What’s Next for Credit Unions in 2019
There is no question that credit unions are facing increasing pressures to evolve and match the needs of their member communities. With the changing digital environment, these pressures are increasing, particularly as the percentage of younger digitally-savvy demographic continues to grow.
Not only is the number of competing banking options increasing, there are numerous new applications and services appearing that are targeting this new generation of banking customers.
While this proves a challenge to credit unions, it also represents an opportunity for these community-focused organizations to adapt and evolve to better match the needs of their members. We’ve already begun to see some of these changes take place, such as the ability for members to join online and access banking services from the comforts of their own homes.
There’s much more that we can expect for credit unions in 2019, and we’ve included our prediction for the top 3 opportunities we see in the coming year.
1. Focus on knowledge sharing to engage younger demographics
With the number of financially-focused apps and resources available, access to insight and educational tools has never been easier. Younger demographics are more likely to engage with their peers than seek advice from professionals. So, it’s never been more important for credit unions to make educational resources accessible to their members. Targeted relevant information helps keep them actively engaged with the brand.
- There are several ways to achieve this, including:
- Providing classes at a local branch or community center (link)
- Hosting webinars, online courses or web discussion boards
- Providing educational content and resources right within a banking app
- Giving customers an opportunity to discuss and engage together on the topics of finance (link to relevant Voleo blog)
By focusing on financial literacy and education, credit unions are able to achieve their mandates to their members and create a more financially stable and growing community.
2. Create an engaging banking experience
Banking is often seen as a necessary, and likely overwhelming or intimidating, experience. According to Harris Poll and D3 Banking Technologies, 32% of Americans surveyed would be willing to leave their current banking relationship for a better digital experience.
For credit unions, this means the perfect opportunity to make their community relationships and banking experience both fun and accessible for their members.
Engage and create brand advocates with your younger members by relating to them the way they relate to their family, friends, and even their other favorite brands.
Provide a friendly, helpful platform that provides accessible, practical features. This includes services, support, and financial literacy tools they need to grow their wealth and create stable financial futures.
Create a gamified experience for your customers to help them increase their focus on financial education and practice healthy financial decisions. Hands-on tools can be even more effective if they are able to do it with their closest family and friends!
3. Create efficiencies through new technology
Credit unions can find ways to better serve their members by creating efficiencies to support customer service and the overall brand experience.
While technology investments are often seen as expensive, resource-heavy endeavors, they don’t have to be. New tools and resources on the market are focused on delivering cost-effective, scalable solutions to help credit unions achieve their growth targets while conserving budgets and resource requirements.
Some of these solutions include implementing data analytics tools that provide streamlined, tailored services and communications to customers in real-time based on their searches, activity, and financial position.
Others include cost-minimizing tools that allow credit unions to invest more dollars in improved customer service and digital offerings. This helps to increase brand engagement and create advocacy amongst members.
We are excited to see what innovation takes place among the credit union community in the coming year. At Voleo, we believe the biggest opportunity lies with technology-centric solutions centered around improving the customer experience and finding ways to engage with younger members.
No matter what the focus, credit unions need to move quickly to match the ever-evolving market and competition they face. The key will be in finding the right solutions, partners and approach to help make these opportunities as impactful as possible.
Want to know how Voleo can help create efficiencies and support a more engaging customer experience? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.