Trust is everything in banking because handling money is something intensely personal and it is a signal post for future business. Once trust is breached, almost everything else becomes irrelevant.

Institutions and consumers are in a state of disunion. One in three American households feel they are stuck in a relationship with a financial services provider they don’t trust. More than half of U.S. consumers have not recommended their financial services provider to friends and family. And nearly as many (51 percent) said they do not intend to continue purchasing their current financial providers’ products and services.

What to do?

How do you strengthen the relationship between you and your members? Here are a few ways to align strategic actions to trust:

  • Provide a better experience on the front line

Members expect more than transactions: They want an experience – one that helps them improve their financial lives, eases their burdens and allows them to focus on other facets of life.

  • Master customer touch points and drive operational excellence through digital transformation

Digital transformation helps eliminate errors, streamline service and deliver operational excellence. It also gives credit unions the flexibility to redesign and optimize their branches to align with current and future consumer needs.

  • Rethink your role in the members’ journey

Shift away from transactions and develop strong relationships, serving as a trusted advisor for all financial decisions.

  • Deliver full transparency in product features and transaction fees

The vast majority of customers don’t feel that their financial institutions are transparent when it comes to fees and charges. A trusted relationship requires full transparency.

  • Connect your values and principles to the demanding member

Credit unions have purpose and a long history of accomplishments on their side. Those values align with consumer demands and should be at the center of any communication and trust-building effort.

  • Protect customer data

Sixty percent of global consumers worry about their accounts or cards being hacked. Promoting security is not simply a matter of establishing infrastructure, processes and procedures to prevent attacks. It’s also about developing products and services that strike a balance between convenience and security.

Building trust is not a standalone effort. Instead, it should be the byproduct of everything you do. Trust has been the underlying motivation behind many of CO-OP’s digital initiatives during this past year. By ratcheting up expectations around the digital experience, bolstering efforts around security and promoting the notion of credit union purpose – to name just a few examples – CO-OP is working to help credit unions renew a legacy of helping people improve their financial lives. If trust is the currency, credit unions should have assets to spare.