By Mark Roe
Executive Vice President of National Sales
The past year has highlighted the vital role community financial institutions play in helping businesses thrive and consumers maintain their financial well-being. It has also taught us a great deal about the industry’s ability to overcome difficult obstacles in order to provide valuable services and advice to keep account holders and employees safe, maintain effective work environments and keep communities up and running.
Throughout all of the uncertainty, credit unions have implemented solutions to address both their specific circumstances and their members’ changing financial needs. The ability to recognize evolving conditions and make adjustments along the way reinforces our industry’s resiliency and the people who make it work.
There’s too much at stake for one-size-fits-all solutions
As we look ahead to 2021, credit unions will continue to face operational challenges, increased demands for technology and ongoing performance concerns due to the impact of the coronavirus. Likewise, many consumers will continue to experience uncertainties due to job loss or underemployment that threatens their financial security and increases their need for safe, reasonably priced products and services to address short-term liquidity needs.
With so many unknowns ahead, not implementing tailored solutions to fit your institution’s situation — or the needs of your members — can be costly in terms of operational efficiency, profitability, compliance certainty, and service quality.
Find the perfect fit
For example, a customizable overdraft strategy can improve your overall results — based on your credit union’s specific operational and performance goals — with the following resources and support:
- Proven program management consulting maps out an effective plan to increase revenue potential, minimize charge-offs, maintain consistent member communication and achieve continuous program improvement.
- In-depth employee education—that addresses your staffing situation — reinforces consistent program understanding, strengthens employee confidence and improves service quality.
- Reliable compliance expertise — along with periodic updates and advice — reduces regulatory uncertainty and legal risk.
- Fully disclosed, consumer-friendly processes and procedures strengthen member loyalty.
Build trust with clear, consistent disclosure
At the same time, a fully disclosed solution — supported by effective messaging and transparent processes—empowers members to better manage their finances. Armed with more information, they are aware of the option to access overdraft coverage for necessary expenses and unexpected purchases when dealing with occasional economic challenges. Plus, the right messaging and communications recommendations provide support to program users in the following ways:
- Initial program explanation introduces members to the benefits and responsibilities of using the program option.
- Ongoing communication re-educates them regarding how the program works, explains the service’s value, describes the difference between available vs. actual balance, and offers other useful information and account management tips.
- Disclosed overdraft limits—that are reviewed periodically for adjustment—fit individual members’ situations and provide valuable peace of mind.
- Periodic account activity notifications address specific circumstances and reinforce your institution’s commitment to better service.
Tailor your solution with an eye on planned growth
Credit unions will continue to experience uncertainties that add stress to staff time and resources. Some of the most common issues include addressing sustainable revenue generation, increased competition, business activity restrictions, the pandemic’s ongoing economic impact and changing member needs.
Utilizing the recommendations and support provided by a professional overdraft consultant to implement and maintain customized program policies and procedures can reduce the burden on your staff. It is also an effective way to boost employee confidence, increase performance, strengthen compliance certainty, provide opportunities to create member loyalty, and significantly increase your growth potential.