BY JEFF KLINE
Still thinking of other credit unions as the competition? In terms of value addition, there may actually be strength in collaborative numbers. Read on to discover why pooling your resources, ideas and expertise with other CUs could strengthen your overall member experience and help you compete with your real competitors.
Those of us who work on behalf of credit unions learned terms like “cooperation,” “one member, one vote” and “mutual self-help” in the early days of our careers. Starting with no capital, people of ordinary means pooled their savings and earned dividends while those who needed to borrow had a ready resource to draw from. Of course, the financial industry has become much more complex than it was a century ago, for both the for-profit sector and the cooperative community. But the premise behind our cooperative model continues to work today.
However, our industry doesn’t always practice collaboration at the professional level, often out of fear of giving away a competitive edge. Yet it’s rare for credit unions to truly compete with each other. There’s plenty of market share to go around; even with record shares of more than $1 trillion, U.S. credit unions have less than one-tenth of the deposits of the nation’s top four banks.
Collaboration brings greater value.
At MEMBERS Development Company, we help credit unions pool their resources, ideas and expertise to offer members not only affordable products and services that enhance their financial well being but also the convenience of today’s technology. For me, working in the credit union community has always been gratifying, but partnering with some of the nation’s largest credit unions to work for the good of their members and prospective members is an exceptional experience.