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Credit unions must embrace technology to stay ahead of consumer expectations

Credit unions are set to further exceed member expectations.

Credit unions are known for their community focus and commitment to member service, but they're also becoming renowned for transparency and fairness regarding members' banking needs. That was one of the findings in a new study from FIS, a digital payments technology company, and it bodes well for credit unions going forward. Consumers are more interested in digital money management options than ever, and credit unions that provide technologically advanced services while retaining their member-focused identity will set themselves apart.

Exceeding expectations
Small banks and credit unions outperformed consumer expectations and fared much better than large banks, particularly regarding in-person customer service. This is an area where credit unions have typically performed well, and it's clear that it remains a strength for these organizations. Consumers indicated that larger institutions lacked transparency and fairness, and this sentiment lowered the scores for larger organizations throughout the survey. 

"Large institutions lacked transparency and fairness."

While the survey found that credit unions were ahead of customer's expectations, the credit unions featured were not always great at anticipating consumers' needs. Luckily, the transparency and care that put credit unions at the top of heap provide an antidote to this issue. The future is digital, but it will require a focus on personal attention as well. 

Staying ahead of members
In the FIS survey, consumers indicated a desire for convenience through digital services that retained a human touch. That's a tall order, but credit unions are well-equipped to meet these demands. A survey from Accenture on banking habits of young people discovered that the next generation is interested in services that allow them to get the same experience through digital banking services that they receive in a branch. 

For these individuals, the expectation is that their banking experience will be consistent across various channels of communication. While large banks may have the technological infrastructure to easily develop digital banking solutions, smaller organizations like credit unions have a much stronger relationship with individual clients. This trust can be incredibly helpful in light of consumer concerns regarding cybersecurity. Credit unions can continue to offer industry leading member service through digital channels that expand their potential membership pool and increase the loyalty of existing members. 

The demand for these services will only grow in coming years. By retaining the elements that have already put them ahead of competing organizations, credit unions are poised to exceed the demands of the next generation.