Grow Your Credit Union Membership With New Insights About Non-Members

Is your credit union leaving opportunities to grow membership on the table? If you’re not actively engaging non-members, you might be.

The latest research from CUNA Mutual Group,What Matters Now®: Insights from the Non-Member,” is a deep dive into non-member and under-engaged member mindsets, lifestyles, attitudes, and habits. These insights can be invaluable tools for your credit union to reach this audience.

Who are non-members?

Only 22 percent of families surveyed were fully engaged credit union members, meaning they consider their credit union their primary banking institution. The other 78 percent of Americans fall into three areas of opportunity for membership growth: partially engaged members, disengaged members, and true non-members.

Partially engaged members acknowledge that they are credit union members, but say that their primary banking is done elsewhere. Disengaged members have credit union products, but don’t consider themselves to be credit union members. True non-members have no credit union affiliation at all.

So it’s not just a member vs non-member conversation. It’s important to think of membership on a continuum with these three distinct groups, known as the “opportunity segments,” representing the consumer groups that provide opportunity for credit unions.

How can you reach and engage the opportunity segments?

The What Matters Now® research found that each group represents a unique blend of mindsets, spending habits, banking relationships, and more. Keep in mind that these three groups are unique audiences, so your credit union may have to create different messages and marketing strategies for each.

However, your credit union may already have a foot in the door with disengaged members. According to the study, nearly two in five disengaged members are likely to switch to a credit union as their primary banking institution. They cited their top two reasons to switch as better interest rates and financial incentives to open an account. Therefore, communications highlighting your interest rates or financial incentives may appeal most to this group.

Breaking down misconceptions about credit unions might also help your credit union reach non-members and grow membership. Some common perceptions of credit unions are that they’re only for loans, are not as secure as banks, and offer limited products and services. In fact, more than half of non-members believe that credit unions have limited locations, services, and products. Targeted communications that address these misconceptions can help influence this group to make the switch.

To learn more about how to reach the opportunity segments, including insights into their demographics, lifestyles, spending habits, and more, view the full report at cunamutual.com/whatmattersnow.

Editor’s note: Brian Werger, director of the TruStage Insurance Program, CUNA Mutual Group’s consumer brand, is the author of this article. Contact Brian at Brian.Werger@cunamutual.com.

For more information on this Strategic Link partnership, contact Jason Smith, Northwest Credit Union Association’s Vice President, Strategic Resources, at jsmith@nwcua.org.