Commit to Success

Originally posted on Vantiv’s Blog.

Guest post written by Bob Long, Senior Vice President, Vantiv.

Vantiv is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for ATM, Debit Card & Gateway Processing; Credit Card Processing & Servicing; Merchant Services.

Many factors over the past few decades have driven credit and debit to be ubiquitous payment types today. But one thing is for sure: debit and credit cards did not grow by themselves. It took a commitment by issuers, acquirers, consumers and merchants to make the life-cycle of the card transaction work.

Through my experience, I’ve found that the word “commitment” summarizes those member financial institutions that move from good to great. This is best accomplished through a focus in three important areas:

Management Commitment: The management of your card program requires the proper resources and knowledge. Balancing risk, measuring growth, equating the increased non-interest income with card usage, focusing on growing the yield of your revolving balances – this all takes time. Seek out ways to take the complexity out of your credit program. Unsecured lending can be complex enough, and when you tie underwriting methodologies to multiple card product types, it gets even more complex. Use the resources of your credit union with those of your processing partner and commit to a collaborative, consultative approach.

Growth Commitment: Invest in your plan with both time and money. Work with your processing partner to formulate a plan that can bring significant financial growth from your investment. For your credit issuance program, evaluate a loyalty strategy to increase the transactions and revolving balances of your portfolio. For your debit program, focus on a way to leverage real-time loyalty that has financial benefits equal to or greater than your merchant counterparts. Merchant-funded loyalty is a solid proposition that has value to both the issuer and acquirer. Go outside the box and seek new methods to drive non-interest income and increase your net interest margins. What if you could take the gift card mall concept you see at your local retailers and apply that to your credit union?

Strategic Commitment: Employ an omni-channel approach with a consistent, strategic message. From the executive management suite to the front line tellers, from operations to member services, focus people and resources to increase penetration, activation and usage of your card portfolios. While a member is making an in-branch deposit, are you creating a dialogue about card usage? Are you confirming that your member has a debit or credit card…is actively using their card…or knows how you differ from the competition? How are you positioned to sell your prepaid gift card to your members? May I venture to guess that they may be in your teller’s drawer, and mentioned less than 5 times a month?

Commit to be different. Commit to invest in your management team. Commit the time, focus and resources.

Vantiv is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for ATM, Debit Card & Gateway Processing; Credit Card Processing & Servicing; Merchant Services.

For contact info and more educational resources, visit: www.nafcu.org/vantiv.

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