In their early days, credit unions started small, run by a local community with shared interests and a desire to mutually benefit financially – without having to give away profits to third-party shareholders. These values still stand true today, but the face of credit unions have shifted in recent years.
Credit unions have expanded dramatically since their humble beginnings over 100 years ago, and are now an American institution. In the US, over a third of Americans are members of a credit union as of 2017, with growth continuing to rise year-on-year (credit unions are even making their mark in the UK, where government support aims to raise the number of members to 2 million by 2020). With the increase of providing services on the internet, it’s clear that credit unions have an online presence like never before, with more and more people opting for the benefits that are on offer. With lower interest rates for borrowing, and an ethos for putting community above profits, credit unions are an attractive alternative to high-street banking.
Credit unions are for everyone
Credit unions are first and foremost a community initiative, where all members can benefit from the savings they put in. Credit unions will usually have a common interest, which their members will need to embody in order to join, such as the same job, locale, or industry. Ultimately, credit unions are for everyone, with a broad portfolio of sectors available to qualify for membership such as educational, police, state, and military institutions, as well as location-based credit unions that serve the local area.
With such a diverse customer base, the running of a credit union can present challenges. How can employees best serve their members consistently, when each one can have different needs and eligibility criteria? There’s no one “average customer” when it comes to credit unions. And this is where a credit union intranet can help.
Intranets are for everyone
Just like credit unions, intranet software is for everyone. Traditionally seen as a piece of software that only big corporations would use, intranets are actually very versatile, providing a digital workplace for organizations of all sizes and sectors.
Credit union staff can use an intranet to efficiently manage all aspects of a customer’s journey into the community, from storing credit agreements to processing loan applications. A company knowledge base can help new staff quickly get up to speed about credit union procedures, ensuring that they can pass on the correct information to members. And social features, such as forums and live chat, can help boost teamwork and collaboration internally – a handy feature for credit unions with dispersed commercial premises.
From a compliance perspective, credit unions will have a lot of regulations to uphold, and the changing nature of these rules mean that staff need to keep their knowledge up-to-date. Policy management software and audit tools – staples in intranet portals – can help staff organise and distribute regulatory information with ease. “Mandatory read” widgets can be added to the intranet homepage too, ensuring critical information that affects both employees and members is not missed.
Credit unions and intranets are for people
Both credit unions and intranets are there to serve people. So it makes sense that the two work together so harmoniously. Credit unions are a significant part of the financial sector, therefore it’s vital that staff have the opportunity to collaborate internally as well as knowledgeably support their diverse membership base – and intranet software can do just that.
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