CUs Face A Generational Innovation Divide

Like many other financial institutions (FIs), credit unions (CUs) need responsive websites and mobile apps to address their members’ needs. It’s through these channels that most members will engage with their CUs to conduct their digital banking business. As such, CUs need to ensure that their websites and mobile apps are meeting their members’ expectations.

However, that’s sometimes easier said than done, as different generations of members have different priorities when it comes to their CUs’ digital banking and mobile app features. Though not the top priority for onboarding members, these features play an essential role in convincing Gen Z, millennials and Bridge Millennials to sign up with their current CUs. These groups are also more likely to choose their current CUs based on their mobile apps.

Generational divides come into play again in terms of satisfaction with CUs’ websites and mobile app offerings. Overall, CU members are satisfied with their current CUs’ desktops, mobile websites and mobile apps.

However, younger millennial and Gen Z members are less likely to be satisfied with their CUs’ desktop websites or mobile apps than older members, including Gen X, baby boomers and seniors who said they were either “very” or “extremely” satisfied. What’s more, satisfaction with a CU’s website or mobile app could play a significant role in convincing Bridge Millennials to stay on or switch to a FinTech for banking.

So, how are CUs to approach their website and mobile innovations with different generations that hold different expectations?

The new Credit Union Innovation Playbook is based on input from more than 3,000 financial services customers to highlight how different generations prioritize their CUs’ digital banking capabilities, and the factors that convince some members to remain with their current CUs, while others are willing to bank elsewhere.

Some notable findings included in the report:

  • The research found 59.9 percent of current CU members consider it “very” or “extremely” important for their CUs to offer a mobile app.
  • Among Gen Z members, 50.4 percent said they chose their CUs because of the mobile app offerings.
  • Bridge Millennials are more likely than any other generation to consider switching their primary FI, with 12.7 percent reportedly willing to do so.
  • An overwhelming share of CU members (90.1 percent) said they are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with their CUs’ desktop/mobile websites.
  • In addition, 78.8 percent of CU members are willing to switch from a CU to a FinTech because they like the latter’s easy and convenient services.

The Playbook includes 460 data points outlining CU members’ attitudes toward their current FIs’ desktop and mobile capabilities, and the role digital banking plays in members’ daily lives.

About the Credit Union Innovation Playbook

The Credit Union Innovation Playbook, a collaboration between PYMNTS and PSCU, delves into the innovation agendas of players in the credit union ecosystem. Each edition of the Playbook homes in on a specific innovation focus, exploring the differences between how credit union members and leaders prioritize innovation in four select areas: risk and fraud, digital banking, data and analytics, and loyalty.