Significant segments of the population are increasingly dissatisfied and distancing themselves from traditional financial services providers – uh, banks – and that news and noise is all around us. At CU24, we’ve conducted market research with consumers on their perspectives and preferences and the message has been loud and clear. In terms of their banking relationships, people feel like they don’t belong, banks are only out to get their money and they’re just a statistic. Service is out the window and banks view their customers as just a source of fees. That’s not me talking – it’s straight from the mouths of consumers.

The data are evident too. More and more consumers, at nearly every strata of the economy, are opting for alternatives to traditional banks such as prepaid cards and newly emergent consumer and business finance companies.

The good news is that when consumers learn more about credit unions, they are very receptive to the difference. These alienated segments are largely composed of those consumers credit unions are essentially charged to serve – working class Americans and people of modest means. When credit unions pursue this market, rendering services in accordance with traditional and conscientious credit union values and philosophy, they present a responsive, welcoming home for those alienated consumers. There is a substantial market opportunity for credit unions among those who are disaffected from traditional financial services organizations (banks). When credit unions behave like banks, they are buying into the same morass that consumers increasingly reject – especially among our target segments.  

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