With online banking on a steep incline over the past 3 years,
credit unions are losing the human element that made personalized
marketing feasible. In the first quarter of 2003, credit unions
reported that 15.88% of their members use websites for transactions,
over double the 7.23% reported in the last quarter of 2000.
The benefits of transactional websites are many: members benefit
from convenience and credit unions may allocate their resources
more efficiently. In fact, with the popularity of online banking
on the rise, credit unions that lag behind in providing this service
may lose business to web-savvy competitors. But without a way to
channel their online traffic, credit unions may not be employing
Some financial institutions are using new technology to overcome
this challenge and communicate personally with their members. For
example, First Technology Credit Union includes a new breed of financial
calculators on its website (http://www.1sttech.com), educating members
about topics such as mortgages, retirement planning, and budgeting.
These tools not only educate members, but also allow credit unions
to promote specific products and services in which members are interested.
First Technology's use of financial calculators on its site makes
it easier for members to decide when they may be ready for that
new car loan or to refinance their mortgage as they conduct their
online banking. The website is easy to navigate with links to calculators
accessible directly from pages about Mortgages and Loans. Site statistics
show Calculators as the third most popular used section of the site,
after online banking and finding contact information. ''When
a member spends the average 4 minutes using one of our online calculators,
they are obviously interested in taking some kind of action. They're
shopping for a new car or a lower rate on their mortgage. We hope
that providing these educational tools on our website will cause
more members to choose to finance their next purchase through our
credit union,'' said Char Shinn, e-Business Manager at First
Technology, who described how members use calculators.
As online banking grows, opportunities continue to open for financial
institutions choosing to take advantage of new technology. The latest
features available from FinanCenter allow credit unions to collect
customized market research information and to send targeted messages
to members meeting defined criteria. Efficiently used, powerful
tools such as these may assist member education and marketing to
reach levels of precision previously impossible.
Click here to experience
FinanCenter's financial calculators, visit . You may also contact
Jon Jeffreys or
Jill Richardson t or call 800-237-5678 to find out more about
the next breed of online tools available.