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Three actions CU can take to help their members navigate the economic challenges of the Coronavirus

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

As 327 million Americans are responding to Covid19, the country is experiencing;

school district shutdowns, conference cancellations, events postponed, travel restrictions as well as retail and restaurants closing or reducing operations significantly. While these are actions that will save lives and ideally

"flatten the curve ", the next patient who is not feeling so good is the economy.

When the economy doesn't feel well, as we saw in 2008, the effects are widespread.

Here are three actions your credit union can do today to help your members navigate potential choppy economy waters.

Action 1: Identify potentially impacted member segments

Members who work in Hospitality (hotels, airlines, events) and service industries (restaurants, bars, etc.) will be the most impacted. Identifying those members may not be easy, especially credit unions with limited data analytics. The following is a basic method.

Basic method: Search deposit data

  1. Search for deposit behavior that is consistent to that of a paycheck - frequency and amount and change.

  2. Search for large Employer names (i.e., Hilton/Hyatt)

  3. Identify look-alike behavior

Action 2: Analyze the findings

When target(s) have been identified, what do they look like?

  • How many are impacted?

  • What is the demographic data?

  • What is the level of potential impact if paycheck decreases?

  • What is the relationship with the credit union?

  • Level of savings?

  • Level of debt?

Action 3: Create financial solutions to their problems

In times of crisis, credit unions have taken fantastic measures to help their members; this is no exception.

Recent examples include:

  • skip a loan payment (auto/credit card)

  • mortgage refinance to help with cashflow

  • waive late fees

  • start financial counseling and outreach before adverse action as occurred.

During the great financial crisis, credit unions helped more members stay in their houses and cars that had not only a positive impact on the member but also on the economy. This potential economic situation can be another reminder to the members that "yep, the credit union has your back."



Plan on attending an Online Gathering where we will turn fear into fuel to identify ways to continue to provide the credit union hug in uncertain times. Probably now more than ever, members would benefit from the Credit Union Hug.

The credit union hug is the passion that credit union employees have for their members. They love to help them and in ways, you wouldn’t expect from a financial institution. And in these uncertain times, members really need a hug. But how?

Join the Turn Fear into Fuel online gathering on Tuesday, March 24 at 8 am PST/10 am CST/11 EST for this no-cost event to connect, collaborate and co-create with like-minded cooperatives.

I hope to see you there!

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