|5 Min. Read||Jessica Rivera||July 22, 2021|
Federal regulators seek to change how financial institutions conduct business with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) consumers. If successful, the outcome could force banks and credit unions to swiftly pivot on how they communicate with their customers and members—particularly online:
The CFPB hasn’t made any official mandates regarding LEP consumers, and it takes a long walk for a proposed bill to become a law. But it’s clear that, as analysis in The National Law Review puts it, financial organizations should:
The obvious—and best—way financial institutions can communicate with their growing LEP communities is to provide user experiences in their preferred languages. Put another way: Getting ahead of this industry-defining wave will require website translation.
Unfortunately, most regional banks and credit unions don’t have the resources to tackle a translation project of this scope—even when they hire translation vendors to handle the job.
Here’s why: Traditional vendors’ website translation approaches can devolve into a quagmire for a smaller bank or credit union. It’s not about finding good translators; skilled linguists are relatively easy to find. No, it’s all about finding a solution that gets along with a website’s numerous technologies.
The countless "under the waterline" technical complexities of most websites pose problems for vendors. They can't easily identify or extract content for translation. This leads to unseen effort and budget-busting costs.
But great vendors offer technically robust technologies that eliminate those risks, such as:
Some industry-leading solutions require negligible IT effort at launch and no ongoing IT effort. They automatically collect translatable content from origin websites on an ongoing basis, with no customer-side effort required.
They also perfectly replicate the origin site’s UX and UI, and offer on-site optimizations that increase engagement and conversions.
Great vendors provide translation connectors with streamlined, scalable and customizable website translation management. Customers always have full control over how their translations are crafted, and how their brands are presented across languages and markets.
Versatile APIs empower customers to leverage their translated content for on-site and multichannel use. The best APIs leverage translation memory in superior ways to dramatically reduce costs and preserve a customer’s brand voice across all channels.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is growing industry and legislative interest in providing LEP consumers user experiences in their preferred languages.
Yet these organizations and agencies haven't yet issued language-compliance mandates or laws on this topic. So what incentive do banks and credit unions have to proactively localize their content for multilingual customers and members?
Time and again, research indicates translation is a great business investment.
Take the oft-neglected Spanish-speaking Hispanic market. Spanish-speaking‚ and many bilingual, Hispanics prefer to conduct their banking and online business in Spanish.
According to the Fed, nearly 25% of are “unbanked” or “underbanked,” representing an untapped market.
Eight out of 10 Hispanics want to learn more about financial matters, giving savvy financial institutions opportunities to educate and convert new customers.
Over the course of five years, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses grew twice as fast as the general population’s, making Hispanic entrepreneurs ideal candidates for loans.
MotionPoint’s own research reveals that translated websites for banks and credit unions increase customer/member acquisition and retention, and deepen customer relationships.
MotionPoint’s bank and credit union website-translation customers often see:
It's undeniable that federal agencies and legislators are interested in ensuring that LEP consumers have access to the same important educational material and user experiences as English speakers. And it's clear that this interest will only grow in the years ahead.
Financial institutions can get ahead of this reality by translating their digital experiences for LEP customers and members. This best practice won't just ensure compliance with federal gatekeepers; it will likely generate new revenue streams and long-term loyalty from entirely new communities.
MotionPoint has translated and operated financial services websites for 20 years. We have the technical, operational and linguistic expertise to help banks and credit unions increase their acquisition and retention, reduce support service costs and enhance discoverability in Spanish-speaking markets.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more.