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Digital Lessons From Amazon: Credit Unions and the Online Experience

Investing in a robust digital strategy with an iterative approach is important for credit unions, especially as consumer continue to heavily utilize online channels.

Executive Summary

The world is becoming more and more digital. As a result, the entire consumer experience has shifted for many industries. While technology is creating convenience for consumers, it is putting pressure on financial institutions to invest in robust digital strategies. Being able to successfully operate in this current financial landscape without an online presence is next to impossible. To that end, Filene is dedicated to understanding how financial consumers shop for products during this highly connected time.

What is the research about?

To explore further, we conducted a pilot with from September 2012 through November 2013 with 44 credit unions to test in a live setting how credit unions are doing with online sales capabilities. Filene and provided credit unions with an opportunity to win new members/cardholders on Amazon's new online storefront, Credit Card Marketplace. During the study we found that many credit unions, even large, sophisticated ones, need to improve their online sales process. In many cases, credit unions do not allow non-members to join the credit union online. In other cases, when the membership application is online, it is not integrated with the loan application, so the consumer has to input information twice.

What are the credit union implications?

By not taking advantage of the opportunities of the digital age, credit unions are missing out on acquiring members and deepening member relationships. The results from the pilot helped us realize the following:

  • Credit unions need to approach the online shopping experience iteratively
  • Online shoppers demand fast and easy access to product information
  • Investment in technology is critical

Filene thanks our generous supporters for making this important research possible. 

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