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The “new normal” is in full swing – and THINK 20’s theme, “Activate Your Next,” feels apropos. For some credit unions, your “next” may be activating behavioral science to optimize all the little things that heighten member engagement. For others, it might be placing a big bet on activating a dynamic, digital culture in your organization.

No matter what strategies your credit union pursues as the economy stabilizes and recovers, I know that how we activate will set us apart. Credit unions aren’t just another business-as-usual institution; we’re a relational partner during some of the most intimate moments in a member’s life. From planning for kids’ college to needing to skip a card payment, credit unions have opportunities during major and minor life events to demonstrate that we are the compassionate banking alternative and to secure the Primary Financial Relationship (PFR) with your members. To secure PFR with modern members, we must focus on lifestyle, not life stage… which allows us to transcend being just an institution and instead crystallize a relationship that is responsive to shifting trends.

A relationship is about thoughtful touches during the moments that matter, exemplified by card controls like CO-OP’s CardNav, which gives members personal control over card fraud and spending limits. A relationship is built with the trust that a member’s call will never go unanswered. That’s why CO-OP doubled down on investments in our 24/7 Contact Center, ensuring your credit union will be there every single time a member needs assistance after business hours. A relationship is characterized by people helping people – not just dollar signs.

If every credit union activates their “next” with helping people in mind, I know that our collective efforts will succeed in helping members weather this storm. Credit unions are the only providers poised to secure the role of PFR for this new normal and for generations of members to come. Let’s get to it!

Author: Samantha Paxton, Chief Experience Officer