The NCUA 2021 Annual Report found that credit union membership had grown to almost 130 million members, an increase of 4.7 million members during 20211. There are undeniable benefits of being a credit union member versus a banking customer.

Despite appearing similar at first glance, credit unions provide members with:

  • Member-centric focus: Board members are chosen by and held accountable by members and make decisions based on member interests rather than stockholder interests.
  • Better interest rates and lower fees: Because credit unions are nonprofit, they turn earnings into lower loan rates and better services. 
  • Keeps money local: Local credit unions keep money within the community by lending to members and investing in local small businesses. 
  • Community-focused: Credit unions give back to their communities and work to be part of the community through events, foundations, grants, and more.
  • Improved technology: Credit unions now offer the same types of digital banking offered by national banks including such things as online banking, mobile banking, digital wallet, etc.
  • Financial goals: Provides financial education and helps members reach financial goals.
  • Security: Money is insured through the NCUA.
  • Personalized customer service: Credit union employees develop personal relationships with members and help them make financial decisions based on their needs. 

While these benefits are what make credit unions so successful, members may not be aware of or understand them.

Here are five things you can do to make sure your current (and future) members know all your credit union has to offer. 

#1: Provide Information When Members Join

Just like HR provides a benefits message for new employees, credit unions should provide “onboarding” for new members. Help new members see all the benefits your credit union offers. 

Include things like:

  • Logging in and creating a secure password
  • How to navigate the website
  • Tutorials on using the different technology 
  • How to sign up for newsletters 
  • Information about yearly events
  • Explanation of community involvement

Consider offering new member information on paper, digitally, via multimedia, one-on-one, and at new member events.

#2: Encourage Employees to Talk About Benefits

Credit union employees meet face-to-face with members and often learn of member needs through frequent contact. Be sure your employees feel comfortable talking about the different benefits offered by your credit union. 

For example, if a member mentions that they hate waiting in line and you offer an appointment booking platform, employees can suggest this alternative. There may also be value in helping the member understand how to use online and mobile banking.

Be sure to provide employees with needed materials to help members understand the benefits such as brochures, online tutorials, and in-person events.

#3: Continued Conversations are Crucial

Just because a member hears about the benefits when they join doesn’t mean they will remember them later. It will be important to find ways to get the benefits of being a member of a credit union in front of your members regularly. 

Some good ways to continue the conversation include:

  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Member events
  • Yearly financial checkups

#4: Make It Easy and Accessible

The benefits offered to members should be easy to find and easy to use. For instance, if you offer a financial wellness program to members, it should be available through your main website with the same login information. 

Things to keep in mind:

  • Make login as simple as possible using Single Sign On (SSO) technology
  • Have one portal with all benefits in one place
  • Make sure your website is optimized for all devices
  • Provide 24/7 accessibility to benefits

#5: Create an Integrative Strategy

Don’t just assume that members will learn about your benefits, and don’t assume that your employees will discuss these benefits with members.

Instead, create a strategy to be sure that members get the benefits memo.

Think about a comprehensive strategy to keep the benefits of being a credit union member in general, and a member of your credit union in particular, in front of your membership. Doing so will keep your membership strong.

Enrich is a financial wellness platform that can help your members understand personal finances, reduce financial stress, develop strong financial habits, and meet their financial goals. To learn more about offering Enrich as a benefit to your members, schedule a demo today.

 

  1. https://www.ncua.gov/files/annual-reports/annual-report-2021.pdf