Exploring the Buy Now Pay Later Boom

 

We often talk about the differences between older and younger generations, and we can add another trend to the list of factors that divide them: the surge in buy now, pay later program participation among younger Millennials, and Gen Z.

Let’s explore the BNPL boom and its role in the future of banking.

Why is BNPL Gaining Popularity?

As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, more and more we are seeing checkout prices being listed as “$349.99 now, or $29.17 per month for 12 months” or “4 payments of” a much more manageable amount. And younger shoppers are loving it. Buy now pay later is gaining popularity.

The younger members of the Millennial and Gen Z populations are not fans of credit cards, and their buying habits back this up. For example, in 2021, 12% of the 18- to 34-year-olds surveyed said they used BNPL for holiday purchases, compared to 0% of the 65 and older demographic, says CNBC. Overall use of the buy now pay later method was up nearly 30% year over year.

But why is BNPL so attractive to younger shoppers? Because it costs less than using a credit card, they say.

The attractiveness of BNPL comes from the idea that shoppers can create a bit more flexibility in their medium-sized purchases. Purchases that fall in the $100-700 range can be split into a handful of smaller payments that are spread out over the next few months, or even over a year. It eases the burden these occasional purchases bring, without incurring the high interest fees one would be stuck with if they used a traditional credit card.

It can be useful for more than just low-income shoppers, though. BNPL often is being used by those who are financially stable, but who want the predictability of the plan without having to incur costly fees or go through a long or drawn-out loan application process.

And, says CU 2.0, younger generations crave financial stability in a world that has been exceedingly unstable for them, they want solutions that leave no surprises. While a loan amount or balance is always available, banking members don’t know what the actual cost of their purchase will be until they pay off the full amount – and this depends on the frequency of payments (and whether the member pays in variable amounts), initial loan amounts, interest rates, the member’s credit score, and more. And if a member puts that purchase on a credit card but doesn’t pay off the full amount during the next billing cycle, the end expense is, once again, a variable and often a much higher price tag at the end. But with BNPL, the total cost is given upfront, and the timing or amount of the payments made will not change that.

How CUs Can Use BNPL Plans to Their Advantage

Credit unions looking to capture and engage more younger members can implement programs and offerings that follow this ultra-convenient and straightforward buy now pay later idea by using account data history for current members, and by advertising these services in a friendly, quick, digital offering.

More and more businesses have these BNPL plans built into their websites either on product pages on somewhere in the shopping cart or checkout process.

Focusing on smaller, more upfront methods of creating recurring payment plans for your members can help differentiate you as a credit union that is both up-to-date on the current trends and also committed to helping and educating members so they can become more financially sound.

Digital Solutions for Rapidly Evolving Banking Trends

IMS Integration wants your credit union at the forefront of digital transformation. From online account opening to web loan applications and Skip a Pay, our solutions are tailor-made for credit unions, because we know that your CU has unique needs and goals for the new year.

Check out our website for more information, or contact us today if you have questions.


Tips for Streamlining Credit Union Operations

 

As credit unions become successful, they grow in size and complexity. And streamlining credit union operations sometimes gets put on the back burner, especially when your leadership has other things to worry about – like a global pandemic.

So let’s go through some top tips for streamlining credit union operations.

When To Start Streamlining Credit Union Operations

Business growth and substantial industry or environment changes are all primary catalysts for investing time and money into streamlining credit union operations.

The first step in a successful streamlining process is to recognize opportunities. Good leaders are not people who know everything, they’re more often people who know when to delegate tasks or defer programs and services to experts in other fields. Here are some ways to capitalize on those experts and opportunities.

Outsourcing Isn’t a Bad Thing

As a whole, the word “outsourcing” conjures images of entire factories and businesses moving their operations to other countries, typically in the pursuit of lower production costs. But your credit union doesn’t need that drastic of a change.

With the digital transformation that has arisen from the coronavirus pandemic also comes a huge shift, for many professionals, to gig work. There are so many more industries and professions being represented by freelancers than ever before, and this is often a great solution when your credit union is focused on streamlining. Are there duties or roles that have once-a-month, quarterly, or yearly tasks? These tasks, especially if they are in highly regulated fields like IT and accounting, can be easily outsourced to ease the burden on your teams without battling staffing issues or spending loads of time interviewing and hiring new full-time employees.

Consolidate Data Systems and Digital Tools

Do you remember the iPhone commercials about how smartphones offer seemingly endless solutions for anything and everything you could need in a day? The ones where every situation or problem was met with the phrase, “There’s an app for that.” This is more true now than it has ever been – there are dozens of tools, apps, and other digital solutions for any problem or request you’ll ever have.

But not all solutions are created equal. In fact, having too many solutions present in your credit union operations offers a great opportunity to pare down and focus on only the most effective tools. For example, Keystone is a popular digital solution with lots of built-in tools that can make your credit union’s online presence more accessible and more desirable for your members and employees. IMS Integration offers a line of Keystone solutions that include web loan applications, correlation solutions, online account opening, Skip a Pay, and more.

Look for Automation Opportunities

When looking for opportunities in streamlining credit union operations, automation is a powerful tool, if chosen wisely.

Repetitive, redundant, and tedious tasks are great candidates for automation.

Kickstart Your Streamlining Initiatives with IMSI: Keystone Infuzion

Oftentimes, streamlining your credit union operations means finding digital tools to help increase efficiency while keeping costs and employee hours down. IMS Integration offers comprehensive services and solutions from credit union experts. Our latest Keystone tool, Infuzion, was developed to streamline complex functions without the need to develop scripts or understand or build Java.

Request a consultation today for more information about our Keystone solutions, professional services, and credit union solutions.


Preparing Credit Union Employees for the Holiday Season

 

Like last year, 2021’s holiday season is going to present some unique challenges, many of which are – at least in part – caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Labor shortages and supply chain disruptions are going to make for some challenging interactions, and your credit union will not be immune. Here are some ideas for preparing your credit union employees for the holiday season.

Upgrade Your Tech Game

The 2020 holiday season was a record-breaker in terms of tech use. More people than ever turned to online solutions to shop for gifts, check in with family members, and so much more.

IMS Integration is dedicated to creating top-of-the-line tech-based solutions to help keep your credit union ahead of the curve. With items like web loan applications, online account opening, and Skip a Pay, your members can manage their funds at their convenience and adjust their financial plans to accommodate holiday spending and income changes. Our new Infuzion offering is an extremely powerful tool, developed to streamline complex functions without needing to develop scripts or build Java.

What does all this mean? Your employees will have more time to help with other member needs during the holiday season.

Acknowledge Changing Trends in Member Habits

According to PCSU, there are several trends to be aware of so you can meet or exceed holiday goals. These are great initiatives you will want to make sure your employees are aware of and working to educate your member base about.

The first is that October and November are great months for credit line increases, providing members with more flexibility and larger scope and volume of purchases, including lines of credit with the purpose of finishing

The second pertains to top-of-wallet behaviors. November and December are good months to run promotions and campaigns that bring certain cards and programs back as top priorities.

And the third trend is more geared toward the first of the year. In January and February, your employees should turn their attention and focus to offering balance transfers and convenience checks, helping members to find and take advantage of lower rates once the holidays have ended.

Plan Ahead

Many sources across industry disciplines are reporting that the “holiday season,” rather than being contained to November and December, is actually becoming a 3-4 month endeavor that starts just as August ends.

To help your employees have the tools and resources they need to succeed through these busy months, it’s important to plan ahead.

Auditing past years’ activities, brainstorming new and modified ways to handle the increased demand for products and services, and even hiring seasonal help can be beneficial as you prepare credit union employees for the holiday season.

Don’t Dismiss Team Morale Checks

The holidays, while often touted as the most wonderful time of the year, are often harder for many people, especially those who deal with customers face-to-face (or screen-to-screen). While it’s important to prepare your credit union employees for the holiday season by giving them the professional tools and insights they need, you also need to be aware of the state of team morale and mental health.

While it’s important to celebrate with your team, it’s also a good idea to check in with your teams. If someone isn’t feeling particularly cheery, allow them to take the space they need, even if it means they won’t be attending the company Christmas lunch or holiday dinner. You can even move the celebration to after the new year, so your staff can enjoy the festivities outside of the stress that comes with the frenzy of holiday activity many industries are affected by.

Give Your CU a Great Gift, Too

IMS Integration has a range of professional services that are customized to you. UI and Batch Scripting in Keystone, custom web development, and custom electronic forms are a great gift to give your credit union for the new year. Let our expertise make things easier for you and your employees in future holiday seasons. Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.


4 Takeaways from ‘Digital-First Banking Trends Report’

 

SilverCloud recently published the “Digital-First Banking Trends Report” (you can download the free report here). There is a ton of insightful information in the report, so we wanted to go through a few of the best takeaways, which include mobile banking, technology adoption, and more.

Customer Self-Service

SilverCloud reports that the average daily use of knowledge bases on bank and credit union websites increased by 69% year over year from March 2020 to March 2021. Current and future credit union members will now expect to be able to find banking solutions, applications, and answers to their questions through your website or mobile offerings.

A list of some of the most common topics in self-service offerings include transfers, cards, lending, hours, and appointments. IMS Integration has a number of solutions like web loan applications and online account opening that can help bolster your credit union’s self-service programs.

Mobile Banking

A lot of the self-service growth was taking place on mobile apps and platforms in the last year as well. And mobile users were doing a lot more than just checking account balances, they were looking for help with products, technology, and even just general support.

The more streamlined your credit union’s website and mobile interfaces are, the easier it is to attract and retain members. The increase in work-from-home opportunities and other remote events and meetings means that it’s becoming less convenient to have to swing by the bank or credit union to drop off a pay stub or withdraw cash. There’s even a continued rise in smart wallet use – forget paying with cash or card, many people enjoy the simplicity of paying by phone.

Chatbots

With 24-7 tech comes the need for 24/7 support. Thankfully, you don’t need to start hiring night shift chat or hotline managers to keep up with your members’ needs.

“Chatbot usage on bank and credit union websites and mobile apps increased 272% year-over-year, says SilverCloud. Their study even showed that those who used chatbots over more rudimentary search bar inquiries typed an average of 14 words and found helpful answers to mid-tier and slightly more complicated questions. Your members are no longer seeing chatbots as glorified search bars – they’re using this evolved technology to find answers to questions that normally would require a person-to-person phone call. This evolution helps increase the effectiveness of your credit union’s self-service offerings while lowering your call volumes.

IMS Integration also has a number of automation options like batch and UI scripting that can be customized to your credit union while still providing efficient solutions for your teams.

Appointment Scheduling

While walk-ins are still welcome, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has created a high demand for more pre-scheduled appointments, up 107% from 2020, while walk-in numbers have decreased by 55%.

The following appointment types saw growth since last year: business banking, retail banking, investments, and auto loans. Only appointments for checking and savings declined – no doubt affected by the huge leaps in technology and self-service availability we mentioned above.

Keep Up with Tech Trends in Banking

IMS Integration has a large selection of online and backend solutions to help keep your credit union up to speed on the latest and greatest advancements in the banking industry. Our Corelation solutions and new Infuzion tool are making customized tech solutions look easy.

Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.


5 Benefits of Finance Automation

 

Finance automation technology can be scaled – it can be all-encompassing, or it can help your credit union increase the efficiency in some processes so your employees can spend more time serving your members. Let’s talk about the five benefits of financial automation.

Fewer Errors

When automation is done right, it creates fewer errors than manual data entry or calculation performance. But rather than replacing your staff with automation, most finance automation is meant to be guided by individuals, keeping that human touch, and then set free to perform as it should, in the background.

Higher Consistency

Every employee is different, and no matter how hard you try, each individual will handle situations and complete tasks in the way that best suits them. This is great for inclusivity, but not so great for processes that should be standardized. With finance automation, you can create greater consistency through standardization.

Increases Information Utility

When you have automated real-time data collection, you can increase information utility. This allows you and your teams to recognize patterns and address issues much sooner than if you had your employees trying to collect and aggregate this data by themselves.

Decreases Fraud Risks

We all want to believe the best in people, but even innocent mistakes can have a devastating impact on your credit union.

Fraud risks, especially those tied to online and electronic activities, are continuing to increase. And certain innocuous employee habits can leave gaps in security big enough for fraudsters and cybercriminals to take advantage of.

Finance automation, by creating greater consistency and reducing the potential for errors all while minimizing human contact with the mechanics of a standardized process, can help decrease fraud risks by limiting the number of people and the time they are involved in a process.

Saves Time

As with most automation, finance automation saves time. It saves your employees and members time when it comes to running the programs and collecting the data. It saves you and your managers time because you don’t waste so much time trying to identify what went wrong, and where, and who.  

Great Examples of Places to Implement Finance Automation

Spend Journal recently shared some finance automation opportunities, and we wanted to list a few here:

  • Payroll: If you think no one cares about a small mistake, try missing someone’s payroll check.  Automated payments, both internally and from member to credit union, are a perfect place to implement finance automation, and payroll is a great place to start. 
  • Banking Statements: IMSI’s Make a Statement service can help you with that. Create e-statements and e-notices, and even consolidate multiple statements to the same vendor automatically.

IMS Integration Wants to Help Lower Fintech Friction

IMS Integration is here to assist you so you can better serve your members. With technology solutions tailored specifically to credit unions, IMSI can offer great services that your members will love, like Skip a Pay. You can set it up for member use, for staff use, and it is fully integrated with your core system.

Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.


Ways Credit Unions Support Members

 

Credit unions are unique in that their business model is half bank, half non-profit. Sometimes, the best marketing angle is the most direct one. Here is a list of ways credit unions support members.

Best Financial Rates and Opportunities

Credit unions as non-profits typically offer better interest rates on loans, savings accounts, CDs and have better options when it comes to checking accounts. For-profit banks can’t compete on that front, but they use their marketing power to draw attention to the other products and services they offer.

Skip a Payment

As the pandemic ramped up, many financial institutions tried to help their customers by offering loan forbearance, waiving fees, and allowing struggling individuals to skip a payment. Credit unions were some of the first financial institutions to do so, in order to better support members.  

Credit unions have always been quick to waive fees for members who were struggling and Skip a Pay has been a CU-led program from the beginning.

Small Business Credit Champions

Because credit unions often serve specific geographic locations (a town, county, or rural area), they are uniquely positioned to offer support to members who run their own small businesses.

One of the many ways credit unions do this is through personal and signature loans. Potential small business owners can count on credit unions to do a more broad financial check (increasing the chances of getting the loan approved) and offer lower rates for members to get the credit they need to start or run their business.

They also offer short-term loans in ways that are much less predatory in nature than big banks and especially payday lenders.

Credit Unions are Member-Owned

The idea of being a stakeholder in something like a financial institution seems out of reach for many, but credit unions provide that opportunity to more diverse communities than any other financial institution.

As a “publicly owned” company, credit unions are more attentive to the changing needs of their community. With big banks, uniformity is often the goal. They want you to get the exact same experience whether you enter a branch in Oklahoma or in downtown New York City.

This is not so with CUs. Sure, the core values of a credit union don’t change, but the manner in which they serve their communities changes with the community’s shifts in financial literacy, tech-savviness, and so much more. Diversity doesn’t just come from the people who are the cornerstone of every credit union, it also comes in the approaches that are taken to achieve more member satisfaction.

Focus on Education

The worst feeling any customer can have is when you go into a potential transaction knowing you are vastly undereducated compared to the experts you are trying to work with. With the surge in popularity of life hacks and other “did you know” style education that people are sharing on social media to help others keep from getting scammed or duped, credit unions fit right in!

Credit unions have never wanted to hold the keys to the kingdom, they want to share them. Financial education is arguably one of the most impactful ways they support members. And now, more than ever, people are looking for helpful ways to achieve better financial health to recover what was lost in 2020.

And because education is a part of a successful member experience, credit union staff members are much more likely to take the time with their clients to help guide and educate them about their choices, rather than approaching every sales opportunity with an “upsell” mindset.

The Best Tech Solutions for Your Members

IMS Integration has many credit union solutions that can move your CU operations into the future. IMSI’s member-facing web solutions like Make a Statement, Online Courtesy Pay, Online Self Service forms, and Trial Balance are perfect for reaching new members and updating your processes.

Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.


Credit Unions in a Post-COVID World

 

March 2020 changed the world. It changed the way we move through our homes, public spaces, and workplaces. It changed how we thought about what defines an office, and a home. And it defined the way we interacted with technology and money as well. So let’s take a look at what credit unions in a post-COVID world will look like.

Credit Unions and COVID

Branches of banks and credit unions had to shut down in-person – most temporarily, but some permanently. Others reduced their hours of operation as they pivoted to remote work for some or all of their staff members. Credit union members bombarded branches with requests through phone calls, chats, and mobile apps.

So what does it look like now? According to Silvercloud, the credit union industry is focused on digital solutions:

  1. Self-service activity on bank and credit union websites increased 69% in just one year.
  2. Chatbot usage increased 272%
  3. Banking by appointment continues to grow.

Shift from Products and Services to Support

The coronavirus pandemic showed us all how much we need other people. And when it comes to businesses, like credit unions, that serve the public consumer, there’s been a distinct shift in messaging. Your credit union members don’t want a service, they want a partner. And credit unions are already uniquely positioned to work closely with their communities.

Your credit union’s message has to reflect that desire to create a meaningful relationship with your members.

One-to-One Communications

Personalization is the key to many of your future credit union offerings. We’ve discussed this and the optimization of your digital member experience previously.

Along with that feeling of support and partnership, credit union members are looking for a customer experience that is tailored to their needs and their financial situation. Mass marketing and blanket advertising will likely not be effective right now and in the near future.

Credit union staff members can call, text, and email members with answers to questions, suggestions for products and services, and actionable correspondence. And the methods of communication need to be user-friendly and streamlined because digital customers are abandoning business models that don’t innovate and improve the end-user experience.

Think Digital

The Credit Union Times had this to say about the future:

“Many credit unions still do business like the industry did in 1985. We pride ourselves on our services, but by service we mean personal, face-to-face service – not a digital experience. We have been making decisions based on this service model and COVID showed us that this thinking is flawed.”

While our industry is heavily based on regulation and process control, there are still lots of ways you can use technology to make your operations more modern, more efficient, and safer than past practices.

Overall Takeaways

The future of banking is digital. And that means keeping and refining the new technological pivots we made as a result of the pandemic. To capture and retain members, credit unions will have to focus on new and innovative ways to offer their products and services and offer them through websites and mobile apps.

Plan for the Future with IMS Integration

IMS Integration has many credit union solutions that can move your CU operations into the future. IMSI’s member-facing web solutions like Make a Statement, Online Courtesy Pay, Online Self Service forms, and Trial Balance are perfect for reaching new members and updating your processes.

Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.

 


Credit Union Leadership & Innovation in 2021 and Beyond

 

Innovation is often seen through the lens of cutting-edge technology, but the cornerstone of anything innovative is the creativity to start or improve existing ideas and processes. And credit unions across the U.S. were able to grow their membership by 2.8% between year-end 2019 and September 2020. Far from the perception of antiquity that seems to stick to them, credit union leadership and innovation are paving the way to a bright future.

Fostering Creativity through Leadership

If innovation stems from creativity, you need creative leaders in your credit union. The role of a leader is said to account for 67% of the influence in determining if the organization will be creative.

But how does a leader foster creativity? In short, you foster an environment where creativity can thrive. Your leaders should be trained in creativity methods – prioritize the idea of showing your teams that creative ideas are more than just encouraged, they are tested and executed. Creating a space that allows for feedback and testing on new ideas shows your managers and employees that they have the power to affect change on every level. And once your staff feels like they can be vocal, they’ll continue to contribute to those conversations.

Spearhead a Competition

Sometimes, you can find creativity when you think outside the box. Many companies, large corporations with even larger social media followings, often run contests to drum up creative taglines or content ideas. You can do that within your own teams, too.

Rather than simply relying on your marketing team to shoulder all creative burdens, invite other departments and create a friendly competition out of creating a new logo, tagline, or advertising campaign. Idea-based competitions can take many forms and garner surprising results.

Don’t Give Up

This embracing of creative ideas requires a fair amount of buy-in, as well. When you take on these new ideas, you have to keep them in place. Most new programs need time to be implemented, and then understood and accepted. This is especially true if your new process also involves your members.

Investing in innovative ideas means investing in the time it takes to see if the change will net a positive outcome.

Creative Problem-Solving Process

Practice makes perfect, and CUManagement offers a 4-step creative problem-solving process:

  1. Clarify the problem
  2. Generate ideas. The more, the better.
  3. Develop solutions from the best of your ideas.
  4. Plan for action.

Once you’ve created a process that works for you and your teams, you can build on these 4 steps and tailor it to give you the best outcomes.

Embrace Failure

Some of your innovative ideas will fail. It’s inevitable. And how you and your team leaders handle that is paramount to fostering a culture of innovation.

When those failures come, it’s important to practice humility and forward-thinking. According to Meistertask, when team members consider their boss a humble leader, this creates “psychological capital,” which increases feelings of hope, optimism, and resilience.

Like any team effort, focusing on solutions and adjustments over blaming or apologizing allows for growth and continued momentum.

Professional Services for Innovative Credit Unions

IMS Integration knows credit unions from the ground up. We have a range of professional services that are customized to you and your credit union. From custom web development, to UI and batch scripting, to custom electronic forms, IMSI can help you implement innovative solutions that will better serve your members and create opportunities for your business.

Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.


Big Moves in Mobile Banking

 

Mobile banking, a feature that’s been around for years, has suddenly become a primary means for credit union members to carry out as much of their financial activity as possible.

Let’s take a look at how mobile banking is succeeding – and the areas that need some work.

Winning Features from Top CUs

Nerd Wallet recently shared a list of the 6 Best Banks and Credit Unions for Mobile Banking, and here are the top tools each is using to entice customers and enhance their mobile offerings:

  •  Tools for managing and increasing savings
  • High interest rate on savings
  • Generous ATM fee reimbursements
  • Advanced mobile app security
  • Wide branch access
  • High daily limit for depositing checks

This is a great cross-section of the types of features mobile banking customers are coming to expect.

Balance Preview & Other Communication Features

Balance preview is a successful feature Alliant Credit Union implemented that allows members to check their balances quickly without logging in.

More transparent communication options are going to be big draws for mobile banking apps as more and more people move away from doing business in physical credit union locations and adopt a more mobile-forward approach on a permanent basis.

Communication features like messaging and chats that connect members to customer service representatives are also great features for any mobile banking app. This allows some AI or one-to-one interactions to help your customers navigate functionality or update issues and answer general information questions.

Mobile Bill Pay Is Mutually Beneficial

Online and mobile bill pay is a great process that mutually benefits credit unions and their members. Automating payments means peace of mind and one less thing to worry about for members, and it also means credit unions don’t have as many late payment issues to work through.

This is still an area of potential growth for many credit unions. Running targeted campaigns and offering informational materials describing the benefits and features of automatic bill pay could increase your credit union’s appeal and position as a tech-forward financial option.

Personalization

As with many mobile-based programs, mobile banking is going to evolve to become more and more customizable for users. Everyone carries out their financial responsibilities differently, so it makes sense that mobile banking is also going to benefit from this personalization.

Personalization can include a variety of transactional or banking insights based on each member’s preferences and activities, icon placement and size, photos, and personal financial goals.

Security

This personalization can also be applied to security features. The goal of the mobile banking experience should be to fit into every member’s lifestyle and preference. A tall order, but many online experiences are incorporating similar features to create the optimal experience for each user.

As for security, this could mean creating options for fast, seamless login features like fingerprint scans, face ID, push notifications for logging in and tracking activity, and other biometric-based options.

Implementing security features that can stop cyber criminals without making login and verification processes annoying and time-consuming for users is going to be the challenge here.

For Credit Unions Looking to Update Their Digital Solutions

IMS Integration has a host of great credit union solutions, including Make a Statement, Online Courtesy Pay, Online Self Service forms, and Trial Balance. Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.


Trends in Auto Lending

 

Today, credit unions are tasked with adapting older or outdated processes and services to a newer market. Add a pandemic to the mix, and you see a surge in online and mobile banking that will be hard to ignore from now on. And auto lending is no different.

Here are some trends in auto lending to watch for.

Online Car Shopping Trends

With social distancing and increased cleaning protocols, shopping for cars online has become a go-to for those in the market for a new ride.

And once they start that online car shopping process, interested individuals want to make sure they can get financing before they invest themselves emotionally in a car they won’t be able to get a loan for.

More and more, the future of auto shopping and lending is going to be virtual. And that’s why your credit union needs to be ready to embrace the following trends to capture your portion of this audience’s attention and business.

Early Loan Preapprovals

61% of new car financing happens through vehicle manufacturers and dealerships, but the majority of used car financing takes place at banks and credit unions.

This presents an opportunity for your credit union to offer auto loan pre-approvals to members through multi-channel campaigns so you can reach them before they try to finance those loans through other dealerships or financial institutions.

Increase Loan Amounts

CU Management has some compelling insights about how credit unions can play to their auto lending strengths:

“Credit unions tend to go a little bit larger in the average amount financed compared to banks and finance companies…They don’t go out the longest terms, but when you combine their sweet spot of 73 months with low interest rates, credit unions offer the most competitive product in the marketplace, particularly for prime and super-prime customers.”

By increasing loan amounts and offering competitive interest rates, you can give your members the opportunity to treat themselves to a slightly nicer car than they anticipated. You can position it as a post-pandemic opportunity at pandemic-like rates. This will be appealing to your members, especially as they watch gas, home remodel materials, and other prices go up in response to the vaccine rollout and the decreasing COVID restrictions.

Leverage Past Applications for Refinancing

Refinancing has defined many interactions between consumers and financial institutions in the last year, so why not keep that momentum going?

Credit unions can recapture a lot of business by going back through 2019 and 2020 loan applications that were lost or abandoned, and offering those applicants who are members some refinancing options.

Increase Education Efforts

The pandemic gave us all a good look at which areas of our lives – especially those tied to finances – we could use some more education in.

Credit unions are perfectly positioned to offer a wider variety of educational content geared toward different financial situations and age groups. What millennials need right now may not be the same as what Gen Xers needed at that same age. Tailoring your education to more targeted demographics can broaden your credit union’s reach while also appealing more directly to younger generations, who are always looking for more value and insight from expert brands.

Focus on Alternative Credit Data

Many millennials and Gen Zers are not going to have the traditional lines of credit that their parents and grandparents had when applying for loans. For those who are too young to have a well-rounded traditional credit score, take a look at other financial areas such as rental records, utility payments, address consistency, and employment history. 

This is a great way to capture a traditionally overlooked population looking for an auto lender.

Tech Upgrades

IMS Integration can help improve your credit union online offerings, starting with web loan applications. IMSI’s online loan applications are designed to incorporate your credit union brand and image and can be designed to collect as much information as you need.

Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.