DULUTH, Ga. (10/7/15)--What do members value most from their credit unions? Being treated like an owner, rather than a customer was the answer from 74% of Georgians surveyed by the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).
Of those surveyed, 87% said they encourage family and friends to use a credit union, according to GCUA’s Mid-Year 2015 Membership Survey (Consider This Oct. 6).
When asked what they value the most, respondents cited ownership, which beat out low fees. Of those surveyed, 58% valued most credit unions’ lower interest rates on loans; 35% valued lower fees on credit cards; 30%, higher interest return on accounts; and 22 %, lower mortgage fees,
In Georgia, consumers recognize the value of credit union membership, said GCUA. Georgia memberships surpassed the two million mark last year and now total 2.1 million members, thanks to a 1% increase in membership during second quarter 2015 and a 2.1% growth during the first six months of 2015.
“Personal service is the game changer,” said Augusta Metro FCU President/CEO Sherry Saxon, noting that often staff get to know the members on a first-name basis. “And what they (members) say matters, whether it’s in regards to applying for a loan and needing to explain their credit situation, or suggesting new products or services--we listen. This is their financial institution, and whether they have $5 or 5 million, we treat them all the same.”
GCUA listed seven benefits to credit union membership: commitment to service, convenience, federally insured deposits, free checking, higher savings rates, lower loan rates and lower fees.
GCUA also cited CUNA Mutual Group’s Economic and Credit Union Monthly Update in August, which noted that nationwide, credit union membership growth is expected to continue through 2016, with 104.5 million expected members, or one-third of the U.S. population, nationwide by the end of this year.
CUNA’s monthly credit union estimates indicate that U.S. credit union memberships climbed by 0.6% in August to 104.3 million.