Challenge 2025

The Digitalization 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 digitalization of the global credit union system by 2025.

Measuring Global Digitalization

World Council will measure the digitalization of credit unions in four key areas for 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, New Digital Regulations

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the further digitalization of credit unions, international standard setting bodies are now accelerating changes to digitalization policies that are sure to be implemented by many national-level regulators, according to World Council of Credit Unions’ 2022 Global Regulatory Update for Credit Unions and Financial Cooperatives.

“Under the umbrella term of digitalization, we are seeing many policy changes in the areas of operational resilience or cybersecurity that are garnering attention from regulators,” reads the Update from World Council International Advocacy. “The ability to absorb operational risk related events such as pandemics, cyber incidents, technology failures and natural disasters has the attention of all regulators.”

The Update notes the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has issued two guidance documents on operational resilience that call for an increased focus on gaps in operational risks associated with technology, while the European Union (EU) is close to adopting its Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) to provide comprehensive standards for the entire financial sector.

“As technology changes, these requirements are likely to receive close attention by regulatory authorities as the ever-changing technology domain creates additional risks to the financial sector. Hedging against significant operational failures or wide-scale disruptions in financial markets will be a focal point. World Council will again intensify its efforts on proportionality and continue to request regulations that are reasonable given the size, risk and complexity (or lack of complexity) of credit unions and cooperatives.”   

The development of cryptocurrencies and other types of digital currency are also becoming a bigger focus for regulatory bodies.

“The issue of whether digital currencies should rely on a central authority, or a decentralized governance system, is of great debate. Whether access should be based on verification of identity or purely on cryptography are key questions that need to be answered. We will likely see a push for central banks to be the issuers and should grant access based on identification if digital currencies are needed. We have already seen various jurisdictions begin offering digital currencies or piloting various forms. Expect more developments in this area to occur.”

To read World Council International Advocacy’s entire 2022 Global Regulatory Update, click here. You can also hear an interview about this year’s Update with World Council Senior Vice President of International Advocacy Andrew Price and World Council Assistant General Counsel of International Advocacy Panya Monford on Episode Nine of the Global Credit Union Podcast