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

New Year Brings Increased Urgency for Digital Transformation

Like the rest of the world, credit union professionals across the globe breathed a collective sigh of relief when the calendar finally flipped over to 2021.

But while the new year has certainly provided a much-needed boost of optimism, it hasn’t changed the fact that many of the same problems caused by COVID-19 have carried over in 2021—including the challenges many credit unions face in providing members with access to remote financial services.

That is why the urgency to make strides toward greater digital transformation in 2021 will be amplified for those financial cooperatives that still lack online and mobile transaction services.

That was one of the key messages delivered by credit union advocate and technology thought leader Mark Sievewright during a December World Council COVID-19 Response Committee webinar—Driving Digital Transformation in the COVID-19 Era.

“Some things credit unions were planning to do two, three, four years from now, they’re actually trying to get done now or in the next 12 months,” said Sievewright.

Health concerns brought on by the pandemic have led to a decline in branch visits and cash transactions for credit unions around the world. That trend that is not likely to change once the pandemic is over either.

“One metric that I discovered recently was that between now and 2030 close to three trillion transactions will switch from cash to cards and digital payments—almost US $50 trillion in value,” said Sievewright.

That is why many credit unions list digital transformation as their number one priority—and why World Council is pursuing the digital transformation of the global credit union system by 2025 as an overarching goal.

“In the COVID-19 world, digital transformation is no longer just a matter of convenience but rather an urgent consumer imperative for safety,” said World Council President and CEO Brian Branch. “And once the crisis is over, digital services will no longer be looked at as a convenience but a necessity. Consumers will look for digital channels that are simple, easy to use, require fewer clicks, and work consistently without errors and dead ends. Credit unions must be able to provide those services to stay relevant.”

Throughout 2021, World Council will be sharing more stories of digital transformation successes, experiments and product development from a wider array of our member associations and credit union service organizations, as well as the credit unions they support.

If you’re reading this and thinking—"I want people to hear our digital transformation story"—please let us know. The fastest way to achieve our goal is to have credit union professionals from around the globe share their stories about which strategies, tools and products work, which do not—and how we can streamline the digital transformation experience for credit unions in every corner of the world.