How credit unions can encourage data sharing with their members

Posted on

May 9, 2022


Carrie Shunia

In our experience, members are usually happy to share information with their credit unions if it means a better relationship. However, credit unions must realize that member information is not handed over voluntarily and that they must foster trust with their members – using that information to create better services, personalized engagement and more. It’s not easy and most struggle with execution, ending up with disengaged member bases who are unlikely to recommend their services and ultimately help credit unions grow.

Encouraging data sharing

You have two important responsibilities with the information that your members share with you: First, you must protect their data and second, use it for their greater good. Protection comes through your robust cybersecurity and privacy programs. Using that information for their greater good means you must understand what your members expect from you when they hand over their personal information, and then deliver upon it. Here are a few tips to help you gain your members' trust and put their data to good use.

•          Encourage an open dialogue: Many people don't want to share their data because they are afraid it will be stolen or sold to third parties for advertising purposes that they never consented to. So, inform them about the risk policies and security protocols you have in place (without giving away all the details) and be transparent about how you’ll use the information given. DO you plan to sell it to third parties for advertising purposes? Hopefully not, but tell them anyway. Do members feel comfortable sharing their data? Ask. If they’re uncomfortable, why is that?

•          Analyze what you have: Data is incredibly valuable these days – that’s why everyone wants it. Once you have it, analyze it. Understand when and how your members do their banking, what services they have with you and then use that data to help them. They could realize further benefits of the services they already have, or you could inform them of relevant services that may be helpful to them. Be sure to communicate on their preferred time and channels (eg, if a member does all of their banking online at night, don’t send them a letter about your new offers).

•          Don't hide in your bricks and mortar fortress: Even with in-person gatherings and large community events still not at pre-pandemic levels, keeping a friendly face in the community is important. Members will trust you more if they can actually see you and know who you are as an organization. So, get out and be a part of your local community, and put a human face on your credit union! By displaying your values and actively engaging with your community, your members will become more familiar with you and naturally begin to form a trusting relationship. If your members see that the street between you and them is truly two-way, they will travel it more comfortably. You can also use these events to gather information from your members that you can then use to communicate about relevant services or offers. For example, if you meet members during a volunteer weekend with the animal shelter and find out they have a pet, you could tell them later about a cash back offer you’re running at the local pet store.

Information sharing needs to feel like just that to your members -- sharing. They don't want to feel exploited for their data. Instead, they want to know that you are using their information to serve them better and doing so in a safe way.

Looking for more advice about improving member relationships? Check out our blog to learn more! Larky helps financial institutions create lasting, meaningful relationships with their account holders using tailored push notification campaigns delivered through the mobile banking app. To learn more, visit our home page or drop us a line and let’s chat!

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