CUs growing to meet consumer expectations: Ind. biz journal

March 8, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (3/8/16)--Consumer desire for products and services--and emerging competition from alternative financial services--is driving the growth at Indiana credit unions, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported in a recent article.

Consolidation in the financial services industry also is an impetus to share the credit union difference. It’s important that “locally rooted” credit unions get out front by promoting the advantages of using a credit union, Indiana Credit Union League President John McKenzie told the Indianapolis Business Journal (March 5).

“The focus on returning earnings not needed for reserves to members through lower fees and better rates is fundamentally a different structure,” McKenzie said. He cited Credit Union National Association data showing credit union products yield $130 million in annual savings for consumers compared with bank products.

Indiana Members CU, Indianapolis, is focusing on technology--such as smartphone apps, Apple Pay and instant-issue plastic cards--said CEO Ron Collier.  

“The biggest change I’ve seen in the last five years is the ability to serve members 24/7 through their smartphones,” Collier said.

At Elements Financial FCU, Indianapolis, member business lending is coming to the forefront.

“We have many members,” said CEO Lisa Schlehuber, “and some of our members--partners, spouses, someone in their family--also own a small business. And we continually get asked, ‘You do such a great job on the personal side, why can’t I do my business activities with you as well?’”

Schlehuber added: “If we’re standing still, we’re dying.”