credit union strategiesA successful credit union is one that steadily grows based on good member acquisition and retention practices. Not only will achieving this help your credit union expand it will also help weather economic downturns by having a strongly-developed membership base that supports your services.

Maneuvering into such a robust position does however require a flexible strategy roadmap that doesn't bog your organization down into rigid details. Here are three strategies for growth that focus on exactly that.

1. Advertise Aggressively

2023 can be a good year for credit union growth. As the Federal Reserve continues to push interest rates upward in the middle of an ongoing recession, many small businesses and financially conservative individuals will be more inclined to invest their money with credit unions. CUs are likely to be perceived as a safe, relatively local, and accessible alternative to large banking institutions and distant Fintech providers.

However, to take advantage of this, your credit union will need to be aggressive about advertising itself as a haven for members' assets. During recessions, this can be a winning strategy:

Analysts at McCraw-Hill Research looked deep into recession advertising data for numerous industries during the recession of 1981-1982 and later the Great Recession of 2008. What they found was that in both cases, businesses across multiple industries including banking and credit actually increased their sales enormously compared to those that didn't advertise during these same recessionary periods.

In the case of companies advertising during the recession of the 1980's, their sales of products and services rose by a whopping average of 256% over those that had curtailed advertising spending. Similar differences applied during the 2008 recession.

In other words, while you should advertise your credit union's services during strong economic times, you must advertise them during downturns. This is especially important for showing potential and existing members that you are a safe, accessible option for their assets.

2. Embrace Fintech

It's easy for potential members to perceive credit unions as banking and credit organizations that lag behind the wider, newer Fintech landscape emerging today. Change this perception by making sure members know about the new services being offered. Numerous tools for tech transformation in your credit union are already available.

What's more, numerous studies have shown, members love and prefer to conduct as much of their banking as possible remotely. Studies have shown that as many as 89% of all banking users conduct as many of their transactions as they can via mobile bank apps. Furthermore, they tend to be less than impressed with the quality of many mobile banking services offered by major banks.

You can let these factors work to your advantage by enabling more and better mobile banking for your members. You need to then also ensure that it delivers on best practices and high usability in ways that make them take notice.

Another potential aspect of the above is to build relationships with other Fintech providers and platforms that your members might already know. You can use these to further streamline the quality of the services you yourself offer.

3. Incentivize Your Employees

No growth strategy will work well if the employees managing it at all levels aren't also motivated. Your advertising and Fintech efforts, or any other growth strategy will depend on you leveraging staff to build a brand name that members can trust for quality and reliable service. This means ensuring that your employees handle member services well and that they enjoy doing so with minimal stress.

Essentially, you want both credit union members and employees to feel as if they belong to something valuable that they can both benefit from and trust in specific, quantifiable ways.

Bringing These Strategies to Your Credit Union

The strategies outlined will have a great impact on your credit union, helping to expand and bring the services your members desire so they continue coming back for more. They will also help with increasing efficiency. Case in point: Freedom Northwest Credit Union (located in Kamiah, ID), has implemented some of these very strategies and is seeing incredible growth. Click below to read the case study for yourself!

Freedom Northwest Credit Union Growth

Topics: Mobile Banking, Credit Union Best Practices, mobile apps, credit union growth, Efficiencies, credit union challenges, credit union trends, member growth, fintech

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