Top 10 challenges facing credit unions

Credit union execs: how does your list compare?

This list of top ten challenges was compiled by the author interacting with credit union executives at more than 500 financial institutions over the last 24 months. A handful of these financial institutions can be considered aspirational as they have begun their journey towards the year 2020. We have the insight of learning from their experiences—best practices and lessons learned.

How does your list compare? More specifically, what keeps you up at night? Share your top ten challenges. The results will be presented at the 2014 NAFCU CEOs and Senior Executives Conference, April 1–4, Charleston, SC. Take the survey »

Top 10 Challenges Facing Credit Unions

1. Lifetime Member Value

Here’s a typical scenario: Erin is just days away from her 21st birthday. She is two years away from completing her advanced degree and getting a good job. She will eventually get married and have children. Erin plans to buy a used car. As her family grows, she will buy two new cars and a house. Along the way she will need credit cards and a line of credit. Would you like Erin to become a member of your Credit Union? How much would you spend to acquire this new member? How do you determine lifetime member value?

2. Growing Your Member Relationships

Most credit unions have 2.5 products per member (depending upon how you define “product”). How many products do your members have? What are the key products that will drive value for your members and your credit union? How can you prompt your members to use more products from your credit union?

3. Making Your Branch More Effective

Have you heard about the new Wells Fargo branch in Washington, DC? Let me tell you about this branch—it is less than 1,000 square feet and is open well past 5:00 pm. It costs 40 percent less to operate and is twice as busy as most traditional branches. What would you do if Wells Fargo put this branch next to your best performing location? What can you do to make your existing branch more effective?

4. Investing in Self-Service Channels

Your ATM vendor is showcasing new technology to you. There are envelope-less deposits, interactive video tellers, and so much more. Before you step out and consider this new technology, what would you do to check if your existing network is healthy? Do you know the five key considerations for a healthy self-service network?

5. Increasing Your Digital Channel Usage

Digital—email, mobile, social media—these words are the buzz of our industry. They offer great opportunity but are also fraught with risk. How many of your members are digitally connected to you? Do you have a clear strategy on what each channel is supposed to do? Do you know what channels your members prefer? Do you know what your members do not like about digital?

6. Integrating Your Channels

Do you think your members pay attention to your messaging? Is it worth sending the same message multiple times across five different channels? When does your member tune you out? Your key to success is to consider integrating member messaging across multiple channels. What have you done to integrate your channels?

7. Hiring and Training Employees

Our members have so little time to “listen” to our offers—what can you do to make this time spent with members more impactful? How can you leverage technology, experience, and empathy to effectively communicate with members? What are you doing to train your employees? How do you measure success?

8. Becoming a Member Mentor

If you read two articles in a financial journal, you might get two different opinions on a financial scenario. With the experts divided, how do you think your member feels about the lack of credible information? Do you know what qualities members seek in a mentor? Where should your member seek advice? How would you become a member mentor?

9. Driving Additional Income

Your members pay other companies a fee for certain products. Do you know that some of these products could become part of your member portfolio? What is stopping your members from purchasing these products from you? How do you get your members to purchase additional income-earning products from you? How can you drive additional income?

10. Your Credit Union in the Year 2020

Consider Walmart’s foray into offering financial services. What would happen if Amazon were to do the same? How would you compete with a brand that excels in personalization and the other that is superb in supply chain management? What would you do if “switching” an account were as simple as the slide of a button? What would happen if there were no banking fees? Do you know what your member mix is going to be in five years? How will you serve the member of the future? Do you have a plan for the year 2020?

Do these top ten challenges mesh with your challenges? Do you have other issues or challenges that you think are more critical? Share your opinion »

Sundeep Kapur

Sundeep Kapur

Sundeep has been assisting financial institutions with their omni-channel strategies - a more effective branch, a better online experience, & great consumer engagement. He is the author of an online ... Web: Details