The way we think about credit union data these days doesn’t mesh with what’s actually happening in the industry. Credit unions now have access to more data than they ever have. Failure to leverage that data though? That’s where you should be concerned.
Let’s walk through an example: just over 20 years ago, Amazon entered the book retail market. Their mission was simple: deliver personalized experiences to its customers and make each interaction unique and customized to the individual.
At the time, Amazon was just one man, Jeff Bezos, selling books out of his home. For the book market retail giants, Amazon was hardly a threat, just some crazy guy trying to compete with very large and long-established institutions. Companies such as Barnes and Noble and Borders Books had well over a thousand retail locations and were selling books hand over fist.
Well, we all know how that story ends—Amazon is one of the top retailers in the world and Borders Books is now bankrupt and Barnes and Noble is struggling.
Failure to properly leverage credit union data may hurt as many branches as Amazon hurt bookstores. Basically, the outlook is grim.
Declining Emphasis on Branches
In the past, credit union success was closely tied to the number of branches it could open. The more branches, the more members, the larger volumes of deposits and loans, and the greater the success of the credit union. All of this success is measured by credit union size rather than credit union data.
As we’ve seen in other industries such as Amazon versus the book market, this has started to change dramatically. The emphasis on the branch at credit unions has since gone away. Members are now looking to more convenient avenues to do their financial transactions.