The Modern Consumer and the Role of Member-Centric Banking

Girl with yellow glasses in an alley


  • The expectations of modern consumers have changed with demand for personalized digital experiences accelerating across industries

  • Heightened expectations are being spurred by younger, digital native consumers, who expect personalized experiences from all their digital interactions

  • To meet demands of the modern consumer, credit unions need to embrace a strong digital mindset and make better use of their data to deliver relevant experiences to members

The Evolution of the Digital Consumer

From shopping, to entertainment to banking, the use of online channels was already growing. But the COVID pandemic accelerated the shift to digital by several years.

Platforms like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon, set the bar for what customer experience could look like. With one-click shopping, personalized product offerings, and recommendations tailored to preferences and past behaviour, these convenient, personalized experiences changed what consumers expect from their digital services.

This has forced companies across industries to rethink their digital strategies: from how they deliver products and services to how they interact and engage with customers.The financial industry is not immune to these new demands. In fact, it has an even higher bar to pass, with little room for error in the accuracy of information and recommendations delivered to customers.

In a 2023 BMO survey on the state of banks and credit unions, 38% of those surveyed ranked having access to digital banking as important as having a car and 65% listed personalized advice via digital banking platforms as one of the features most important to them.

These pressures to catch up are especially relevant among credit unions, who need to digitally innovate and bring deeper contextual experiences across the member lifecycle, ​​especially if they hope to acquire members from the Millenial and Gen Z demographic, who are decidedly digital. Both generations, as well as their older cohorts, expect highly engaging experiences that are fast and simple enough to incorporate into their daily lives.

A 2020 survey of banks and credit unions by The Financial Brand found that over 80% of financial institutions identified “proactive engagement” and “delivering personalized guidance” as primary goals.

For credit unions, unlocking the power of their data to deliver personalized experiences can be the key to attracting new members and deepening the already strong relationships they have with existing ones.

Knowing Members on a Deeper Level

For credit unions to meet the ever-evolving needs of their members, especially as digital-first competition rapidly builds, they must be able to put their pre-existing member data to work and have an open mindset that prioritizes innovation, evolution, and quality member-centric experiences.

Like a travel reward reminder at an airport or a timely card activation nudge that could unlock discounts at a store, every offer and reminder should add value in a way that keeps the credit union relevant and deepens the strong relationship they have with their members.

That was the mindset Members 1st Federal Credit Union adopted when they wanted to provide in-app experiences that matched the level of tailor-fit service members expected in their branches.

“The concept of personalization and contextualization was something that we saw early on, but we were using traditional marketing methods,” says Mark Coleman, VP of Software Engineering at Members 1st. “But as members get almost inundated with various offers from other sites, everything just became noise. So, we saw this as an excellent opportunity to transform the way we deliver services to our members digitally.”

"Our thinking was that if we start using some real-time data, work with an excellent partner like Flybits, and evolve past those traditional methods, we’d be at a spot for immense success."

Delivering Extended Value to Members

Personalized experiences are no longer an optional perk for products, they are an expectation. For credit unions to keep up with the demands of the modern consumer, they will need to:

  • Adopt an innovation-first mindset: Think beyond traditional marketing methods to deliver features that evolve and move with the individual member lifecycle.

  • Think like a member: Learn how current and future members interact with other digital services by trying them out personally.

  • Take the first step towards using data: Be willing to work with data, whether it’s messy or siloed. Starting the process is an important first step.

  • Unleash the power of data sets: Fill expertise gaps with a data orchestration partner like Flybits. Augment customer data with 3rd party, device-level datasets to create truly customer-led contextual experiences.

 Want to learn more? Watch our ‘Member Centric Banking’ webinar now! 

Subscribe to our blog

Stay up to date on the latest CX news, resources, and service tips.