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Study CUs upending less-tech-savvy stereotype
BOSTON (8/17/12)--Credit unions are catching up to larger banks in the race for online banking convenience, according to a new study of more than 1,400 consumers by market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey.

For years, large banks touted their convenience as a consumer choice, while credit unions and smaller banks were chosen for personal service (PRWeb Aug. 15).

The ease of online and mobile banking is changing this dynamic, with credit unions offering remote services and bridging the convenience gap for their members, the study found.

Additional findings include:

  • Credit unions are upending the stereotype that they are less tech-savvy than larger banks. While big banks have a reputation for offering more online and mobile services, credit union members report online banking use that is as high as large-bank customers, and members give credit unions higher marks on performance.
  • For many bank customers, online banking is a key element of banking convenience: 64% of all bank customers use online banking in some form, and a fifth have used mobile banking. While customers still value branch and ATM access, 43% agree online services are a key element of banking service.
  • Financial institutions can differentiate themselves by offering good service--including online and mobile banking: Nearly half (48%) of bank customers believe banks can differentiate themselves with good service. The definition of 'good service' is evolving; convenience is no longer just about more branches and ATMs, but also about innovative technologies and remote banking options. (Editor's note: Credit unions' members already know the value of good service, according to several customer satisfaction surveys over the years.)
"These findings suggest a new banking value proposition is emerging," says Jim Garrity, managing director of Chadwick Martin Bailey's financial services practice. "The growth of online and mobile banking services means convenience and accessibility don't belong solely to large bank customers."  Financial institutions "able to provide secure, usable, and reliable online services combined with top-notch service will be most competitive," he added.

In the study, data were collected from 1,433 U.S. residents, aged 18 to 75, through a nationally representative online survey questionnaire within the U.S. The survey was conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey in February.


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