catch members at crucial points in their decision-making process

Financial calculators are a great way to make your credit union’s website more useful and interactive for your members.

Credit union websites are a little different than most; one way to look at it is that your website is primarily a tool, not a destination: members visit your website to get things done.

Good financial calculators are important for credit union websites because they catch members at crucial points in their decision-making process. They’re getting ready to take action, considering options, and making decisions.

Or maybe they’re in an early phase, where they’re dreaming about a new car or early retirement, and figuring out what’s realistic for their budget. Your members need a resource for numbers they can trust, and your website can be that resource.

There are several good providers of very well-developed calculators that work by adding HTML code to pages on your website. This keeps members within your website and positions your credit union as the expert resource.

The following options are ones we’ve had first-hand experience with on the credit union websites we’ve built, so we know they’re reasonably easy to install or embed, mobile-friendly, and have good accessibility:

NAFCU’s CUlookup Calculators

If your credit union is a member of NAFCU, CUlookup calculators are almost a no-brainer. This a complete collection of 30 useful financial calculators you can embed on your website, and here’s an example of the CUlookup calculators in action.

There’s no added cost to use the calculators if your credit union is a member of NAFCU. They are also available to non-member CUs, but you’ll need to contact NAFCU for more information and costs.

TimeValue’s TCalc Calculators

These TimeValue TCalc calculators have all the bells and whistles, and you can choose from several different annual subscription bundles, or subscribe to all 45 calculators.

TCalc calculators have some added options for customizing to ensure they match your website and products. You might need a little help from your website developers to install the calculators and take advantage of some of the customization features.

Dinkytown (yes, really)

Sure, Dinkytown is sort of a silly name, but these are seriously powerful calculators, with great compliance features and regular updates.

There’s a one-time fee to purchase the calculators and an annual maintenance fee after that. You’ll need assistance from your website developers to install, configure, and customize these.

CalcXML

Embedding CalcXML calculators is fairly easy as long as your CMS allows you to embed a snippet of HTML code on a page. They also have a free embed option that includes a small ad link back to CalcXML. This might be a good option if you can’t spare any budget, or you want to experiment and don’t mind the link.

Custom Calculators

If there’s not a prebuilt calculator that does exactly what you want, then it might be time to have a custom programmed calculator built for you.

We’ve built several for our credit union website clients, from fairly simple to complex. For example, this calculator for a new “Electrum” rewards account makes it easy for members to see the potential rewards. (We also worked with translators to create a Spanish version of the Electrum calculator.)

This custom LTV calculator for HELOCs is much simpler; it’s based on this credit union’s particular policies and limits to help their members quickly see how much they might be able to borrow.

Dinkytown and TimeValue also offer custom calculator programming, and of course, you might check with iDiz or your website developers to see what other options and resources might be available.

Any other options?

Of course, the list above probably isn’t complete. If you know of other calculators that work well within a credit union website (can be embedded with no ads, good accessibility, and mobile-friendly), I’d love to know more. Please leave a comment or email me, and I’ll be happy to check them out and update this or a future Shared iDiz article!