Financial Services and Insurance

The role of the credit union contact center in the crypto conversation

Taylor Grace

By Taylor Grace

0 min read

Credit Union Crypto

Trust, transparency, and education begins in the contact center.

  • The FTX collapse made massive waves in the world of cryptocurrency, but doesn’t spell the end of crypto—not by a long shot.
  • In the wake of the fallout, credit unions have an opportunity to become trusted crypto advisors for their members.
  • The credit union contact center will play a pivotal role in these new member experiences, and technology like cloud contact center platforms will enable better, more productive crypto conversations and simplify agent workflows.

The fall of cryptocurrency giant FTX back in November was a dark day for cryptocurrency. On the day it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing insufficient assets to meet customer demands, it also got hacked. Customers’ wallets were drained of more than $500 million in a single afternoon.

Trust in the currency took a huge hit, and this worst-case scenario has led to widespread speculation on the future of crypto. While the collapse of FTX serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of investing in crypto on an exchange, it was primarily due to mismanagement and over-leveraging.

The bottom line is that the market, particularly the younger demographic, still shows interest in crypto—so credit unions should, too. What’s more, the blockchain technology underlying crypto offers a wealth of future opportunities that credit unions should explore, including identity fraud solutions.

To avoid getting left behind, credit unions need to craft a crypto strategy that supports their overall goals of offering the best possible member experience and building trust. Talkdesk and the Credit Union Times recently hosted a webinar about how credit unions can support members interested in cryptocurrency. Here are some key takeaways.

The Collapse Ftx Impacts Credit Union Crypto Strategies


Cryptocurrency: Opportunity for credit unions to drive member value through the contact center

Balancing crypto and the member experience.

The crypto learning curve for credit unions is still fairly steep, but the focus has evolved. While last year, most credit unions were trying to figure out what crypto is, now they are asking: Where is crypto going? What should we do in response to FTX?

The collapse of FTX and other exchanges may have lowered investor confidence in crypto, but credit unions are very much interested in how they can leverage the tech advancements to better care for members. In fact,  68% of financial service institutions anticipate an increased investment in blockchain over the next two years.

It’s important to remember that offering blockchain technology and crypto products is just one aspect of a new product strategy, delivering quality customer support is the other side of the coin. With any new product, a failure to manage and support members properly can harm a credit union’s reputation. Proper governance and support mechanisms must be in place to avoid unexpected events and maintain the trust of credit union members.

Supporting credit union members interested in crypto.

Almost 40% of credit union members already interact with cryptocurrency according to research from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Not surprisingly, 59% of those members are between 18 and 34 years old.

These statistics clearly show interest in crypto among members—particularly among coveted, younger demographics that often gravitate to larger financial institutions. While the numbers are promising, credit unions can take even more advantage of crypto offerings to become more relevant and attractive to members.

Financial education and employee empowerment—in the contact center and beyond—are core components of any successful credit union crypto strategy.

Employee empowerment.

Before credit unions focus on educating members, they must first turn their attention to empowering their employees. Establishing employees in the ins and outs of crypto is especially important within the high-touch, white-glove operating model of the credit union. If member-facing staff such as contact center agents, bankers, and loan officers are not comfortable speaking about crypto, they won’t be able to make members feel comfortable either.

Support teams should be able to quickly provide answers to the most common questions members have about crypto—how to use crypto as a form of payment, what types of assets can be purchased with it, and any tax implications that might exist, etc. Credit unions should also be able to advise members on any security-related inquiries, such as what happens if a wallet is lost, or how to store wallets in a secure and protected manner.

As more credit unions begin offering crypto capabilities, educating employees is a key part of change management efforts. But organizations that bolster training with technology will find they are able to move faster and with more confidence.

The contact center’s role in the crypto conversation.

When members need support, the credit union contact center is often their first touchpoint for engagement. Therefore, the services team plays a key role in member education.

Within the crypto realm and far beyond it, the role of the contact center for members is already significant and continues to grow. No longer simply a service line for quick questions or password resets, the credit union contact center is moving toward becoming the central member engagement hub, especially as branch traffic decreases in coming years.

As credit unions introduce additional digital products and capabilities, members have more reasons to reach out. Luckily, technology—including conversational AI—is already lightening the burden on contact centers by automating redundant, low-value interactions.

For instance, smart routing capabilities can ensure that members with questions about crypto are immediately routed to the right person to help them. AI can even help agents in real-time to answer more in-depth questions, simplifying their role and making a conversation about crypto (or any topic) more effective. Such automated assistance simplifies the agent experience and enables them to have compliant, value-added conversations with members about topics like cryptocurrency.

All in all, the modern contact center platform is central to offering a better member experience, education, and engagement. This can be particularly valuable when it comes to a new and evolving offering like crypto.

Cryptocurrency poses an opportunity for credit unions to continue building trust with members.

As a mainstay of member trust and financial well-being, credit unions have a critical part to play in the crypto space by educating members and offering them the best possible experience. While crypto has taken a hit and there is likely to be a lot more scrutiny, it’s still an attractive investment vehicle for many investors, particularly those in younger demographics. Balancing the risk can be tricky, but ignoring the potential upside could chase away new members.

From the branch to the contact center, credit unions should focus on educating members on both risks and possibilities of this new asset, and invest in technology that will assist both members and agents at every touchpoint.

Watch the full webinar to learn more about the risks and possibilities of cryptocurrency and how credit unions can more effectively step into this realm to support their members.


Taylor Grace

Taylor Grace

Taylor Grace is a senior industry marketing manager for Financial Services at Talkdesk, focused on helping banks and credit unions deliver better experiences for their clients and members through thoughtful and transformative technology solutions. As a lifelong Washingtonian, Taylor enjoys discovering new restaurants and breweries in Seattle and spending time outdoors taking in all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.