Data source: Sageworks

Even though mobile apps and online services are the norm in most people’s everyday lives, research shows when it comes to borrowing, business owners still value personal service and existing relationships, too. About 90% of small business owners in a 2016 Aite Group survey said familiarity or previous relationships with the financial institution or branch staff were important factors in determining where they applied for a loan.

Combining high-tech capabilities with human touch is one option credit unions are pursuing to achieve aggressive loan growth goals. Tapping into technology creates greater capacity for staff to focus on the relationship aspect of relationship lending. When routine data entry tasks and certain aspects of credit analysis are automated, lenders have more time to provide the personal level of service that distinguishes community-focused credit unions from larger institutions or alternative lenders.

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