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Predicting What Your Members Want in the Future

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BY JEFF KLINE

When I asked credit union managers 20 years ago what posed the biggest threat to their organisation’s future, they cited the difficulties in competing with banks and S&Ls, and the converging competition from related brokerage and insurance companies, mostly because of their size and deep pockets, which allowed them to invest more on systems and technology, as well as having much larger marketing budgets.And of course someone would occasionally throw in Microsoft.

Who knew our competitors in 2018 would turn from community banks to companies like Google, Amazon and Apple? Probably not many, because they were a search engine, an online retailer and a computer manufacturer. Why would anyone expect them to compete in the financial services market?

That got me wondering what credit unions might expect in years to come. But instead of thinking about 12 or 24 months from now, we need to look further down the road – 5, 10, and 15 years from now. What will be the key issues facing our industry?

Identifying future challenges

Some things never change, like dealing with regulations, fighting off industry competitors and needing new and better cyber security.But what else can we expect?

  • Focus on controlling expenses. With narrower profit margins arising from increased competition, careful cost management will continue to be vital.
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