During college summers, Dad guided my brother, sister, and I to work at credit unions. We met amazing people, with whom we have stayed in touch while learning valuable lessons in enhancing the member experience. Talking with my siblings on their credit union days, one story in particular highlights the extent we all go through to enhance the member experience. Kirby Kangaroo Club is a popular and effective way for children to learn to “spend, save, and share.” Bobby, my younger brother, worked at a Kirby Kangaroo credit union and was asked to play Kirby at the Halloween festival. Between giving kids high fives and taking pictures, Bobby kept laughing to himself and thinking about a scene from the comedy “Old School” when Vince Vaughn’s character, Beanie, is throwing a birthday party for his son. One of the fraternity brothers nicknamed Spanish is dressed as an elephant mascot and takes off his mask.
Beanie: Spanish, what the he(ck) are you doing?
Spanish: I'm just going to get some water. This suit is crazy hot, yo.
Beanie: Put your head back on. That can be very traumatic for the kids.
Spanish: You're right, I'm sorry, sir.
Beanie: Don't sorry me, babe. And shake the tail when you walk. You're better than that.
And that last line, “shake your tail when you walk. You’re better than that” captures the point. Whatever roles you happen to be playing today, give it your all and remember the details. In the credit union business we are free to work with our heads held high because our job is to help our neighbor. Enhancing the member experience is not a means to an end; enhancing the member experience is an end in itself.
At SWBC we enter into business partnerships to achieve three goals:
Enhance the member experience
Enhancing the Member Experience
Credit unions exist for their members. Therefore, it is sensible for credit union executives to keep an open mind to new ideas, tools, and strategies that enhance your members’ experience. Bill pay, home banking, and Remote Deposit Capture, among other enhancements, have become table stakes for our credit union business partners because these are tools that technologically savvy members expect from their financial institutions. Our proprietary payment processing tool, utilized by more than 600 credit unions nationwide, gives credit union collectors the ability to efficiently take a credit card, debit card, or ACH payment over the phone through a 100% compliant web portal. Moreover, credit union members gain the ability to make a payment with a card or outside account on an online payment portal. The funds settle efficiently and directly to the loan level.
When it comes to payment options, you can enhance your members’ experience in three key ways:
1. Expand payment channels
Yesterday, I paid a friend for an upcoming event directly through a mobile application. Person to person (P2P) apps are commonplace and consumers expect this same kind of convenience from their financial institutions. As Fintech expands exponentially, credit unions must get ahead of the curve and expand payment channels today. Credit unions can stay competitive and enhance their members’ experience by expanding their payment channels to include credit, debit, ACH, online banking, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and even access to non-branch in-person payment and deposit options, such as MoneyGram®. Through a partnership with MoneyGram, with their more than 40,000 locations nationwide, members who make payments in cash are empowered to make their payment at any of these convenient locations across the country.
2. Protect your members’ PII
Due diligence is a way of life in our highly regulated industry, particularly when it comes to accepting consumer payments. Therefore secure, reliable, PCI-compliant technology is paramount. In order to ensure you’re accepting and processing your members’ loan payments in a manner that not only protects them but you as well, it’s critical that you partner with a payments provider that utilizes advanced encryption technology that automatically prepares and records NACHA-compliant disclosures. Likewise, your partner should ensure that receipts are sent directly to your members, either through email or postal mail.
3. Partner with a market leader
Processing your beloved members’ payments and ensuring your institution is dotting your compliance “I’s” and crossing your compliance “T’s” should not be entrusted to anyone but a market leading payments provider. The stakes are simply too high.
When choosing the right partner to best enhance your members’ experience in the payments arena, look for a partner who:
Is experienced and can provide you with a list of clients of all asset sizes
Understands the importance of compliance and makes it a priority
Continuously invests in technology, infrastructure, and innovation to better serve you and your members
Building a business partnership with SWBC is a vehicle for enhancing your members’ experience. Our payment technology provides your membership and credit union staff with an efficient means to make payments, cure delinquent accounts, and it is 100% compliant. We understand the credit union philosophy of people helping people and doing it with your head held high. So as you take steps to enhance your members’ experience, remember to shake your tail when you walk!