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.
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