NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — CU Direct CEO Tony Boutelle had several bits of advice for credit unions. First and foremost was to be more assertive and be where your members are with online and mobile apps.
"Give a member a delivery channel, and they will take it," Boutelle remarked at a client conference last week. He observed that online transactions are the now, but mobile is expected overtake that sometime between 2015 and 2019, so credit unions must be prepared. However, that does not mean other delivery mechanisms can fall by the wayside, because all of credit unions’ delivery systems are experiencing growth.
Along the virtual vein, CUDL, CU Direct’s flagship product, also announced expanded capabilities for its AutoSMART iPhone app and the development of an Android-based app. One feature allows credit union members to apply for a loan while at the dealership, and the other is Sell Your Ride, permitting members to upload vehicle data and pictures via mobile app to unload unwanted vehicles.
"The new components we’ve added to the AutoSMART App provide our credit unions with a very diverse mobile application that improves their ability to stay connected with their members and enhance member loyalty," said Joe Greenwald, vice president of marketing and communications at CUDL.
These types of products mesh with projections of increased mobile usage and anticipated growth in new and used auto sales. Credit union market share performance has been less than stellar as competitors re-enter the market, Boutelle pointed out.
The credit union market share in auto loans dwindled to 15.6% in the first quarter of 2011, Boutelle said, down from 17.5% in 2010 and 22.2% in 2009. During that same time frame, banks and finance companies have posted comebacks. Banks are up to 35.8% market share while finance companies are up to 28.6% market share.
He added that credit unions must improve their loan portfolios as other revenues like interchange are being attacked and the NCUA continues charging its deposit insurance premiums and assessments. Soon the expenses associated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will come into play as well, Boutelle said.
Boutelle’s antidote for credit unions was to get more aggressive in lending while staying smart by better leveraging analytics for measuring risk and rewards. He added that strengthening car dealer relationships and cross selling were important in credit union strategies.
More than 940 credit unions and 6,800 dealerships nationwide use Ontario, Calif.-based CUDL for point-of-purchase and indirect lending services.