Post-COVID Member Habits

 

It feels like no matter what, COVID-19 isn’t done with us. Schools, small businesses, healthcare providers, credit unions – we are all scrambling to find the best ways to keep our livelihoods intact and our families safe. And as such, this has affected how we do things, from day-to-day activities all the way up to prominent life events and important company decisions. And member habits are not immune to the pandemic, just like credit unions and leadership and innovation practices weren’t.

We’ve recently seen statistics and reports laying out post-COVID member habits look like. And most of these reports say the shift in habits is here to stay. Let’s talk about it.

Digital Trends Are Dominating

The gigantic shift from in-person to digital member services was due, in part, to the pandemic. While it’s true that each generation is more and more tech-savvy, older credit union member habits were rooted in just that – habits. While check fraud has been on the rise for decades, older members seemed to still place more inherent trust in their paper checks than in an online account. When many of the face-to-face member options were suspended, older members had to adjust their approach to include more digital options.

In 2020, international credit union membership grew by more than 14 million members. Digital banking solutions will continue to be the most important trend that affects your credit union’s future and should be the basis for continuity and growth planning.

According to Aux, 60% of 2021 survey respondents said they believe member usage of branches will never return to pre-COVID levels.

Women and Young Members Are Biggest Growth Opportunities

The World Council of Credit Unions released a 2020 Statistical Report that showed North America as having the oldest average age for members, at 53 years of age. Worldwide, credit union members are over the age of 45. There is a lot to be said about creating more Gen Z-centered marketing programs and modernizing your credit union’s digital presence.

This report also underscored the importance of creating more opportunities and campaigns to increase the number of women as members and in leadership roles. In Africa, Latin America, and North America, men hold more than 60% of leadership positions. This could hurt future expansion if your credit union hopes to attract more women to become members.

Financial Habits Are Shifting Towards Savings

A recent survey from Aux done from May to June of 2021 highlights areas of change and focus as it pertains to post-COVID member habits and feelings.

When participants were asked what areas they felt consumers will spend more on, the most popular answers were home improvement and travel. And many credit unions have noticed that lending is much less popular than saving right now, which means future loan campaigns and marketing efforts will be successful when they focus on these popular spending categories.

Elevate Your Credit Union to Match Member Habits Post-COVID

When Aux respondents were asked, “how they felt their members’ needs and values have changed…common themes were faster access to money and more digital tools.”

Digital transformation isn’t an abstract idea, it’s a global movement, and your members are depending on you and your credit union to offer the best online solutions to help them navigate this new normal with less friction and wasted time. Online account opening, Skip a Pay, and web loan applications are some of IMS Integration’s greatest assets that help credit unions meet and exceed their members’ expectations.

Check out our website for more information, or contact us today.


4 Common Reasons Your Members Switch Banks

 

Part of knowing how to create a successful business continuity plan for credit union member retention comes from the knowledge that we gain from studying what makes your members choose to leave your financial institution for another. So here are some common reasons why your members switch banks.

Better Data Protection

The COVID pandemic has accelerated the digitization of a lot of businesses, and that has in turn increased cybersecurity risks. That is why, in a recent study done by Morning Consult, the number one reason respondents switch banks is because they are looking for better data protection.

The easiest way to combat members switching to another bank is to incorporate facts and messaging into your mobile and online banking marketing programs. Because even if their data is safe, members want to know the particulars.

Better Customer Service

Your members have a lot more information than previous generations. If they don’t like a product or service, no matter how long they have given their patronage to a business, they shop around for better options.

This is exceptionally true when it comes to customer service. Consumers are much savvier now, so if the customer service at your location isn’t up to their standards, they likely won’t hesitate to switch banks. In fact, a study from The Ascent reported that 97.18% of respondents ranked “quality of customer service” as either “somewhat” or “very important” when deciding where they’d open a new account. And as digital offerings become more and more accessible and user-friendly, it’s only getting easier for an unsatisfied member to switch banks.

Better Digital Features

According to Banking Journal, recent data suggests that bank customers under the age of 55 are much more willing to switch banks to take advantage of better digital features and services. And 37% of customers regardless of age said they are more likely to switch banks now than they were in the past, likely due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in banking and other industries.

Uncertain Financial Times

Our banking situation is often based on the same feelings we have in the summertime. It sounds crazy, but think about it: if you are at your son’s baseball game or a backyard barbecue, you want to park your chair somewhere in the shade. And for as long as the shade covers you, even while the sun changes position, you stay in that spot, even if there are bigger shade spots nearby.

Your banking situation is the same: if we are in pretty stable financial times, most people are fine with not needing to switch banks because nothing is making them think about making a switch. But if we are in the middle of economic instability, like a recession, people will be more apt to shop around and consider looking into the steps it takes to switch banks.

IMS Integration Can Help Build a Strong Foundation for Your Digital Credit Union Needs

IMS Integration is here to assist you so you can better serve your members. With our professional services, you can take advantage of custom web development, UI scripting, batch scripting, and custom electronic forms.

Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.