How Credit Unions Revolutionized Personal Banking

October 21, 2021

Credit unions have been around for over 100 years, yet few Canadians know their impact on the financial services industry. Below you will see some of the revolutionary firsts credit unions can take credit for.

Debit Cards

Nothing is better than enjoying your afternoon caffeine fix or paying for your first date with a simple tap or insert of your card. Thanks to Canadian credit unions, paying by debit card was made possible.

That’s right – without credit unions, who knows when the big banks would have thought to turn a plastic card into the convenience that helps you spend money, sometimes faster than you can make it. (Luckily, Libro’s coaches can help with that.)

Mobile Wallets

Fast forward to 2016, and thanks to yet another Canadian credit union, mobile payments using our phones are now popular in Canada. I know mobile wallets are a large part of my purchasing habits, especially considering how the pandemic has changed our traditional ways of banking. A big thank you to credit unions and their ingenuity in making everyday activities like grocery shopping one quick face or finger-scan away.

Full-service ATMs

Credit unions were also the first to have full-service ATMs. Credit Unions allow their Owners (or members) to use all credit union ATMs everywhere and anywhere in Canada as we are all a part of The Exchange Network. So, the next time that you’re one town over picking up that great find from Marketplace and forgot cash, you’re never too far away from an ATM with no hidden fees. The Exchange Network is more extensive than most banks, as certain banks and credit unions across Canada have partnered so you don’t have to sacrifice convenience.

Responsible Investing

Offering responsible investment options is another credit union first. Similar to Libro’s decision to exclusively offer responsible investments for all mutual fund accounts through our partner Credential Asset Management Inc., credit unions have had ethically screened and socially responsible savings options for years. These screens ensure all mutual fund* savings options are ESG-(environmental, social, and governance) friendly.

As you can see, Canadian credit unions have had many firsts within the financial industry. Credit unions put their Owners first, proven by our beliefs in the co-operative system and our commitment to putting people above profits. Check out the credit union difference and call your local credit union today.


*Mutual funds are offered through Credential Asset Management Inc.

By Libro Staff