credit union

Case Study: River Valley CU gives card portfolio a boost with Trellance CPGS

Giving members more

In 2018 when Vermont based River Valley Credit Union was looking for solutions to boost its card program, the team reached out to Trellance to implement the Card Portfolio Growth Solutions (CPGS). “We marketed our credit card in house for many years and consistently added approximately 10-20 new accounts per month, but we were interested in finding a way to market our cards to new membership and boosting usage to existing cardholders,” explained Laura Paice, AVP, Consumer Lending at River Valley CU. She confessed that existing cardholders’ spending power was very tight because although they increased approval amounts for unsecured loans, they had not looked at credit lines within their card portfolio for a long time.

Trellance’s data-driven, implementation-ready CPGS was just the strategy River Valley needed to boost its card portfolio. Ann Farrell, Director of Portfolio Growth at Trellance, noted that “The program has been averaging 19% year over year in revenue for participating credit unions since we started the solution in 2016.… Read more

HELP! I Need More Net Income!

As someone who has worked with CUSOs for the past thirty years, I am often asked by credit union CEO’s what are the “hot” services for CUSOs?   “I need more revenue streams and I need to contain my operating costs.   What works?”

Fee Income

Revenue streams come in two flavors, fee revenue and interest revenue.  Looking first at fee income, investment services can provide significant returns. After paying the financial advisors and costs, credit unions can earn between 30%- 45% of the commissions shared with the credit union which can be 80% to 92% of the total commissions. There are many credit unions that have affiliated broker/dealer relationships that generate over a million dollars per year in commission income (note that this model is direct with the credit union and not through a CUSO).  The amount of capital needed to start up and support an affiliated investment services program is a pittance comparted to the capital needed to source, underwrite, fund, service and reserve for loans.… Read more

Letting Go of Our Myths

The stories we tell ourselves frame how we view the world, our place in it and how we respond to it.   I call this internal viewpoint our myths, our prisms that interpret the world.  The myths we create for ourselves have a profound impact on our ability to recognize and respond to change.  The prism through which we see the world is formed for each of us, not surprisingly, during our formative years.   For example, the children of the depression in the 30’s were adults in the boom years of the 50’s but they never took prosperity for granted and made decisions based on that view.  The children of the depression could never have been the free spenders of the 80’s and 90’s.

Image result for myths

The myths of credit unions developed in the formative years of credit unions.  Credit unions were a movement then, not an industry.  Members were drawn to credit unions because credit unions met the financial needs of members who were underserved and overcharged by the banks.  … Read more

Why Credit Unions Will Be the New Leaders in Digital Banking

By Edward Chuang, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Logix Federal Credit Union

Think back ten short years ago. In 2009, USAA was first on the scene to introduce mobile check deposit. Consumers raved and said it was “like magic.” Today, that magic is a basic expectation for every financial institution. Financial institutions of all sizes are working to keep pace with ever-evolving consumer demand.

Once consumers have access to convenient, time-saving technology – regardless of which industry introduced it – that offering becomes the new floor for all industries and companies. So, for instance, when a retail giant makes a process or transaction easier, consumers get accustomed to that experience and expect it in all of their mobile apps. The way money and commerce are moving, it’s obvious that it’s all digital. For many years, transactions on digital banking channels have eclipsed transaction counts in all other channels combined. Without investing in digital, there is a very real risk of financial institutions being left behind, or worse, becoming extinct.… Read more

Going Green: Recycling Members

Every credit union member starts out as a member in good standing. That’s just how it works. Fortunately, most of them remain members in good standing. But what about the ones who don’t?

By chance or through their own mistakes, some members get into financial trouble. Nobody sets out to become a financial disaster; sometimes it just happens. Then, whether with shame or defiance, they leave the credit union and their credit union debts behind.

Sometimes your collection department can nurse the member back to financial health. Other times, you have no choice but to charge the debt off. Then what?

Some credit unions just let the debt sit there. Others sell their bad paper to professional debt collectors. But either way, you essentially give up on the member. I don’t think that’s reflective of “the credit union way” and I also don’t think that’s necessarily a wise business decision.

For the most part, financial hard times are temporary.… Read more