Innovation in Credit Unions
…inventive solutions to respond to market needs in the credit union industry…developed by teams of credit union officials participating in Filene’s i3 innovation program, sponsored in part by America’s Corporate Credit Unions.
These seven innovations are natural evolutions of products and services that may find their way into credit union operations in the near future:
Decision Point. When elderly credit union members need help managing their finances, specially trained staff members can advise family members on how to best help their relatives protect and manage their assets. This can include bill-paying, financial planning, and reverse mortgage services for the customer. For credit unions, the benefits include protecting existing deposits as well as providing a retention tool as credit unions face a graying member population.
My Community Connection. Credit unions serve people from all walks of life, some more mobile than others. My Community Connection is a web-based portal and information resource about community activities and events through which credit union members sign up for volunteer activities. Sponsoring the site helps credit unions develop more of a bond and brand loyalty with their customers.
Stock Market Madness with CUPick64. Online gaming has already proven successful in other industries, and CUPick64, a fast-moving stock market simulation game, proposes blending this favorite pastime of young adults with learning more about financial markets. Engaging the young adults is important to the future of credit unions, and offering this fast-paced, competitive game can help attract that market.
Prize-based Savings Products. With the U.S. savings rate now below 0%, prize-based savings programs, based on Harvard research and used successfully in many other nations, offer a unique and risk-free way to promote savings among credit union members. For each dollar or incremental dollar deposited in a specially designated account, the member earns an additional entry into the sweepstakes drawing; the more deposited, the greater the chances of winning.
Always a Member—A National Member Referral Service. Keeping members in the credit union system is the focus of this online referral program, which matches members moving geographically from one location to another with a credit union near their new home. A similar program already used in British Columbia, Canada has kept 3052 members within the credit union system and $105.8 million.
iNFORM Young Adult Members. Credit unions are not capturing a “fair share” of the young adult market between the ages of 20 and 30. With iNFORM, a long-term relationship and retention service designed to deliver short and engaging financial management messages through podcasting, credit unions can better address the needs of this young market and build up their membership.
No Excuses Saving Club. Americans not only have difficult time saving money but also have mounting debts. The No Excuses Savings Club promotes saving money by rounding debit card transactions to the nearest dollar and automatically depositing those funds to a specially designated savings account. Credit unions gain a competitive edge by offering this program as well as meet their most critical mission of improving their members’ financial well being.