Omnichannel Banking Innovation Helps Credit Unions Reduce Member Churn

Credit unions (CUs), known for their community-focused approach and member-centric values, are navigating a changing financial ecosystem. With the rise of FinTech startups offering cutting-edge technologies and personalized services, CUs are under pressure to modernize their operations and improve customer experiences. 

Recognizing the importance of digital transformation, CUs are taking proactive steps to address this demand, as detailed in “The 2024 Credit Union Innovation Readiness Index (CU-IRI),” a PYMNTS Intelligence and PSCU collaboration. 

This study leverages insights from a survey of over 4,500 U.S. consumers to assess members’ satisfaction with CU offerings and pinpoint areas of strength and potential improvement for these smaller banks.

According to the research, nearly 80% of all CUs report a positive return on investment resulting from their payment innovation efforts. This figure jumps to 90% among the 30 top-performing CUs, indicating the efficacy of their strategic efforts. 

Furthermore, 90% of top-performing CUs saw an increase in member satisfaction with their mobile app over the past year, while 83% observed a rise in the number of mobile app downloads, underscoring the growing importance of digital channels in meeting members’ evolving needs.

Partnerships with technology providers are also enabling CUs to access cutting-edge innovations without the need for significant upfront investments. This collaborative approach enables CUs to stay agile and responsive to emerging trends, ensuring they remain relevant in an increasingly digital world.

Greylock Federal Credit Union is a prime example of this strategic approach. The Massachusetts-based financial institution (FI) recently partnered with Alkami Technology, a cloud-based digital banking solutions provider, to optimize its retail, business, and mobile banking services, giving members a smooth and user-friendly experience across all platforms.

Greylock Federal and its members can now unlock a suite of advanced account management features, streamlined account opening processes and robust data analytics capabilities, ensuring a seamless experience between online and mobile banking, the FI said in a March 5 press release.

This need for seamless omnichannel banking dovetails with insights detailed in PYMNTS Intelligence’s “Growing Credit Union Membership via Lending and Omnichannel Banking Innovation” report, which found that omnichannel banking strategies are effective in drawing in new CU members.

According to the study’s findings, 12% of individuals opted to switch to their current CU primarily due to the lack of nearby branches at their previous FI. Another 7.9% indicated that insufficient online and mobile banking services was the main reason behind their decision to switch CUs, compared to 5.6% of non-CU members who switched for this reason. 

“Such differences highlight areas where CUs must innovate to reduce member churn and attract new members,” the study noted.