There’s an optimistic economic period ahead for credit unions (CUs) to seize if they are able to match their innovation agendas and technology investments to the changing needs of their members. A recent PYMNTS study found that 86 percent and 84 percent of CU decision-makers prioritized developing QR code-enabled payments and mobile wallets, respectively, while few members were interested in these options. Members craved contactless credit and debit cards, but only 34 percent of CUs provided. Another PYMNTS report found even though more than half of CU decision-makers said that they value involving members in their processes, few CUs actually question their investment decisions.
CUs that don’t take member preferences into consideration are most at risk for succumbing to the competition of larger banks and FinTechs. Credit unions that provide timely, relevant products and services will find their member satisfaction will improve as the economy continues to recover.
The May Credit Union Tracker® explores the latest developments in the space and examines how CUs can close the gap between their own innovation agendas and members’ expectations.
Around The Credit Union Space
Credit unions are starting to shift their focus to “post-crisis transformation” as they look to forge ahead in solidifying members’ trust and meeting members’ needs via digital channels. One recent report indicates that offering virtual branches could help CUs accelerate their digital transformation plans, boost engagement and deliver scalable solutions. Virtual branches are all-in-one suites of tools in a mobile app that help simulate the in-person branch interactions that consumers still crave.
CUs can harness data management solutions like data analytics to gain insights on members’ preferences. Data analytics can be combined with fraud prevention solutions to reduce risk and protect CU members. Solutions such as PSCU’s Linked Analysis fraud-fighting offering have helped prevent nearly $500 million in potential fraud losses over the past year.
Contactless payments have surged in response to health concerns, as contactless card issuers in the United States saw a 16 percent rise in cardholder spend as more consumers use tap-and-go payments. Contactless card issuers have the opportunity to help support these increased spending patterns.
For more on these and other CU news items, download this month’s Tracker.
SAFE Credit Union On How Members Influence Innovation Agenda Rollouts
Credit unions pivoted to meet members’ needs as they shifted in early 2020 and they are now relying on members to guide them once more into the next phase of their innovation agendas as vaccines roll out and restrictions relax. In this month’s Feature Story, Gina Olson, senior vice president of enterprise applications for Sacramento, California-based SAFE Credit Union, explains how members influence the CUs’ decision-making regarding product investments and innovation.
Check out the story in the Tracker.
CUs have the resources, staff and budgets to satisfy existing members and attract new ones, but research finds that they often fail to meet members’ innovation expectations. This month’s Deep Dive examines the emerging payment solutions that consumers seek, explores how credit unions’ innovation agendas diverge from members’ expectations, and details the strategies that CUs could employ to help close this gap.
Read more in the Tracker.
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