Conducting a Website Audit for Your Financial Credit Union

By admin | Credit Union

May 05
Website Audit

Financial credit unions thrive once they have built a relationship that is founded on solid trust with their members. Your financial credit union might offer the lowest interest rates and the most exciting and innovative incentive programs—features that make you stand out in the unarguably cutthroat financial industry. Nonetheless, all these amazing products and services become overlooked when your competing financial credit unions are deemed more trustworthy by the people who prefer and rely on financial credit unions rather than traditional banks. When that trust starts to waiver and eventually gets broken, the threat of losing some of your memberships, if not most, suddenly appears on the horizon.

Think of your smartphone for a moment. How many times have you dropped it? In most cases, the first instance does not shatter the screen. However, that does not mean that there was no damage done to it. When you drop it the second time, your smartphone will be chipped. Dropping it several times will render your smartphone useless. You might be surprised by how badly cracked your smartphone’s screen is, particularly if you have not noticed any cracks before. However, the previous drops have caused fractures in the glass that are not visible to the naked eye. All it would take is another drop to completely shatter your smartphone’s screen. The hairline fractures have already made your screen weak. Another blow is bound to make these cracks bigger. People either take their phone to the repair shop or purchase a replacement. This, of course, burns a big hole in your pocket.

Now, think of your financial credit union again. When you broke one of your member’s trust and you do nothing to remedy the issues, sooner or later, the word will come out and you will see an increase in the number of people canceling their memberships. And then they will be shopping around for other financial credit unions that they can put their trust on and will value it apart from offering them equally impressive products and services.

Such was the case for one financial credit union with an estimated worth of $4 billion. They received their dose of negative press and were threatened with losing their members to other financial credit unions all because of one tiny error on their website. The financial credit union was intent on upgrading their online services to provide their members a better customer experience. Like many other financial credit unions adapting to modern technology to take advantage of opportunities currently not available to them, their online banking service was not free from glitches. Technical issues are stressful to both the financial credit union and its members, but they are certainly understandable in certain circumstances. If the members cannot log in to their accounts, all they have to do is call the customer support hotline that this financial credit union in question thoughtfully provided on their website. However, the members of this financial credit union could not reach any of their customer service agents.

Some of the financial credit union’s members whose calls were answered were greeted by a phone sex company. Considering that the members were in their 40s and 50s, they were reasonably horrified. As a result, the issues of these members were not being brought up to the financial credit union. Thus, at the beginning, they were unable to get a clear picture of the scope of the problems brought upon by the updates they made to their online banking services. After further investigation, they discovered that the area code of the hotline number available was listed on their website. The aforementioned financial credit union’s intention might be noble, but that was an admittedly simple mistake which broke the trust of many of their members.

This real life scenario demonstrates the importance of conducting a website audit for your financial credit union. While it is possible for you to have an insider conduct a website audit, an independent reviewer is still a better choice when conducting a website audit for your financial credit union.

The main objective of conducting a website audit for your financial credit union is to assist you in complying with a number of federal regulations that have a direct effect on your financial credit union’s website. The ideal auditor for your financial credit union’s website must follow the Internet guidelines set by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council or FFIEC. Additionally, they must be compliant with the American Disability Act. Apart from auditing, the ideal auditor must also provide continuous monitoring of your financial credit union’s website.

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council specifically stated in their Internet guidelines that “a monitoring system [must] be implemented to review continually the content and operation of the online programs of a financial credit union to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized changes that may affect compliance with the regulations.” Monitoring to ensure that your financial credit union’s website is always in compliance with the FFIEC Internet guidelines can be conducted monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually.

Conducting a website audit for your financial credit union is strongly recommended to be carried out as soon as your website goes live. Being compliant with the FFIEC Internet guidelines assures that your financial credit union will not have to deal with any regulatory criticisms.

How will your financial credit union benefit from conducting a website audit?

You might think to handle the website audit by yourself to cut costs. However, seeking an independent reviewer when conducting a website audit for your financial credit union is proven to be more beneficial. 1) The website audit for your financial credit union will be executed by professionals who have decades of experience in the aforementioned field. More importantly, they are associated with a variety of organizations including, but not limited to, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, the Association of Credit Union Internal Auditors, and the Society of Financial Examiners. 2) Your financial credit union personnel will be free to focus on other pressing issues. 3) The results of your financial credit union’s website audit by an independent review can be shared with financial examiners, thus demonstrating your institution’s commitment to be compliant with the Internet guidelines laid out by the FFIEC. 4) Minimizing non-compliance by conducting a website audit can protect your financial credit union from unexpected lawsuits and civil money penalties. 5) You will be receiving constructive criticisms concerning the overall performance of your financial credit union’s website. These include reports on site flow and information download time. 6) Accredited independent reviewers are authorized to place the Financial Website Audit seal on your financial credit union’s website when they conduct an audit and monitor your website. This demonstrates to your members that you are concerned and intent on providing top of the notch products and services to them. Hence, giving them another reason to trust and do business with your financial credit union.

Conducting a website audit for your financial credit union only takes two weeks. This has the immense potential of helping your financial credit union thrive.

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