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Getting Nonmembers to Make the Switch

How can you find out what might move nonmembers to join a credit union? Read on to find their answers when MCUA posed that question.

Last spring, the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) sponsored a survey of nonmembers to gauge their familiarity with credit unions and the advantages they offer over banks. The results were interesting to say the least and were covered in three special editions of Missouri Courier Magazine. In the spirit of cooperation and consumer awareness, MCUA is republishing its fascinating findings. Some of the highlights include:

Key Statistics

  • 90% of respondents rely on a bank for their financial services
  • 4% use a stock brokerage service, and 4% use check cashing outlets
  • 64% of nonmembers have been with their current financial institution for more than 10 years
  • 59% of nonmembers were not sure if they could join a credit union
  • After hearing about the differences between credit unions and banks, interest in using a credit union more than doubled among respondents (from 11% initially showing great interest to 26%)

Where Nonmembers Bank 

  1. US Bank
  2. Bank of America
  3. Commerce Bank
  4. UMB
  5. Bank Midwest
  6. First Bank of Missouri

"The survey results show that people may not be thinking about credit unions, but when they learn about them, they're very interested," says Jeff Horwitt, vice president of Hart Research Associates. "Then their comfort level with the status quo becomes the biggest challenge. The most compelling message is the idea that credit unions are not a bank in any number of ways. Local ownership is part of that, but credit unions also need to show how they're distinct from big national banks - different and better." 

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