Resilience in 2020 Shapes Strategies for Service, Growth and Retention in 2021

The logistical and economic challenges presented by a business landscape turned upside-down due to a national health crisis that have tested every credit union’s ability to improvise, adapt and overcome to serve members and prepare for a strategic planning cycle clouded by uncertainty.

Credit unions know now that they have survived and thrived against all the odds with sound policies and creative strategies and tactics that have enabled their business operations to mitigate many obstacles previously thought unimaginable.

This post examines how credit unions can realize growth in 2021 and the data-driven strategies they can consider to optimize growth opportunities in a post-pandemic world.

Three Data-Driven Growth Strategies for 2021

According to Gallup, in the past ten years, total membership at credit unions in the U.S. has grown from 84.2 million to 123.4 million. Credit unions face more growth opportunities than ever despite the impact of the new “normal” imposed by the health and economic crisis. Here are three strategies to consider:

SERVICE: Data Insights Drive Better Service –In a data-driven environment, service is about targeting the right member at the right time with the most appropriate product or service. Insights gathered from a business intelligence platform let credit unions know where to invest their precious marketing dollars wisely and which members are most likely to respond to an offer. The exceptional service of the smart kind translates directly to growth.

GROWTH: Expert Portfolio Growth Guidance – Card portfolio growth tactics, when supported by professional guidance tailored to the goals of each credit union, maximize the value of one of the most profitable products in a credit union’s product suite – the credit card. Card portfolio growth tactics should focus on balance transfer incentives, account acquisition, card activation, credit line increase campaigns and member loyalty and retention. The goal is to inform and engage members with structured and continuous tactics that promote a healthy portfolio for institutions while reinforcing their role as a trusted financial services provider for members.

RETENTION: Repeatable Credit Line Increase Programs – CLIPs are proven builders of loan balances as well as member loyalty. On average, 60% of a credit union’s credit cardholding members are eligible for a credit line increase, yet that opportunity remains largely untapped by many credit unions. For example, offering an increase to a low-transacting member who has a $2,000 balance and a $5,000 credit limit may incent the member to use their card more while still managing their credit debt responsibly. Loyalty rewards represent another vital component for card program growth. The top-of-wallet credit cards typically earn high transacting members the most benefits for their loyalty. Analytics identifies those members. Your data can help validate the value and effectiveness of rewards programs in sparking transaction and revenue growth.


Expert data-driven consultative guidance provides the strategies and deep insights credit unions need to respond to changing member behaviors and their need for help now and in the era of post-COVID-19. Card portfolio growth tactics backed by professional guidance helps credit unions plan, implement, and monitor performance throughout the year. Credit unions that take advantage of managed Card Portfolio Growth Solutions from Trellance realize average year-over-year growth of 15% on total card revenue, 18% on balances outstanding and 17% on total card transaction volume. The scope of the service from Trellance includes kick-starters for CLIPs and new accounts acquisition, marketing campaigns for balance transfers and card usage and additional benefits such as annual metric reviews, quarterly progress reports and loyalty rewards options.

Trellance data analytics and business intelligence solutions help credit unions of all sizes use their data to support rapid and sound decision making to ignite growth, improve service and build member loyalty and retention. Learn more about these solutions by downloading the Trellance Product Portfolio pdf.

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You now have more information at hand about your credit union than ever before. But are you using it to “out-think” your rivals? If not, you may be missing out on a potent competitive tool.

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