How will credit unions help shape the future?

Attendees of the CUNA Government Affairs Conference discuss innovation, inclusion and preparation for tomorrow.

More than 5,000 credit unions serve millions of Americans with affordable, convenient financial products and services, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Key trends impacting these important not-for-profit banking institutions were discussed by credit union leaders, political, media and business advocates at last week’s annual CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington D.C., the credit union industry’s largest advocacy event. Here, we highlight three major trends to come out of GAC.

Trend #1: Members crave innovation

Credit union leaders shared their #CUdifference over social media during GAC by highlighting programs and initiatives that cater to their unique membership bases. CUNA (Credit Union National Association) President and CEO Jim Nussle addressed in his keynote the need to amplify the credit union movement while also remaining relevant in an ever-changing marketplace[1]. Top of mind were consumer preferences like digital payment options, including contactless payments.

Credit unions are helping to lead the industry’s shift toward tapping to pay at checkout. The benefits of issuing contactless cards, such as offering members a fast, easy and secure way to pay while helping credit unions differentiate their product offering, are clear. But ultimately, member preference will drive the decision to offer contactless cards. A top indicator of where that preference is headed: 78 of the top 100 Visa merchants (by transactions) in the United States already offer the ability to tap to pay at checkout, which means now is a good time for credit unions to consider their strategy for issuing contactless cards. In fact, Visa expects more than 100 million Visa contactless cards to be issued in the U.S. by the end of 2019. To start, credit unions should think holistically about issuance, education and marketing strategies that will increase member awareness and foster education of contactless payments in your local communities.


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