I hear a number of concerns from credit unions today: external forces such as slowing loan growth, squeezed margins, evidence of compliance and financial regulation bills are challenging business as they look for new ways to drive growth. However, one force left off this list–while unassuming–is the most important to the future of your business. It’s competition for today’s consumer. The evolution of technology is fundamentally changing the way consumers want to interact and is creating competition in places that never before existed. The good news: Within this new consumer class lies great opportunity for those that can capture their attention. The bad news: Today, you can lose your member’s loyalty at the push of a button. How can credit unions position themselves to stand out? Consider this consumer’s interaction: 

Bob wakes up. His phone displays an SMS text reminder from his local florist: “Sue’s birthday is tomorrow. Last year, you ordered the medium bouquet. Upgrade your bouquet and receive 20% off.” He taps yes and completes the  transaction. The florist automatically emails him a copy of his receipt that includes a promotional offer for a nice bottle of wine at the new local restaurant. He checks out its website and then tweets a message to see if anyone recommends it. Many do. He quickly goes to the link on his receipt and reserves a table–redeeming his offer. The next day, when Bob and Sue arrive, their table has a note wishing Sue a happy birthday. After leaving the restaurant, he tweets about the great experience he had and sends out the restaurant’s link.

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