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As the banking and financial services industries at large continue to onboard the latest digital products, the pressure continues to build on credit union cooperatives everywhere to keep pace and deliver new mobile services in the effort to attract and retain members. 

While digital banking had been moving toward the mainstream, particularly for younger generations of Americans, as it tends to happen consumers of all ages have joined the mobile movement. The statistics continue to back it up: According to Forbes Advisor, four in five banking customers prefer to manage their finances digitally rather than in-person.

Credit unions, on the other hand, have some ground to make up by comparison. Credit unions trail other financial institutions in this area. Just 6.3 percent of credit union members referred to online banking as a reason for member satisfaction. While that speaks highly of credit unions for all the other myriad of reasons to stay with your local cooperative, that also means credit unions’ efforts or capabilities to upgrade their digital banking assets is sorely lacking. 

Digital products and services play such an important role in so many members’ banking experiences they claim they would switch financial institutions in order to attain them. In fact, according to a PYMTS article on customer satisfaction, around 35 percent of members said they would leave their credit union if they didn’t offer services like mobile check deposit, digital cards, P2P payments, digital wallets, and cardless cash withdrawals.

It’s in the numbers: trust remains a powerful factor for members

Now don’t jump off the ledge too soon. The credit union movement still maintains a level of trust and loyalty. 

The fact remains credit unions still maintain higher consumer trust than other financial institutions. Credit unions’ determiner is their member-owner relationships and investment in the cooperative, and the culture they have of loyalty and local community care. Credit unions emphasize local and personal engagement with their members, while typically having lower fees and higher interest rates on deposits. 

All of those factors total up the “ace card:” 39 percent of credit union members cited trust as the best reason they are satisfied with their credit union, according to PYMTS. Notice that is in opposition to the statistic showing just 22 percent of non-credit union members claim trust as the determining factor for their satisfaction with their financial institution. 

Respect is earned, honesty is appreciated, trust is gained, and loyalty is rewarded. | Melanie Jensen Ak
Photo: Eric Ward | Unsplash

Balancing the past with the future for the credit union member experience

In their ever-present mission to improve and innovate member satisfaction and experience, what can cooperatives do to improve in those areas? 

Credit union cooperatives and their highly-trained staff are experts in personal member service – working with their owner-members to find the best path or process to get them back on the path to financial inclusion. Striking the best balance between in-person, in-branch counseling and onboarding the best digital banking and fintech investments possible to attract the new, younger members is key to the credit union movement’s longevity. Those investments alone could attract substantially more Gen Z consumers who have recently exemplified a greater affinity for credit unions than even Millennials. 

While some members still prefer a highly personal, in-branch banking experience, particularly older members, partnering with easily-integratable fintech like the fully-automated QCash life event lending platform can ultimately lead to accessible advantages that improve processes across all member channels. Such advantages include cutting back on manual, paper-based loan processing that takes a long approval process for the member, time for credit union staff, and better publicity for the credit union, overall.

If you are interested in learning more about the QCash mobile lending platform, visit our website and view our demo. Also, feel free to follow us on Twitter and Linkedin to keep up with the latest company and industry news and developments!