half of the unions’ customers connect to services electronically. Experts say that companies must integrate modern authentication tools to expand their client base and ensure the availability of their services.

What has changed since the group’s systems were upgraded with more secure authentication tools?

Jovita Platenkoviene, Director of Business and Project Development Department at Lithuanian Central Credit Union: “One of the most significant, if not the most significant, changes we have noticed with the implementation of SK ID Solutions’ authentication tools is increased customer satisfaction because electronic processes save them time. Residents no longer have to sacrifice a lunch break or a day off to meet with a credit union specialist. They can become a member by using a Smart-ID app or a mobile signature. This procedure is divided into a few easy steps and can be completed in as little as 5 minutes.

According to our data, approximately 10% of all new customers became members remotely in 2021. The research of the Lithuanian Banking Association also confirms that fewer financial questions are being solved in person. As many as 90% of Lithuanians use electronic banking, and last year, nearly 60% of the population never visited a bank branch (compared to 48% in 2020). I believe that the number of new members joining the union remotely will continue to rise in the future.

Furthermore, Smart-ID and mobile signature have made it even safer and easier for LKU credit union members to log in to their online banking and approve financial transactions. As early as 2019, these tools built into our system became more popular alternatives to one-time access codes sent via SMS. The fact that the number of transactions confirmed with SK ID Solutions’ methods has nearly doubled shows that our customers like and use the new tools. Every month, we observe that approximately 60% of transactions are completed using the Smart-ID app and mobile signature. The use of these solutions is still growing, and it is outpacing the growth of other tools.”

You have installed smart authentication tools for more than just connecting to the LKU group system. What prompted the decision to take the first step toward digitisation?

Ms Platenkoviene: “Our primary goal is to be an accessible financial partner for our members. After noticing the increased demand, we have decided to look for more convenient and secure ways to use every day financial services.

In addition, SK ID Solutions tools are installed in LKU credit unions’ remote membership system, which was launched in the spring of 2021. There, a person can perform all necessary actions remotely – submit membership documents, pay a share or other fees required to become a member, and sign documents. Smart-ID and mobile signature are also features of the union’s mobile application which was released in December last year. We believe that by enabling our members across the country to connect to the electronic banking system using qualified and secure means of authentication, we are helping to increase consumer trust in electronic services.”

Was it difficult to choose the partners?

Ms Platenkoviene: “We chose our partners based on public opinion, the popularity of SK ID Solutions’ tools, and easy communication with the company’s representatives. Starting a collaboration was simple. Also, there aren’t many similar service providers on the market. The popularity of Smart-ID and mobile signature, as well as the fact that these solutions are more efficient than other similar tools of authentication, were deciding factors in the decision to begin working with SK ID Solutions.

The process of integrating these tools into the LKU credit union group’s electronic banking system was also smooth and took about a month. Four of our employees were involved in the process: the project manager and three IT specialists.

Since then, all 44 unions in our group received positive feedback from their members. This merely confirms that the incorporation of smart tools adds value for our customers, simplifies the use of electronic banking, and boosts trust in electronic financial services. Seeing the importance of innovative personal authentication solutions in the market, we plan to continue the digital transformation.

Why should other industries follow the example of financial institutions?

Viktoras Kamarevcevas, „SK ID Solutions“ Country Manager in Lithuania: The modern consumer is extremely demanding, so digitisation processes are critical in gaining a competitive advantage to not only retain existing customers but also attract new ones. It is also important that the security aspect is not overlooked. The most recent research suggests the rapid adoption of smart tools in financial services is increasing the population’s ability to use basic financial services. Because this industry is so strictly regulated, the methods used are not only convenient, but also meet the most stringent security requirements. Smart tools used in this sector should be at the top of the priority list in other sectors as well. Today, there is a lot of untapped potential in Lithuanian private and public sector companies, and the introduction of modern and secure methods of authentication is critical to ensuring a high quality of services.”

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