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Matt KeenanCredit unions have long taken extra steps to build brand loyalty and separate themselves from large financial institutions by delivering superior customer service. And, for years these efforts paid off. In 2011, CUNA reported that membership at not-for-profit financial institutions hit an all-time high and did so again in 2012, with credit union membership surpassing 93 million in the second quarter of that year.

However, the competitive landscape is changing at warp speed as increased financial options are creating an environment in which members are more likely to move their services elsewhere. At the same time, the perceived homogeneity or commoditization of core banking services has created a downward spike in overall brand loyalty for banks and credit unions alike, as consumers no longer have the same challenges or level of angst when shifting accounts from one financial institution to another.

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