Credit unions vs. banks: The battle rages on

The war between credit unions and banks may be one that never ends. But when it comes to the fight for members, it’s one credit unions would prefer to win. So how can credit unions come out on top? Let’s look at what credit unions do well while keeping tabs on the areas in which banks excel. Here are four statements that credit unions should keep in mind…

Credit unions care more about their members: This one is easy. Banks are looking to make huge profits, and this isn’t a primary focus for CUs. Because of this, credit unions can offer lower rates on loans and credit cards and higher rates on deposit accounts. This is a huge factor for helping credit unions gain business.

Banks tend to have better technology: Hey, don’t get mad. On the whole, you know it’s true. While some credit unions do a pretty good job of keeping up with the big boys when it comes to technology, a lot of credit unions have some catching up to do. Mobile banking, mobile deposit, and even something as basic as a functional website are some tech areas in which credit unions often lag behind. Technology equals convenience, and that’s something consumers care a lot about.

Credit unions provide better service: One downside of technology is that there’s hardly a reason to go into a bank branch anymore. And when that occasion occurs, it’s probably not very likely that you’ll see any familiar faces. At smaller credit unions branches, you’re a lot more likely to see recognizable faces who know your name. That’s something special that you’re not likely going to get at Chase or Bank of America.

Banks seem to be everywhere: Speaking of convenience, having local branches nearby can be very convenient. I had a friend who recently had to drive out of state to get a cashier’s check from his credit union in order to close on a new home. While he loves his credit union, he spent half a day doing something that could have taken 30 minutes at a regional bank. Obviously, there’s always exceptions. Some credit unions participate in shared branching and a lot of smaller banks only have a handful of branches.

The positives that credit unions bring far outweigh the positives of banks in my opinion. But I think it’s important to remember that even when you do some things great, there are always areas in which you could be stronger.

John Pettit

John Pettit

John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union ... Web: www.cuinsight.com Details

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