02 Aug ASK A CREDIT UNIONS SPEAKER: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BANKS, OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS?
Speaking with credit union speakers and consulting futurists, it’s clear why millions of everyday shoppers turn to these organizations for assistance with checking, savings, home mortgages and other financial services. At the same time, if you haven’t done business with one of these finance institutions yet, you may be wondering what specific benefits that they have to offer. As member based organizations that focus on providing optimum rates and customer service, what credit union speakers and consulting futurists might say is that they serve a vital role in small and large communities across the nation. As for what advantages and upsides such organizations offer specifically? You’ll find that there are numerous reasons why some people might prefer to use credit unions rather than banks or other financial institutions:
- Member ownership – Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives owned by their members, which can align the institution’s interests more closely with members.
- Lower fees – On average, credit unions charge fewer and lower service fees compared to banks. Top credit union speakers and consulting futurists say that these practices save members money.
- Higher interest rates – Credit union deposit accounts like savings accounts tend to pay higher interest rates compared to banks.
- Lower loan rates – Loans and credit cards from credit unions may have lower interest rates since the goal isn’t maximizing profits.
- Personal service – Credit unions focus on more personalized, relationship-based service given their local community orientation, or so we hear from credit union speakers and consulting futurists.
- Investing in community – Profits are reinvested locally and credit unions engage in community development initiatives. This appeals to some.
- Eligibility and access – Membership criteria for credit unions is more expansive than small local banks, allowing more convenient access.
- Trust and goodwill – Credit unions tend to have higher consumer satisfaction and trust compared to larger banks. (Although many banks of course offer top-notch service and support for their customers.)
Of course, like credit union speakers and consulting futurists would also note, banks and other financial institutions also have competitive advantages that may appeal to different consumers based on their needs. But the above are some of the core reasons driving credit union membership.