Study Preview: The Financial Opportunity for Credit Unions with the Underbanked

Here’s a teaser from our latest study, “The Financial Opportunity for Credit Unions with the Underbanked.”


The 5 things credit unions don’t realize they’re doing wrong to make underbanked customers feel confused, marginalized and skeptical.

•  7 specific behaviors of the underbanked, and how to leverage them to grow deposits, acquire new banking customers, reduce attrition rates and increase product cross-sell (all while making a positive social impact).
Although we uncovered dozens of surprising statistics, two of which are pictured below, the report’s primary focus is a deep dive into customer motivations when choosing between check cashers and credit unions followed by actionable tactics to overcome the common barriers that cause many credit unions to lose business every single day.
We scoured 15 hours of video footage and 250 pages of data, commentary and analysis from sources like the FDIC, the U.S. Postal Service, Credit Union Magazine, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor and the Federal Reserve to draw out the most relevant and pressing trends for credit unions in the coming year. We also performed multiple in-person interviews with unbanked individuals to gather qualitative information and provided a detailed analysis to effectively reach the underbanked and unbanked population.
THE FULL REPORT IS AVAILABLE FOR FREE. Please email if you would like to review a copy on a 15-minute call with someone from our research department.

Alternative Financial Services vs Credit Union Revenue Check cashing, payday loans and other alternative financial services are a $78 billion market — a market 10x larger than the revenue earned by every Credit Union in the United States in 2013.
Unbanked and Underbanked American Households We found that according to the FDIC, 28% (8.8 million) of American households are unbanked or underbanked.
Unbanked Path-to-Purchase The underbanked customer’s journey to joining a credit union. This is broken down and discussed phase-by-phase with solutions and ideas targeted at different problem areas.
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