By Miranda Glancy
Originally published by Equifax Insights

It takes more than a “smile and a handshake” to develop a relationship with members these days. Consider that nearly 40-percent of Americans say they haven’t walked through the door of a bank or credit union in the last six months.[i]

And that goes for all demographics. Fewer than 38-percent of Millennials who have checking accounts ever visit their financial institution.[ii] And members — from Gen Y to Baby Boomers — enjoy the ease of checking balances and completing transactions online.[iii] Therefore, it’s become an urgent matter to find new ways to engage with members.

That’s why forward-thinking credit unions need to consider digital services that extend the relationship beyond day-to-day transactions. Engaging members with that something “extra” will create loyalty, as well as help you gain understanding of their needs and preferences – just as if they walked into a branch.

Here are five high-touch, high-tech strategies that credit unions can use to further online engagement:

Keep up with the times.

Ensure your mobile banking app offers features your members really want. While checking account balances, transferring money and accessing account statements are important, today’s customers also want to make person-to-person payments and deposit checks with remote deposit capture. In a recent survey by S&P Global Market Intelligence, almost 28-percent wanted fingerprint login and 25-percent wanted information about credit scores.[iv]

Simplify mobile transactions.

On-the-go consumers expect safe and secure transactions on their mobile phone, whether they’re making a flight reservation or buying a movie ticket. But having to memorize complicated account numbers and key them in on a small device is a drawback that often leads to transaction abandonment. Instead, offer digital wallet tools, such as Instatouch® ID, to drastically reduce the amount of data that members must input for every transaction.

Develop a social strategy.

Go beyond your mobile apps and engage with your members via Facebook and Twitter. You can use the social platforms to promote new products, services and special events. Additionally, you can expand your credit union’s visibility within the community and reach a broader audience with your offerings.

Help members plan for the future.

Financial planning is top of mind whether members are planning to buy a house, start a family or prepare for retirement. Share financial planning wisdom through blogs, webinars and instructional videos. You can even offer digital tools to help members reach financial goals or apply for a mortgage.

Let member data be your guide.

Review customer data for insights into your most promising customers and products that will best serve their needs. For example, you might find that Millennials are a good audience for new car loans. They may have a solid track record of repayment, despite lower credit scores. The Credit Trends SmartView Application allows you to drill down into customer data to find new opportunities.

The new digital landscape and member preferences offer many opportunities for improving relationships. Contact us to learn about solutions that help you meet your members wherever — and however — they want to do business.

[i] Bankrate.com, Financial Security Index Survey, December 2015

[ii] The 2014 IBCA Millennials and Community Banking Study. https://thefinancialbrand.com/wp-content/uploads/2...

[iii] ABA.com. Banking the Boomers infographic. https://www.aba.com/Engagement/Documents/2017_Bank...

[iv] Tina Orem, “P2P Payments Increasing Essential for Mobile Banking Users.” Credit Union Times, July 25, 2018. https://www.cutimes.com/2018/07/25/p2p-payments-in...

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