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As more of a credit union’s engagement with members and prospective members happens inside digital channels, data patterns are beginning to reveal insights into a series of puzzling mysteries. One such conundrum is the persistence of high application abandonment rates among mobile and online users.

Forrester analysts reported abandonment rates for online banking applications are at an all-time high. As our team built a digital lending solution for credit unions, we had extensive conversations with both consumers and lenders to better understand why potential borrowers weren’t seeing online applications all the way through to submission. What we heard came down to three main realities.

First, the online channel is, by nature, geared for self-help. Self-service in the digital era presents a double-edged sword for lenders. On the one hand, the prospects of anonymity and 24/7 availability bring plenty of warm leads through the virtual door. On the other, the lack of social pressure to continue with a transaction makes it easy to stop whenever someone is inclined to do so.

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