While digital banking services may have made its mark in the last few years, it strikes many as no surprise that membership growth in credit unions has been at its slowest since 2014.
Why? Well, you know the answer, of course. It’s no fluke the slowdown coincided with a global pandemic that just happened to necessitate a shift to digital banking. Credit unions, after all, have typically languished behind their revenue-focused bank counterparts when it came to digital adoption; per CU Rise research using NCUA data, more than half achieved no results in implementing digital banking services from 2014-2018. Only about 5 percent of credit unions made substantial progress in their digitization efforts with a digital adoption (DAS) score of more than 15 percent. Even for the credit unions lagging in their digital adoption efforts, the upside in reaping the benefits by participating is huge. All credit unions with positive growth in DAS also had higher increases in both assets and members in 2018 versus 2014.
Instead, those credit unions continued to focus on such enduring principles as improved customer service, low fees, and enduring customer relationships. All of which, of course, are crucial to the credit union movement. But what credit union executives must keep in mind is that customer expectations are never static and always evolve.
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