The 2009 ForSee Results/Forbes.com Online Financial Services Study had positive news for credit unions and the investments they've made in the online channel. Member satisfaction with credit union online financial services stands at 86 points, 4 points above large and community banks, and well within the "excellent" range. The survey emphasizes that satisfaction is not a goal in itself, but that their methodology shows that higher satisfaction leads to higher future behaviors that deepen wallet share and drive word-of-mouth marketing.
Where can credit unions improve? By doing a better job of communicating safety and soundness. Only 1 in 5 online banking customers remember seeing any messages on the website about financial stability of their institution. The study also found that members/customers who did see a message were more satisfied, thus feeding the virtuous cycle of satisfaction, loyalty, and profitability.
Recommendation:Do a quick audit of your credit union's home page. Is your credit union being proactive with the message of safety and soundness? Can you find a reassuring message easily? Most credit unions actively promoted their stability immediately in the wake of the failure of Lehman Brothers and the bank bailout. But the message has fallen by the wayside recently. In a review of the 20 largest credit unions, only 7 had the message prominently displayed on their home page.
3 Effective Examples
Visually, Kinecta's approach was the most effective. They display a message prominently in the upper left box and link to an explanation of the difference between FDIC and NCUA—a key question in many members’ minds. (Hold the CTRL key and click on each image to go directly to the page on the credit union’s website).
CEFCU’s wasn’t as clearly linked—I was actively looking for the security message so assumed that the words “Safe Harbor” was the right place to click. I’m not sure all members will make that connection. However, for members that figure that out, CEFCU goes one step further by actually including two videos explaining share insurance—good for members who don’t feel like reading!
VyStar devoted the most real estate to the message using two of their six rotating promotions on the homepage to emphasize the message. One image showcased a woman holding a free weight; the other uses NCUA’s Uncle Sam ad.