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  • Ben Soppitt, Founder and CEO, Unifimoney

Using Digital Wealth Management to Drive More Loyalty in Members

Guest Editorial by Ben Soppitt, Founder and CEO, Unifimoney

Saying that digital banking is table stakes for credit unions is no surprise. Insider Intelligence reports that 89% of Americans use mobile banking in some form. However, credit union leaders cannot assume a mobile banking app alone is sufficient. Members of all generations are turning to new apps to help them navigate all areas of their financial health.

Ben Soppitt

One area fintech companies have succeeded in pulling users away from credit unions and other traditional financial institutions is in wealth management. According to Statista, assets under management in the roboadvisor and self-directed investing segment are projected to grow roughly 20% per year through 2025.

For building wealth among the younger generations, technology is challenging the status quo. However, the personalized service a credit union can offer all members, can provide the value and expertise that will build member loyalty for decades. Through smart decisions and access to digital wealth management tools, your team can drive a happier, more loyal member. Here are three ways Investing-as-a-Service can help keep more members as investors at your organization.

Build Member’s Financial Health Foundation

The United States is in the middle of the largest transfer of generational wealth it has ever seen. Cerulli projects that wealth transferred through 2045 will total $84.4 trillion—$72.6 trillion in assets will be transferred to heirs, while $11.9 trillion will be donated to charities. Credit unions are doing great with the generation that currently holds the wealth, with an average member age of 48. According to a CFI study, however, the Credit Union Satisfaction Index score is lowest among Millennials.

Younger members may be fine keeping a checking account or a car loan at their credit union, but they often turn to disruptive technologies first for other financial needs, such as investing. This can be attributed to two key reasons: Disruptive technologies are often more accessible, and credit unions often don’t cater wealth services to members who are not holding large sums in their accounts.

By giving members access to tools which help diversify portfolios and increase wealth, credit unions are giving them a reason to invest both emotionally and financially. It can be as simple as building special programs for the children of members to improve the generational transition, to offering new members access to Investing-as-a-Service services when they sign up. Giving everyone value, even when they can’t return the investment today, helps encourage lower-value members to stay in your ecosystem and build their value with their credit union over the long term.

Self-Directed Investing Leads to Higher Engagement

Over the past decade, many financial institutions introduced roboadvisors to their lineup of products. With lower fees and automated advice for an investor’s risk profile, the roboadvisor helps the investor make decisions about their portfolio, with the goal of helping them build their wealth over time.

But what happens when the investor’s wealth outgrows the robot’s capabilities or members want to begin investing in areas outside of the standard algorithm-provided options? Here is where credit unions can leverage their expertise in member service and engagement.

Even digital natives will still hit a limit of time, energy, and focus where they will need the help of a talented advisor to manage their funds. Although they want regular access to their accounts online, the advice of a talented financial advisor is invaluable to growing their wealth and improving their quality of life.

Through offering Investing-as-a-Service options to members and transitioning them to a financial advisor over time, credit unions can capture their attention for the long run and build a loyal member who will turn into an evangelist for your services.

Provide Access Beyond Mutual Funds

If members don’t feel that their credit union is approachable and can meet their investment needs, they will go to a disruptor instead. Digital wealth apps have made it very easy for users to explore investments in areas outside of the standard mutual funds and individual stocks.

For example, BAI found in their 2022 Banking Outlook research that more than half of Gen Z and Millennials have already invested in cryptocurrencies or funds with exposure to crypto. And yet, the same survey found that 78% of financial organizations have no plans to introduce cryptocurrency services in 2022.

When credit unions do not offer cryptocurrency investments, their members will go to an exchange. If they don’t believe that their credit union’s digital platform offers access to stocks and ETFs, they will go to a fintech company that welcomes all investments.

Keeping younger members in the credit union family requires forward-thinking, technology-driven solutions to guide the next generation of wealth builders. Offering Investment-as-a-Service tools grant users the access they need to seek out traditional investments, along with alternative assets like precious metals and cryptocurrency. Giving the access members want today keeps them more engaged in the short term and sets the foundation for growth towards future wealth within your organization.

Just because a member does not meet the threshold for one-on-one wealth management service now does not mean they can’t grow into that level in the future. By nurturing members throughout their financial journey and giving them access to all the investment options they are asking for through Investment-as-a-Service tools, credit unions can nurture loyal members from the day they first open an account to the day they bring their next generation to build wealth.

Ben Soppitt founded Unifimoney, a turnkey digital wealth management platform for community banks and credit unions, in 2019 and continues to serve as its CEO. Unifimoney’s platform offers a comprehensive digital wealth management platform with trading of over 70 cryptocurrencies, passive and active investing in thousands of stocks and ETF's and precious metals.


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