Crisis presents major opportunity for credit unions to think differently

The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis is in the process of transforming the financial services environment at a pace we’ve not seen. Many credit union clients have told us that they’ve been able to activate more change in the last quarter than they have in the last ten years. Due to necessity, digitally nomadic consumer behavior and engagement trends that have been steadily evolving over the course of years and decades, have taken hold practically overnight. We have seen firsthand the data cited by the recent RTI study, that 33% of consumers have ordered groceries online and had them delivered for the first time. And 54% of these consumers plan to continue shopping this way after COVID-19.1

This is not a new script. Some of the most innovative business ideas are borne out of crisis. The 2003 SARS epidemic in China set the ecommerce giant Alibaba on its path to market dominance because they grabbed hold of the market opportunity and were set up to do so. 2 The pandemic has sped up many of our credit unions’ plans – plans that may have been “nice-to-haves” prior to this time. Our industry has had to figure out how to activate and operationalize new strategies at a pace many of us have never before experienced.

All this being said, we believe this is your moment. Trust is the currency you’re growing right now. And not only do credit unions already have it in spades, you’re building it through your actions in response to this crisis. Bold strategic bets require a bedrock foundation of infrastructure, operational dexterity and routines that make swift action and agile delivery possible.


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