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What credit union services are of greatest interest to members? Here is a summary of survey results representing the views of tens of thousands of CU members across the country. Member Research conducts this semi-annual survey nationally, where, among other questions, members are asked to rate their interest in presented products. The scale of choices ranges from "Very Interested" to "Somewhat Interested" to "Not Interested." A minimum of 30% must be "Very Interested" to make it to the Top 10 List.

The survey results allow CUs to do a quick, at-a-glance comparison of how their services stack up to those that are of most interest to members and prospective members. Services are listed in order of descending percentages:

* Additional free ATMs

* Additional branch locations

* Online banking and added features (transfers, view cancelled checks, credit cards and loan applications)

* Extended branch hours

* Overdraft protection/courtesy pay

* Credit card (with points)

* Debit card

* E-Statements

* Auto discounts and buying service

* Internet bill pay (free)

The results aren't far from what was expected. Members continue to show great interest in convenience, namely in the desire for more branches, more ATMs, more online banking options and more open hours in a day. Access is still a key determinant of the PFI relationship.

How much attention has your credit union given to member access? How aware are your members of their remote access channels?

What member education and what degree of merchandising have such conveniences received?

Survey responses suggest that efforts to empower and reward members and to simplify their financial lives will enhance their satisfaction and loyalty. Now it's up to the CUs to decide the extent to which they want to provide convenience and access to gain this loyalty.

Neil Goldman is President of Member Research, a market research and consulting firm serving the Credit Union industry nationwide. For further information, call (310) 643-6753.

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