Now is a perfect time for credit unions to re-examine their approach to credit. There is a significant opportunity to grow market share and build stronger member relationships. With the financial crisis in the rear view mirror, there is a strong renewed interest in consumer credit, which is expected to grow at twice the rate of debit between 2013 and 2015. Leveraging existing relationships to “graduate” members from debit to more profitable credit products can more than double revenue, according to Pulse Network and the Federal Reserve Bank.

Large retail banks and credit card issuers see this opportunity and continue to invest heavily in consumer-facing products. At the same time, financial technology disruptors and new players with different business models like crowdfunding are edging into the market with new solutions.

To compete and win, credit unions are going to have to execute better than ever on what they do best: Engage their members with outstanding service and differentiated products. When it comes to card solutions that are part of the arsenal, credit unions have to differentiate with a personalized experience that provides a distinct value to their membership. The last time consumers saw a major credit product evolution was during the introduction of reward programs, and that happened well over 10 years ago.

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