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Concerns around public spaces and shared surfaces are expected to linger long after the pandemic, permanently altering branch activity and solidifying digital as the leading touchpoint. For the first time, credit unions are spending advertising dollars to promote digital banking instead of offers like mortgages or auto loans. The industry is on the precipice of a critical shift, one that brings many challenges as well as opportunities. For example, how credit unions learn about their members’ financial goals, preferences and needs will have to evolve. Member information that was once learned through in-person conversations over the teller counter must now be collected in the digital domain.

Outside of face-to-face interactions, credit unions have traditionally relied on surface-level data like demographics, channel usage and transaction history to know their members. These data points fail to paint a complete picture of who a member is and the full scope of their financial needs. Exacerbating the issue, the move to online shopping and e-commerce makes purchases largely homogenous – consider how many Amazon and Uber Eats receipts will appear on card statements this month, divulging little to nothing about the purchaser. To remain relevant, it’s time for credit unions to dive below the water line to learn more meaningful information, such as member preferences, brand loyalties, life stages and timely financial needs.

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