Challenge 2025

The Digitization of the Global Credit Union System


A New Decade, A New Goal

In 2014, World Council of Credit Unions set a goal of reaching 260 million credit union members worldwide by 2020.

Through a concentrated worldwide effort, credit unions were able to reach our "Vision 2020" goal by 2017. But that growth was not even across all countries or among all credit unions. The credit unions that grew were those that offered core services via online and mobile channels. That is why we are now addressing how we increase membership going forward—through the digitization of the global credit union system by 2025.

Measuring Global Digitization

World Council will measure the digitization of credit unions in four key areas and report annually on the progress being made toward Challenge 2025.

Digital Channels

Offering members core digital transaction services such as online and mobile banking, online payments and online loan processing.

Shared Platforms

Connecting your credit union to a shared payments system that allows for mobile payments and integrated with a national payments system.

Risk Management

Implementation of a cybersecurity system that complies with national regulations to protect members' identity and consumer data from digital attacks and intrusions.

Data Analytics

Employing data analytics to determine additional service offerings to members, and helping to identify those that need financial literacy or counseling services.


Follow Our Progress, Tell Us About Yours

Track the latest developments in digitization by subscribing to our Challenge 2025 Blog. You can also send us updates on how your credit union or credit union system is striving to help us meet Challenge 2025 at

Regulators Urge Credit Unions Match Enthusiasm for FinTech with Equal Level of Risk Management

Rodney Hood
Rodney Hood
Brian Corr
Brian Corr

Attendees of July's 2022 World Credit Union Conference in Glasgow, Scotland got to hear from two of the world’s foremost authorities on national credit union regulations during a panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges presented by emerging technologies.

Rodney Hood, Board Director for the United States’ National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and Brian Corr, Director of Credit Union Policy with Ireland’s Department of Finance (DFIN), agreed credit unions are well positioned to implement digital and technological solutions for their members.

“I think the great advantage credit unions have all over the world is they don’t have the legacy systems the retail banks have. So, they can take onboard tried and trusted technologies,” said Corr. “One thing I say to credit unions is: ‘Be ambitious. You don’t have to take as big a risk as the retail banks.'”

The pair also agreed credit unions still need to ensure to do their due diligence before working with any technology firm, but managing the risk involved is workable for them and their regulators.

“There have always been emerging technologies. We look at what our resources are and can we do the mitigation. It’s understanding how the tools are going to work. We walk through the litany of activities. At the end of day, I, as a regulator, am trying to provide the regulatory framework for folks who take on these tools,” said Hood. "It’s manage risk, not avoid risk. I am enthusiastic about technology as a regulator because if our institutions don’t adopt these platforms there may not be an industry for me to regulate."

Both regulators also noted credit unions can draw on lessons learned during the early days of COVID-19.

"When I think back to start of the pandemic, we sat down with credit union representatives and we were worried about operational resilience and serving the 3.5 million members across the island. Credit unions in Ireland adapted really well. They brought forth digitization plans in a careful manner," said Corr. "One thing you have to factor into this, as one report recently said, there are 'signs of a gathering storm.' Some of these fintechs may not be there. Klarna, Affirm, their (market caps) are off by 70-80%. But that is also an opportunity. Some of the firms at the edges will have less money to expand their services and credit unions are well capitalized and can take advantage of that gathering storm."

According to Hood, the opportunity for growth is there.

"We have 5,000 credit unions, and they are diverse, from $500,000 in assets to more than $100 billion. One thing they all have in common is technology to serve their members. Seven-million (U.S.) members joined during the pandemic because of the digital tools," said Hood.