As more credit unions understand the growing importance of the
Internet as a delivery channel, a strategic evolution is occurring.
Leading credit unions are gradually moving their websites from simply
providing "brochureware" to becoming a full self-service
portal for members.
Like other financial service providers, credit unions are drawn
to web-based services because they are convenient for members to
use and less expensive than paper. However, one of the challenges
of introducing new online services is the time required to recoup
the initial technology investment. The high demand for mortgage
loans right now suggests a window of opportunity for online mortgage
Last fall, Callahan & Associates surveyed U.S. credit unions
to find out how many of their customers were participating in online
lending. Across loan categories, responding credit unions said that
about one-fifth of their loan applications are submitted online,
and half of those online loans are funded. For mortgage loans in
particular, an average 23% of them were submitted online, and 53%
were funded. Therefore, past online success combined with the current
high demand for mortgage products suggests that now is the time
for credit unions to focus on upgrading this crucial lending area.