Report
29
Number
Jan 01 1997

Technology Strategies of Best Practice Credit Unions: Today, the Near Future, and the Far Future

This monograph answers two questions: First, what general strategies should credit unions use to respond to the digital revolution? Second, what should the answer to that question be now, in the near future, and in the far future? The researchers divided the study into three sections, each with a different research approach, corresponding to the three time horizons: today, the near future, and the far future.

In the “today” category, the researchers link the kind and amount of technology credit unions use to their performance as measured by “member service efficiency.” The “member service efficiency” measure works by comparing the level of benefits that a credit union provides relative to its resources. Professors Fried and Lovell developed the “member service efficiency” measure in a previous study done for Filene Research Institute, Credit Union Service Oriented Peer Groups. The current monograph presents key findings on the relationship between member service efficiency and the amount and kind of technology used by credit unions of different asset levels.

In the section focusing on the “near future,” the researchers identified four excellent credit unions in terms of member service today and asked their leaders what the most important factors they consider in adopting and implementing technologies to position their credit union for the future. Two of the credit unions follow a high-tech strategy and two of them follow a low-tech strategy. In the “far future” category, the researchers asked three technology expertsto present and discuss their thoughts about how technological change will affect the financial services industry and what the changes imply for credit unions.

Report Number 29