2023 Credit Union Trends to Watch


Credit unions are a great resource for those looking to save money on banking services while also making a positive impact on the local community. As we move further into the decade, it’s important to stay up to date on the trends in credit unions that will shape the industry in 2023.

In this article, you’ll learn more about what’s expected in 2023, from how technology is transforming credit union services to how different segments of society are being targeted for membership.

Digital Banking Continues to Top the List of 2023 Credit Union Trends

Digital credit union trends are still going strong in 2023. As things tighten up and many people prepare for a forecasted recession, the need for cost-effective solutions and banking services will only continue to stay relevant.

In 2021, 41% of U.S. retail banking consumers were classified as “digital-only” – and that means making sure your credit union’s online presence is optimized will be the future of a significant portion of your business.

Credit unions have grown, in large part, due to their strategies of reaching out into the less connected regions and communities that big banks were neglecting. And as credit unions are often owned by their members, the statistic above shows us exactly how important it is to start meeting your members in the digital spaces they spend most of their time in today.

Credit union members are looking for digital touchpoints in all of their product and service offerings, from web loan applications to trial balance, online self-service forms, online courtesy pay, and online access to their banking statements.

This also includes customer service discussions and other person-to-person interactions – members are looking for digital-first communication as well. As you are working through

your 2023 goals and strategies, it’s important to take inventory of exactly how much of your services exist in an online or self-service capacity. These will be increasingly appealing to younger members and prospects.

Credit Union Industry Trends and Market Shifts

There are several 2023 credit union trends that stem from market conditions and other related industry expectations and their biggest concerns for this year. Some of those concerns include fraud, labor shortages, and collections. Let’s break these down.

Fraud is a threat that affects every industry and business right now. And since the financial industry is one of the most frequently affected, it’s important that your digital transformation strategy doesn’t invite in more opportunities for fraudsters to get to your members’ account information and finances.

One of the best things you can do to combat fraud attempts is to ensure that two-factor and multi-factor authentication are being used by all members, staff, and vendors your credit union does any work with.

Labor shortages are in effect for different industries in different ways – the unpredictable landscape has created more uncertainty about financial health for people and for businesses in the coming year. If your credit unions are being affected by these shortages, we would recommend reaching out to vendors and other third parties that are offering solutions for the digitization of services and remote work solutions.

These unstable conditions that may or may not contribute to a coming recession will also very likely have an effect on collections of late and other default payments. And since many of your members are already aware of the missed payment, only about 1 in 100 collections calls even gets answered.

Because of this, many CU experts recommend sharing collections notices via email or text, because it lowers the level of engagement for your member and it also saves them the embarrassment they’ll feel when they have to pick up the phone and talk to another staff member at their credit union who also now knows they’re behind on things at the moment.

And digital collections operations will also be crucial as times get tighter since this year is also likely to see continued labor shortages – with an increase in collections instances and decreased staff, your existing employees will be under a lot of stress trying to keep up with the influx.

Maintaining Relevance

Relevance is going to be another top entry in the list of 2023 credit union trends to watch. According to Fiserv, between $30 and 80 billion will be transferred from boomers and seniors to the younger Millennial and Gen Z generations in the next few decades.

And that means credit unions should start now if they are hoping to continue to attract younger members as more and more of this money becomes theirs. Right now, between 80 and 90% of these younger generations are currently banking with a major bank, rather than a large credit union or smaller local bank. Big banks have a tight hold on these demographics.

Since the pandemic, credit unions have seen what implementing good technology can do for their operations, and that trend isn’t likely to slow down as these digitally-native generations grow their market share.

This may also mean taking a good look at your credit union’s branch strategy. Transactions should not be the focus of branch staff work, but rather these teams should be trained and optimized to offer sales, service, and advice solutions for branch members.

Reducing the number of physical branches has been a hot topic over the last few years, and transforming operational costs by outsourcing certain storage and services to virtual platforms can create better momentum as we traverse these tumultuous economic times ahead.

Professional Services for your 2023 Credit Union Trends

One of the best ways to keep up with trends without changing your products or services is to lean heavily into your digital transformation.

That’s why IMSI offers professional services that include custom web development, UI scripting, batch scripting, and custom electronic forms. You can take advantage of this digital-first financial services trend that has been growing since 2020 and doesn’t look to slow any time soon.

Reach out to us today and let us know how we can help your credit union use custom digital solutions to create a better experience for your members and your employees.

The Emergence of Cryptocurrency at Credit Unions


There’s big news in the cryptocurrency and credit union industries. In the last several months, new developments in policy have made it so that federally insured credit unions are now able to partner with other fintech and third-party companies to provide digital asset services. That means cryptocurrency might be headed for your credit union if it’s not there already.

Current Cryptocurrency Trends

Cryptocurrency, in its most simple form, is very different than traditional forms of currency. It is a digital asset that can be transferred without the assistance of a financial institution. The appeal stems from its almost unlimited availability. Unlike certain forms of traditional currency – credit and debit cards, cash, checks, and the like – access to cryptocurrency only requires access to the Internet.

And since Internet access continues to stretch to even the farthest reaches of our planet, cryptocurrency is growing right along with it.

It also creates opportunities for those who are unbanked or underbanked. You don’t have to have or create a relationship with a financial institution to trade in crypto.

But many savvy consumers who have invested cash and other assets into the cryptocurrency of their choice wish they could do their crypto-based business through their primary financial institutions.

And other companies are taking notice of these trends and jumping on the trend. Businesses of such caliber as Microsoft, PayPal, Shopify, and Home Depot are now accepting certain forms of cryptocurrency, as are credit card giants like Visa.

By opening credit unions up to the world of uninsured digital assets, they can create a new revenue stream that continues to captivate more and more of their members.

The Path to Cryptocurrency at Credit Unions

Many big banks have been offering cryptocurrency-related services for well over a year. It was only a matter of time before smaller institutions and credit unions were able to take advantage of these assets.

The NCUA stated that federally insured credit unions can facilitate “member relationships with third parties that allow FICU members to buy, sell, and hold various uninsured digital assets with the third-party provider outside of the FICU.”

Over 100 million people are credit union members, and many of them are already investing in cryptocurrency. But what does that mean for your credit union?

Right now, more than 10,000 different types of cryptocurrencies exist in the world. And that means your credit union will have some decisions to make.

One big risk associated with uninsured digital assets is the volatility associated with them. According to CUInsight, Bitcoin – the most recognizable form of cryptocurrency – jumped to more than $60,000 in April, but its value fell by half before the end of May. This risk provides a great opportunity, though. The institutions dealing in cryptocurrency right now are doing business in an unregulated industry.

And that means tons of startups are handling these important assets with little or no experience in risk management. While cryptocurrency is often presented as a safe asset and less vulnerable to fraud than other currencies, this isn’t necessarily true. Access to your digital assets is granted by way of a digital key. But if that key is lost or stolen, your entire crypto portfolio can be taken from you in one fell swoop.

Credit unions have been operating under regulatory and compliance guidelines for decades, and risk management is the name of the game in this field.

While it’s important to weigh the risks and rewards associated with creating a cryptocurrency program at your credit union, it’s a sort of “get on the train or you’ll miss it” type of situation. People are searching for crypto-friendly banks and financial institutions. That high demand must be taken into account when you are weighing your options for future financial offerings.

Your CU Options

If you and your credit union believe cryptocurrency is a necessary offering in the coming years, there are several options that can help streamline the process and mitigate risk.

You can partner with a third-party provider. In this situation, your credit union acts as a proxy or middle man: the currency is run through the external provider, but can be viewed through your credit union accounts or via a related mobile app.

You could also provide crypto custody services. These include things like safekeeping, analytics, asset servicing, lending, pricing and valuation, trading, payments, and settlements and collateral, says CUInsight.

And, just like with any other credit union offering, you’ll need a resident expert. Whether that means you add a cryptocurrency-savvy employee to your staff to help field questions and give sound financial advice, or you feature an out-of-house expert and partner with their services, having a face to put with the cryptocurrency movement at your CU can help tremendously.

Investing in credit union-based cryptocurrency services is also a great way to increase your brand reputation and to break the mold that has held credit unions back for years: the belief that credit union technology is outdated or slow to evolve.

By situating your credit union at the forefront of digital banking transformation, you can draw in new crowds and members.

IMSI Has Comprehensive CU Solutions

Technology and innovation are what IMSI does best. We are here to help you close the gap between tech-savvy big banks and local, community-based credit unions.

IMSI wants to partner with you to bring your team – and ultimately, your members – the best credit union experience from top to bottom. That’s why we offer elegant, member-facing web solutions like Make a Statement, Online Courtesy Pay, Online Self Service Forms, and Trial Balance.

Check out our website for more information, or contact us today if you have questions.