The Role of Credit Unions in Salvadoran Financial Markets: Expanding and Improving the Delivery of Financial Services to the Rural Poor
In 1996, WOCCU conducted two surveys of members of 14 credit unions participating in the Rural Financial Enterprise component of the El Salvador CRECER project. The two surveys were a baseline household survey of members and a marketing survey of members and non-members.
They discovered that to maximise savings mobilisation, the credit unions needed to target the 45-55 age group and to attract more male members. They would also have to compete better with banks who were seen by many to have more convenient locations, and to provide more security, better access and better returns on savings. There is obvious scope for increasing deposit mobilisation because 35% of non-members interviewed did not use savings services at any financial institution. There is also scope for new products because many members wanted their credit unions to offer bill-paying services.
This study provides an example of the sort of information market research by credit unions can produce.