The primary Business Model for credit unions is straightforward. It is Money in Money out. Credit unions buy money ( deposits) from members (Cost of Funds) and then loans out those deposits to Members (Interest Income) at a higher interest rate (Margin). Of course, there are multitudes of nuance to this model, that’s why credit unions have CFOs, but as Marketers, this is how a credit union makes money.
Also, a Marketer needs to know how a credit union delivers on this money in, money out model — the variables include four things: fee, service, sales, and product strategies.
Is your credit union fee sensitive, fee neutral, or fee aggressive? Fee sensitive defines a credit union that historically has a low non-interest income ratio (most of this ratio is made up of various fees) and has a lively debate when a new fee or a fee increase is suggested. Fee neutral is a credit union that understands how vital prices are to the income statement and tries to stay competitive with their fee structure. A fee aggressive is defined by a credit union that needs/wants fees to drive their income statement or actively uses fees to drive member behaviors
What is your credit union’s service model? Are you high touch, E-delivery focused, branch-centric? A high touch branch focus is the most expensive financial institution model because this model requires a lot of headcount and brick and mortar to compete. Typically SEG-based credit unions that are staying true to the bank-at-work model are more cost-effective. Hybrid models that are SEG-based but look and feel like a community field of membership have expenses similar to branch-centric credit unions. E-delivery is likely the most cost-effective model if they avoid branches and the staff to run them.