Case Studies

Credit Union's digital balance in the pink

East Kilbride Credit Union is celebrating 35 years in business with the launch of a new website and digital strategy designed to encourage more young adults to use its services.

25th July 2017

The ethical financial co-operative, which has 5700 members, created to highlight its full range of saving and borrowing options, including its new Home Start Loan aimed at a younger audience.

Having turned to Business Gateway Lanarkshire for marketing support earlier this year, the credit union received further help through the DigitalBoost programme to ensure the site was a success.

After completing a digital health check, Lori Forsyth, EK Credit Union’s Business Services Officer, received a 21-hr package of 1:1 support from a specialist adviser that has helped increase the credit union’s online profile.

She said: “To attract a younger audience I knew we had to up our game online. Getting the help we did from DigitalBoost came just at the right time, as I needed to learn how to make our website work for us. Before speaking to my specialist adviser I had no clue how to influence our Google ranking or how to utilise Facebook for best effect. Now, thanks to his help, I have a much better understanding of how to maximise our presence online.

Getting the help we did from DigitalBoost came just at the right time, as I needed to learn how to make our website work for us.

“Using his advice, I have been able to increase our click through rate from Facebook posts, created ads that have reached nearly 8000 people, and in April alone we saw a 14% increase in returning visitors to our website and nearly 1200 people visited our website directly from Google. Because I now understand the analytics for both Facebook and our website I know what is working, which pages are the most popular and can use that information to enhance the marketing strategy that I created with the help of my Business Gateway adviser.”

Keith Parsons, Adviser, Business Gateway, said: “Lori came to us initially for support with marketing but we realised that she would also benefit from the DigitalBoost programme, which is delivered by Business Gateway in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise on behalf of Digital Scotland. Thanks to the support given, her marketing and digital strategies are now working well for the credit union, helping it build consumer awareness and increase engagement across the board.”

A move to purpose built offices in Brouster Hill two years ago provided East Kilbride Credit Union, which employ’s nine people and uses the skills of four volunteers, with a central location, private meeting rooms, a boardroom, and increased car parking facilities.

The independently run organisation, which has its own volunteer board of nine directors, provides members with an opportunity to not only save but borrow against their savings, often offering better rates and security than high street banks.

Lori said: “Our members are offered loans linked to their savings and there are no penalties or charges if people pay us back early or in a lump sum. We also provide free life insurance and loan protection with all borrowing. This means that if something happens to the lender their families won’t be left with the burden of their debt, and our members find that very reassuring. Our highly trained staff consider all loan applications in relation to affordability and won’t automatically decline loan applications because someone doesn’t have a full-time job or fixed term contract.”

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