Online financial calculators: Not just another website widget

As Kevin O’Donnell described in a recent guest blog post on attracting and retaining ‘next generation’ members, the importance of having a dynamic website is key to satisfying the needs and wants of younger generation members and prospects. I would argue that this is true for all members, no matter their age.

Consumers age 10 to age 74 are all becoming more tech savvy. My grandma is on Facebook. My mother always has the latest updates on Droid apps. And my 10-year-old neighbor should hold the world record for texting speed. Even pets are getting in on the rise of technology – did you know there’s an iPad app to entertain your cat while you’re at work?!

It’s easy to see why – when you want to know how much home you can afford, do you immediately call your credit union and ask for a person in mortgages? No, you look online! (There’s a reason “Google” is now also a verb in Webster’s Dictionary). The Internet is the easiest way to find the quick answer you want. Your members do the same thing, whether they’re wondering how much to save for college, how long their retirement savings will last, or how long until they pay off that looming credit card bill. So, if your credit union doesn’t have the tools to answer these questions ONLINE, then you’re missing out on member leads.

Read more

3 strategies for redesigning your credit union checking accounts

If you are an executive at a credit union, the odds are overwhelming that you’ve been debating whether to continue free checking accounts in the wake of recent legislative and regulatory developments. And if you do decide to charge for checking, what fee(s) make sense, who to charge it to (and who not to), whether to tier it based on total profitability of a member, what the competition is going to do, and so on.

Whew – that’s a lot to think about, but let’s not forget the popular saying – with every challenge comes opportunity. And with these challenges, credit unions are faced with a choice: Stay with the status quo or innovate. Let me help you with that decision – INNOVATE. 🙂

Read more

7 strategies to help members that are five years from retirement (or so they thought…)

Let me start this post by saying that although I am way way too many years away from my own retirement, I still feel very much connected to those who are soon to be retirees. I too dream of my retirement – of those carefree days of leisurely lunches with the ladies, spontaneous travel and actually participating in the painting hobby I claim to have (but, then I remember I’m about 40 years away from that – or more! – and snap back into reality). But I do wonder what it would  feel like to be just 5 years from retirement bliss and then suddenly have to doubt that I can afford it? I can definitely feel for those worried pre-retirees and you should too, because they are members at your credit union.

Did you know nearly 2 in 3 (64%) of Americans believe that realistically they won’t ever be able to stop working and retire? (As reported in a StrategyOne Survey). That’s depressing. 🙁 And 10,000 baby boomers in the U.S. are turning 60 each day, on average! Wow – if that’s not an obvious sign that your credit union help is needed, I don’t know what is.

The market downturn has indeed affected us all. And when you’re five years from retirement and your stocks plummet, your 401(k) takes the biggest dip you’ve ever seen and you have lost the excitement you used to get when crossing off those days from your retirement countdown calendar—where do you turn to keep your retirement dreams alive? Is there a way to hang on to your plan of lounging on every beach around the world before you kick the bucket?

Read more

It’s time to give your credit products a face lift.

NAFCU recently held its annual Strategic Growth Conference in sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I was here in 50 degree DC for that one…nonetheless, I got the scoop from our team on which sessions kept people out of the sun and in their seats. “Integrating Credit Cards into Your Overall Payments Strategy,” was top of the list. The session was presented by the very knowledgeable Stephanie Polen of FTPS. Let me tell you, I’ve seen Stephanie on the big stage before, and she has a brilliant marketing mind (something I admire as a fellow marketer). At the Growth Conference she outlined how credit union marketers can put some simple concepts into action to revamp credit card programs post CARD Act.

I wanted to share some of the action items that you can take to your credit union and impress your peers with your marketing know-how, innovation and ultimately improved success and profitability of your card programs. (You can thank us later).

Read more

NAFCU Services is in the Blogosphere!

Whoop! Whoop! That’s right – we have arrived and we’re excited to be here! For those of you who don’t know who we are, let me put it in a nutshell for you. NAFCU Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. We partner with the BEST solution providers in the credit union industry. Now I know everyone says that they are the BEST, but this time I really believe it’s true. And just to make sure that it is true we put our partners through the ringer before letting them adorn that distinguished blue and green NAFCU Services Preferred Partner seal. (If you really want to get down to the nitty gritty on our partner selection process, check out our website.) NAFCU Services works with these fine partners every day to provide innovative solutions for credit union growth and productivity.

What does that mean? We have an extraordinary pool of experts in all kinds of subject areas that we tap into to put together some pretty awesome educational resources for you in order to help you do what you do better.

With this blog we hope to expand that effort by delivering education and insights for all credit union employees, from executives to marketers to member service reps and everyone in between. I encourage you to leave your comments, join the conversation, sign up to receive emails when we make a new post…you know, do blog stuff. Now, meet the bloggers! (It’s always nice to put a face to the voice you’ve made up in your head for us  🙂 ).