Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: statistics

78% of All Websites Link Here

See what I did there? I made up a statistic. (Or did I?) Statistics have a funny way of saying everything but what they were intended to do.

Why mention it now? Because 10% of you already stopped reading.

That liked stat was pretty close to accurate. Yesterday, I saw an article heading making the credit union rounds. It said “87.9% Of U.S. Adults Do Not Use Mobile Banking”.

Wait, only one out of ten people use mobile banking? Then why the focus on the platform from every bank, credit union, and community bank? The number seemed off, and by a lot. A quick search located an article from Wikipedia citing a 2012 study of mobile banking usage worldwide. In it, the United States was said to be at 32% penetration. And that was 4 years ago, before Apple caved and gave you all giant-screened iPhones. You know, the distant past!

So we’ve determined the statistic is wrong. But flat-out incorrect, or just taken out of context? I mean, 64% of all statistics are contorted to get your point across. I dug deeper. The credit union publication’s article linked to another source, who linked to the original source of the statistic. Unfortunately, it was a statistic clearinghouse which requires payment for access to statistical data (irony, anyone?). I could not locate where that stat originated. However, this is my prediction:

A survey was conducted to determine American adults’ mobile banking habits. A first question set the stage by asking if they ever used mobile banking. For those who answered no, it may have asked one more question of why (convenience, features, security, etc.). This is where our questionable number originates. The majority of respondents felt that their banking needs were met without ever opening the mobile banking app. Which is valuable information on its own. But now we have context.

The 87.9% was of a much smaller value representing those who don’t use mobile banking, not of the whole. Let me see if I can make this visual:

Mobile Banking Usage Chart

Does that make sense? The stats, taken out of context, told the wrong story. However, they still tell an important story, just a different one. Your members do use mobile banking, but is there enough value for them to bother over the convenience of already being at their work computer? Can they easily process bill payer on a Sunday evening? Send money to a friend after a friendly game of cards?

And that, my friends, is why you always check the source and context of any statistics. I’m told 58% of people don’t, so be part of the (made-up) minority!

Image credit: Me, after a 10-minute stint on Pages, and realizing my “87.9%” segment is nowhere near 87.9%. Hey, it got the point across, right?

Image credit (feature): Me, after realizing making up statistics is actually really hard and settling on making a college preference statement instead.

You’re 1 In 3!

Congratulations to credit unions nationwide…you’re a statistic! In this case, a good statistic: 1 in 3 Americans are members of a credit union. CUNA explains in their press release.

What makes this important? More members is always a good thing, enabling new services and opportunities throughout the industry. Yet, when you look deeper at the numbers, there appears some interesting questions.

Credit unions have garnered 100 million members. In every measure, that’s a lot of people. People with goals, wants, challenges, and more. Members who are well-established in their financial strategies, others who are just getting started. Single college students and retired couples.

Let’s get a better feel for how crazy big a number like 100 million really is. If I handed you a $100 bill every 10 minutes, of every day, whether you were awake or asleep, it would take nearly 20 years to reach $100 million dollars. Or, how about this: If I asked you to count to 100 million out loud, taking only one second to say each number, you would take over three years, and that’s without eating, drinking, or sleeping for a single moment.

You know what comes to mind? This is the song that never ends, it just goes…

Ok, so credit unions have a lot of members. Why aren’t they leading in all financial categories? Their rates are better than banks, the member is the motivation for service, not shareholders, and, guys, there are 100 million members!

The industry as a whole is growing, thanks to perception blowback from some big banks, clever on-boarding strategies, and competitive offerings. Some, but not all, are delivering exceptional results. The ones who are? They’re taking calculated risks, modernizing their infrastructure, communications, and brand, and confronting their competition head-on. It’s a merging of past and future; looking back for culture and values while looking forward to be the best financial solution for their members in the years ahead.

The numbers are there. What are you doing to maximize the relationship and give them every convenience they would get from a larger credit union or even, gasp, a big bank?

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