For online members, the most important factors when selecting a financial institution are online transaction capabilities (65%), fee-free ATM access (53%), and low fees (48%), according to a recent Internet Strategy Consortium survey of 10,049 online members. Although rates are important, online members are interested in competitive rates (39%) and are not necessarily looking for the lowest possible rates (35%). Mobile access has yet to gain traction, as it’s mentioned by only 7% of members overall (and only 14% of Gen Y members).
Differences across participating credit unions demonstrate the importance of understanding your own credit union member needs. For example, interest varied for fee-free ATM access (47% to 64% of members), ATM accessibility (19% to 35%), and institution reputation (21% to 35%).
Beyond online transaction capabilities and fee-free ATM access, service preferences vary by age segment. More Gen Y members cite the importance of access issues, such as hours, branches, mobile, and ATM networks, while older members are more likely to select aspects related to rates and reputation. Why are Gen Y members interested in branch options? One explanation is these members want a personal touch for their loan applications and questions. Gen Y members typically prefer to apply at a branch and want more loan-related educational tools, possibly because of their lack of experience with loans.
Finally, credit unions should consider the needs of higher income segments. These members are most likely to cite rates-related aspects as important and are more likely to compare loan rates at several financial institutions. Comparison tools that highlight and contrast the credit union’s benefits increases the chance these members will select a credit union loan.
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