CU Data

What Do Consumers Want From Their PFI?

The branch is still vitally important to some members.

June 09, 2011
KEYWORDS nonmembers , survey
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

What matters most to consumers when choosing a primary financial institution (PFI)?

Among nonmembers, the top reason for choosing a PFI is convenience of office locations, with 43% choosing that as one of the three most important factors in their selection, according to CUNA’s 2011-2012 Survey of Potential Members Report, as reported in the Credit Union E-Scan Newsletter.

Differences also exist in priorities among nonmembers in different age groups.

Among nonmembers ages 18 to 24, for example, the three highest-ranking factors in choosing a PFI are:

  • Financial stability, safety, soundness (33%);
  • Reasonable service charges and fees (30%); and
  • Trusting the institution to do what’s best for the consumer, not for the bottom line (29%).

The young adult cohort ranks the “trust” factor higher than any other age group.

In contrast, 60% of those age 65 or older say “convenient office locations” matter most to them.

What do nonmembers say they would need to begin using credit union services?

The top five needs, along with the percentages of nonmembers who selected them, are:

  1. More branch locations convenient to home (37%).
  2. More free ATMs (35%).
  3. Better information on services, rates, fees, and advantages (30%).
  4. Higher savings rates (29%).
  5. Lower service charges and fees (25%).

Nonmembers’ reasons for choosing a PFI, according to CUNA's 2011-2012 Survey of Potential Members Report and the 2011-2012 National Member Survey Report:

  • Convenient office locations (43%)
  • Reasonable service charges/fees (31%)
  • Online/remote access to accounts (30%)
  • Many ATM locations (27%)
  • Financial stability (25%)
  • Friendly/knowledgeable staff (23%)
  • Conducts business with integrity (23%)
  • Convenient hours (19%)
  • Competitive savings rates (17%)
  • I trust them to do what’s best for me (16%)
  • Competitive loan rates (8%)
  • Many savings products (7%)
  • Many loan products (4%)

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive