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

ILCU Asks Northern Ireland Assembly for Financial Support of Credit Union Digital Transformation

ILCU representatives with their policy manifesto
ILCU representatives with their policy manifesto
Conor Murphy
Conor Murphy

The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) in March unveiled a policy manifesto that asked for financial support from the Northern Ireland Assembly to ensure credit unions can implement new digital platforms and offer more online services to members, along with other language that would bring about essential changes and recognize the essential role of credit unions within communities and the wider economy. 

Introduced at a launch event, the policy document titled “The Northern Ireland Credit Union Movement: For Community – Not Profit” has three key policy asks, underscoring the need for modernization and financial backing to strengthen and secure credit unions for the next generation. 

The ILCU's policy asks from the Assembly include:

  • Financial support for credit unions so they may offer new digital platforms and services that reflect changing consumer needs. Direct financial support has supported the transformation of credit union digital platforms in Great Britain. In Northern Ireland, this would level the playing field with larger financial institutions, strengthen cybersecurity and contribute to wider economic growth. A specific rate scheme exemption similar to those enjoyed by post offices and rural ATMs would also support credit unions.
  • Modernizing credit union legislation in Northern Ireland, which is now almost 40 years old. The legal framework has been updated in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain. This would allow credit unions to develop and offer financial products to meet their members’ needs.
  • Providing certainty around green home improvements, and advocating for a comprehensive package of incentives and regulations to ensure credit unions are pivotal players in promoting sustainability within communities. The improvement of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) is also highlighted as a crucial step towards achieving sustainability goals.

Conor Murphy MLA, Minister of Finance for Northern Ireland, endorsed the ILCU's requested policy changes during his keynote address.  

“Following today’s Irish League of Credit Unions' manifesto launch, I can announce that I am setting up a team to deliver the outlined policies and legislation. This important work will be prioritized by my department and will be co-designed with the Irish League of Credit Unions and the Ulster Federation. It will proceed at pace and be delivered within the three years remaining of the mandate," said Murphy.

Martin Fisher, Head of Northern Ireland for the ILCU, emphasized the assistance is needed for future credit union growth.

"As not-for-profit cooperatives owned by members, credit unions embody the power of community in action. Despite our success, challenges lie ahead, and we seek government support in the next mandate. This document outlines our requests to policymakers for assistance, emphasizing collaboration to enhance financial well-being and contribute to future economic growth," said Fisher. "We congratulate the Minister on his appointment and thank him for supporting us today."

As the ILCU continues its engagements, the overarching goal remains clear — to secure a brighter and more resilient future for credit unions, ensuring they remain adaptable and impactful for the next 65 years and beyond.

The collective call for legislative updates and financial support underscores the importance of credit unions in building stronger, more inclusive communities and contributing to the overall economic growth of Northern Ireland.

The ILCU is World Council of Credit Unions' direct member organization in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This blog is based on the original version posted to the ILCU website.