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

Digital Growth Remains Top of Mind for Global Credit Union Movement

If you had to pick one thing that jumps out from the pages of World Council of Credit Unions’ expanded 2021 Statistical Report, it would be that digital products and services are an overwhelming priority for credit unions around the world.

New for 2021, World Council asked national credit union associations to identify the top priorities for their member credit unions moving forward. Out of eight possible options, 81% of the more than 40 credit union associations who responded to that portion of our survey ranked digitalization among their top three priorities. That was 15% higher than the second highest priority of increasing membership and asset growth.

And the prioritization of digital growth was widespread among credit union associations across six regions, including.

  • Africa 100%.
  • Oceania 100%
  • Latin America 89%.
  • Asia 86%.
  • Caribbean 80%.
  • Europe 75%.

Only credit union associations in North America (United States and Canada), where digital products and services are far more prevalent among credit unions, did not list digitalization as a top priority.

For credit unions in other areas of the world, the growth of digital products and services is the key to growing membership, savings, loans and assets.

“The challenge of the cooperative movement to improve the quality of life of its members requires bringing affordable and accessible products and services to their communities,” wrote a representative for FENACOAC, World Council’s direct member credit union association in Guatemala.

Technology brings risk

While the desire to add more digital products and services is strong, many of the same credit union associations that identify digitalization as a top priority also identified technology as a top risk concern.

“These risks are determined taking into account the influence of environmental factors on the development of credit unions, and the rapid development of technological processes and their high cost,” wrote a representative for the Association of Credit Partnerships of the Agro-Industrial Complex, World Council’s direct member organization in Kazakhstan.

Along with high costs associated with ever-evolving software, there is a security risk concern the credit union associations also identified.

“These credit unions now look for IT solutions to better serve their members who are spread out in the country and far from their credit union. This software is not free of cybercrimes and attacks,” wrote a representative for CAMCCUL, World Council’s direct member credit union association in Cameroon.

Finding the right balance between priority and risk will be crucial if the global credit union movement expects to successfully move forward with digital growth by 2025 and beyond.

To hear a deep dive into World Council’s 2021 Statistical Report, you can listen to Episode 18 of the Global Credit Union Podcast here.