'Failed' Web Loans Harm Future of Online Channel

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Online members who failed to complete their online loan applications due to questions or problems are less likely to use this application channel in the future, representing a missed opportunity at the time and potentially hurting the online lending channel in the future, according to a new survey conducted by the Callahan & Associates' Survey Consortium.

"Although some of these applications were likely to have been made eventually via other channels, it does represent a significant lost opportunity for credit unions looking to retain their online members and steer members to more efficient channels," said Scott Patterson, Callahan's Vice President for e-Commerce.

Overall, 40% of online members reported either completing or attempting to complete an online loan application, with more than one-fifth of those not completing the application. Of these attempts, auto loan applications (39%) were the primary type, followed closely by mortgage loans (33%). About one-fourth were signature/personal loans (24%), while only 12% were home equity loan applications.

Members who had successfully completed an online loan application were about twice as likely to use an online loan application in the future, but members who had tried but abandoned an online loan application are more reluctant to try one in the future-even more so than the non-user group.

"Although willingness to use an online application is fairly high, many credit union websites are lacking the basic information that members need to successfully complete their online loan applications, " Patterson explains. "Providing your members with tools to answer their questions, such as more detailed online checklists and online chat capabilities, will go a long way towards helping you capture the member's loan."

The study revealed that online loan applications were typically abandoned due to a need for more information, either in terms of having questions (41%), uncertainties about loan options (23%), or unclear terms/wording (11%). Some members didn't have the required information ready (22%).

Survey results are based on the responses of 14,154 credit union members collected online throughout the month of June. Fifteen credit unions from across the country participated in the shared cost online research.

For more information, call 800-446-7453 or visit www.creditunions.com.

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