Credit unions’ technology budgets (excluding staff salaries and benefits) account for 6.7% of their noninterest expenses this year on average, according to CUNA’s 2014 Technology Spending Survey, sponsored by Credit Union Magazine and conducted by CUNA’s market research department.
About half of credit unions say their 2014 technology budgets increased over the previous year’s budget. Another 42% of credit unions say their technology budgets stayed roughly the same as last year, while only 8% said tech budgets were down from last year.
The largest credit unions are most likely to have the largest increases in their technology budgets over last year. Twenty-eight percent of credit unions with more than $500 million in assets say their 2014 technology budgets are up by more than 10% over 2013. Another 25% of these large credit unions say their tech budgets increased between 6% and 10% over 2013.
These credit unions are also most likely to say their tech budgets will continue to grow over the next two years. In fact, 76% of credit unions with more than $500 million in assets say they expect tech budgets to grow.
The smallest credit unions—those with assets of less than $50 million—are most likely to say their tech budgets will remain about the same (34% responded this way). Overall, about two-thirds of all credit unions responding to the survey expect their tech budgets to increase during the next two years; 30% expect them to remain the same.
Many credit unions have been giving iPads or other tablet devices to their CEOs, senior management, or directors during the past few years. Thirty percent of CEOs, 27% of senior management, and 25% of directors have received tablets from their credit unions.
Larger credit unions (those with more than $500 million in assets) are much more likely to distribute tablets—82% of CEOs, 73% of senior management, and 79% of directors have received them. And at these large credit unions, 42% of member service representatives or other staff also have received tablets.
Since $1.6 billion asset Stanford Federal Credit Union in Palo Alto, Calif., became the first U.S. financial institution to offer online banking 20 years ago, almost every other credit union has followed suit.
Today, virtually all (97%) credit unions responding to CUNA’s survey offer online banking.
On average, 42% of credit union members with checking accounts are signed up for online banking. That average, however, ranges from 38% among the smallest credit unions to 52% among the largest ones. Almost half (48%) of the largest credit unions say more than 50% of their checking-account members are signed up for online banking.
Online banking functionality
Almost all credit union online banking programs let members transfer funds between members’ own accounts, view account activity, make credit union loan payments, view e-statements, and pay bills.
It’s less likely, however, that credit unions’ online banking programs let members make transfers to other members (72%) or apply for auto loans or other consumer loans (65%).
Even less likely are online banking options such as making person-to-person payments or applying for a mortgage (33% each), transferring funds from the credit union to a different institution (27%), opening an account as a new member (22%), or using remote deposit capture to make a deposit (20%).
Credit unions with more than $500 million in assets are much more likely to offer all these online banking features. At least 70% of large credit unions offer these features, with the exception of person-to-person payments (52%) and “live chat” features (30%).
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