With consumers changing their habits and expecting an omnichannel experience, credit unions need to be ready to embrace digital technology. Addressing delegates at the World Credit Union Conference in Belfast, Anne Horton from MasterCard looked at the main ways in which credit unions can appeal to consumers increasingly aware of the entire experience around shopping. MasterCard is the global sponsor of the World Council of Credit Unions (Woccu), which organised the conference hosted by the Irish League of Credit Unions.
MasterCard defines the omnishopper as the consumer who transcends channels and even borders. Ms Horton, who is senior business leader for Global Prepaid Product Management focuses on providing card payment services to local providers such as credit unions.
“Credit unions would thus have to market to the omnishopper instead of the channel he or she buys from”, she said.
Earlier this year MasterCard published the results of global survey of omnishoppers across 10 countries to determine the behaviours and attitudes of consumers who purchase both online and offline. The survey revealed that 62% of respondents said they were smarter shoppers than a year before.
In the UK 47% of consumers are visiting fewer stores on the high street in 2014 than 2010. The trend is also moving towards more research and fewer buying destinations.
Ms Horton explained how customers were spending online as well as in store. “The device will replace not only plastic card but cash as well,” she argued.
Remember that your engagement strategy must be constantly reviewed. We can’t predict the future, we have to be able to reach to it
“You need to be digital ready, looking at your digital partners and seeing what they can provide, once a card is used in a digital environment it stays there. You get the persistent benefit of being top of wallet.
“Making your credit union extremely relevant to your members,” she added.
Her advice for credit unions was to focus on engagement, building loyalty and securing commitment. The study shows affinity depends on the level of trust consumers have in the organisation. The new consumer is predisposed to be loyal, however, credit unions will need to secure their members’ commitment, said Ms Horton.
“Remember that your engagement strategy must be constantly reviewed. We can’t predict the future, we have to be able to reach to it,” she told delegates.
MasterCard’s report also highlights that investment in technology and the ability to make sense of data needs to be increased.