Credit unions (CUs) might operate as nonprofits, but just like a traditional bank or any other for-profit business, they still need customers — or in this case, members — to thrive. As a result, CUs have invested heavily in retention and outreach efforts in recent weeks, with the purpose of strengthening member relations.
In the November/December Credit Union Tracker™, PYMNTS examines the latest efforts by the CU market to connect with members, from public-facing recruitment events to investments in predictive analytics solutions to disaster relief.
Without a crystal ball, knowing how a CU member regards their financial institution (FI) can be challenging. Thankfully, at least one CU is turning to the alternatives: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies.
Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) of Peoria, Illinois recently announced that it would work with technology provider Stakana Analytics to pilot the company’s predictive analytics platform. The platform uses AI and ML to quickly review a member’s behavior and relay to the CU the most effective way to engage with and retain them, based on their recent transaction activity.
Elsewhere in the space, another technological development could help CU members find their financial voice.
Financial solutions provider Best Innovation Group (BIG), for example, recently announced that it will use the Conversation Software Development Kit (SDK) from FinTech Geezeo to expand its voice-based offerings. The conversational SDK solution is designed to help CU members use voice commands to perform tasks like tracking their spending and progress toward meeting set financial goals.
Other CUs are relying less on technology and more on community engagement to reach members. WFCU Credit Union of Ontario, Canada, for instance, recently launched a campaign called Inspire, which will include a series of public events for members, such as a children’s spelling bee, a speaker series and family-friendly movie screenings. The campaign will also offer financial literacy programs, produced in partnership with WFCU’s NFL partner, the Detroit Lions.
While member outreach is always critical for CUs, it is especially important following a natural disaster.
When Hurricane Michael ripped through local communities in the Florida Panhandle last month, devastating homes and properties, CUs like Innovations Federal Credit Union were active in helping members recover with financial aid, such as hurricane assistance loans and waived fees.
In this month’s Credit Union Tracker™ feature story, Innovations CEO David Southall and League of Southeastern Credit Unions CEO Patrick La Pine discuss the role of CUs in helping local communities rebuild following a natural disaster.
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