What Do Consumers Want From Their PFI?

The branch is still vitally important to some members.

June 9, 2011

What matters most to consumers when choosing a primary financial institution (PFI)?

Among nonmembers, the top reason for choosing a PFI is convenience of office locations, with 43% choosing that as one of the three most important factors in their selection, according to CUNA’s 2011-2012 Survey of Potential Members Report, as reported in the Credit Union E-Scan Newsletter.

Differences also exist in priorities among nonmembers in different age groups.

Among nonmembers ages 18 to 24, for example, the three highest-ranking factors in choosing a PFI are:

  • Financial stability, safety, soundness (33%);
  • Reasonable service charges and fees (30%); and
  • Trusting the institution to do what’s best for the consumer, not for the bottom line (29%).

The young adult cohort ranks the “trust” factor higher than any other age group.

In contrast, 60% of those age 65 or older say “convenient office locations” matter most to them.

What do nonmembers say they would need to begin using credit union services?

The top five needs, along with the percentages of nonmembers who selected them, are:

  1. More branch locations convenient to home (37%).
  2. More free ATMs (35%).
  3. Better information on services, rates, fees, and advantages (30%).
  4. Higher savings rates (29%).
  5. Lower service charges and fees (25%).

Nonmembers’ reasons for choosing a PFI, according to CUNA's 2011-2012 Survey of Potential Members Report and the 2011-2012 National Member Survey Report:

  • Convenient office locations (43%)
  • Reasonable service charges/fees (31%)
  • Online/remote access to accounts (30%)
  • Many ATM locations (27%)
  • Financial stability (25%)
  • Friendly/knowledgeable staff (23%)
  • Conducts business with integrity (23%)
  • Convenient hours (19%)
  • Competitive savings rates (17%)
  • I trust them to do what’s best for me (16%)
  • Competitive loan rates (8%)
  • Many savings products (7%)
  • Many loan products (4%)