COVID-19’s Impact on Credit Unions
When the COVID-19 emergency hit the world, many Credit Unions had to put preparedness plans in place to ensure the safety of their employees, business partners, and customers. Credit Unions also needed to find a way to serve their members in this new reality. By analyzing Q1 data, VisiFI was able to examine how debit and credit card activity has shifted due to COVID-19, observe new consumer trends in the COVID-19 world, identify a solution to allow Credit Unions to better serve their members in this new reality, and see the results come to fruition through a case study.
Digitizing the Credit Union Industry
The COVID-19 emergency resulted in an opportunity to make a shift towards digitizing Credit Unions’ branches, as shown in a recent analysis from VisiFI. While debit card usage (5% reduction in transaction volume from February to March) and credit card usage (12% reduction in transaction volume in the same period) are decreasing, there has been a spike (+6%) in the usage of online and mobile solutions from January to March.
P2P Digital Payments
With the above data in mind, we can see how the COVID-19 emergency is changing members’ habits and needs; people are expecting a safe way to share money. This is confirmed by a 27% increase in digital payments (P2P).
Leveraging new ways to give people the opportunity to manage money in a more personal and caring way is even more important when dealing with a pandemic. Being able to quickly respond to this situation by giving members the ability to access digital payment services can be key to cope in this new scenario.
VisiFI brought same day Person to Person payments to Public Service Credit Union (PSCU) in January 2020 within PSCU’s CU-e Branch Online & Mobile Banking Platform. This new capability allowed their members to easily send funds to others, even those outside of the Credit Union. When the Online & Mobile Banking solution was implemented, these payments were processed within 24-48 hours. In March 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, PSCU saw a drastic increase in their digital channels volume. A new challenge arose: PSCU needed to ensure that their members could have access to the money processed through the P2P digital payment solution in an even quicker way.
PSCU worked with VisiFI to enhance their P2P digital payments solution within their Online & Mobile Banking platform. By passing payments “same-day”, this new functionality now provides greater convenience to PSCU members during this difficult time. The results came right away: a 37% increase in the P2P digital payment transactions, almost instantly. The simplicity of the solution was key: PSCU’s members could access the P2P functionality from wherever they need it, from any channel – mobile, tablet or laptop – and without training.
In addition to PSCU’s increase in P2P transactions, PSCU also gained 100 new online banking users within 3 days.
“Not only did we experience a growth in online registration, but we have seen a 22% increase in the overall daily login activity as of April 15th. This trend presents clear evidence that having a quality online experience has helped PSCU members adjust to these pandemic times.” Said Patty Depa, Core System Product Developer, Public Service Credit Union.
The COVID-19 emergency is driving more members to depend on digital channel solutions. With government restraints and lock-down, people still need to have access to their money, and leveraging digital services can be the right solution when social distancing is limiting their movement. With debit and credit card usage down, members now depend on a quick and efficient way to share money while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.