GOLD COAST, Australia (7/31/14)--Credit unions' challenges worldwide are more
|World Council of Credit Unions President/CEO Brian Branch speaks to his group's World Credit Union Conference on the challenges of attracting young-adult credit union members. (World Council Photo)|
similar than ever before, including young adult membership growth, which drives the demand for credit unions to provide competitive mobile and digital payment systems, according World Council of Credit Unions President/CEO Brian Branch who spoke Monday at his group's World Credit Union Conference here.
"Young adults today have many more financial services options available to them, and they are willing to pay more for convenience," Branch told the general session audience.
"Convenience will be king. Our challenge is how to serve this market profitably by looking at our channels and addressing whether the products and services we offer respond to their demands."
In most countries, the median age of credit union members is mid- to late-40s, which is 10 to 15 years older than their median national population age, according to Branch. This segment is past its prime borrowing years, whereas young adults are on the brink of significant milestones and costly life transitions related to their education, careers, families and other living expenses.
Branch indicated this generation will be the source of future financial services business soon.
"For online and mobile channels to be successful, they must be easy, take only a few minutes and fall within regulatory requirements," Branch said. "If young consumers have to go to a branch in order to complete the process in person, we lose them."
Branch finished his remarks by challenging the global movement to join World Council's membership growth campaign to add 50 million credit union members worldwide by 2020, for a total of 258 million. This could be possible with a widespread focus on attracting young adult membership through less restrictive regulation, increased mobile, online and payments technology and collaboration amongst credit unions, he said.
Also addressing the conference Monday session, keynoter Lee Wetherington, a
|Keynoter Lee Wetherington, of ProfitStars, shares a forecast of the industry's best research on upcoming developments in online, mobile, payments and branches at the World Council's World Credit Union Conference in Australia. (World Council Photo)|
technology expert and adviser, said the any notion that change is happening so fast in the marketplace that it prevents credit unions from planning for it accordingly is wrong.
Wetherington shared a forecast and summary of the industry's best research on upcoming developments in online, mobile, payments and branches. He provided insights on the global credit union movement's unique opportunity going forward to use their members' data—which no other institution has access to—to understand and satisfy members' financial advising needs through mobile and online payments.
"The future is more about data than it is about payments," said Wetherington, ProfitStars director of strategic insights in the United States. "Using credit unions' data, we will be able to help our members decide whether, when and where it makes sense to buy the stuff they want in real time, with integrity. None of the other market disruptors are in a position to do that."