Analysis: E-Statements, Surveys To Grow Fastest

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Credit union members should expect to see accelerated offerings of electronic statements and online surveys in the year ahead, according to a new study by Callahan & Associates.

The Credit Union Internet Strategies 2002 study examined seven technology-based services. The research found that although only 19% of respondents among credit unions of over $50 million in assets currently offer e-statements, 70% of those that do not now offer the feature plan to add it in the next 12 months. Also, about one-third of credit unions in the study have surveyed their members on-line, but another 40% said they expect to do so in the coming year, Callahan's reported. The survey is based on 238 credit union respondents, including 40% of the billion-dollar-plus credit unions. It also covered credit union use of e-mail, online lending, Internet home banking and bill payment, and other technologies.

"The recent terrorist attacks and anthrax mail disruptions underscore the urgency for using the technologies described in the report," said Chip Filson, president of Callahan. "Internet applications are back at the top of priorities for many credit unions in part because Internet solutions are readily 'substitutable' for virtually all activity that has been traditionally done through the mail from statements to marketings to transmitting loan documents."

Callahan said the research highlighted areas with "great opportunity" for new development. For example, while almost 60% of respondents collect e-mail addresses, only 26% actively use them for marketing and communications. In addition, less than 50% of respondents offer on-line mortgage applications although auto loan and credit card applications are the most widely offered on-line lending applications on credit union websites with 88% and 80% respectively of survey respondents hosting them.

Copies of Credit Union Internet Strategies 2002 are available from Callahan by calling 800-446-7453.

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