How to Improve Credit Union Customer Service

 

We’ve talked previously about trends credit union customers will come to expect and ways to improve member experience in previous blog posts. But a lot has changed in the last year. So let’s take a look at some new ways to improve credit union customer service.

Focus on Financial Well-Being

Credit unions are very community-oriented and collaboration-focused. And as more young adults come of age in these financially uncertain times, they don’t just need a bank, they need a financial institution that can also act as a teacher or guide.

Millennials and Gen Z spend money and view debt differently than older generations. And many times, they look to the internet for answers. So why not use your credit union’s online presence and customer approach to provide those answers for them? You can build trust with younger demographics by positioning your credit union as not only a bank, but also a partner throughout their financial lives.

By focusing on helping your members pursue financial well-being, you can not only provide better customer service, but you can also see what trends and growth areas exist in your immediate market.

This is also a strategic way to invite more small businesses to bank with you as well. Often, owners of small businesses are forced to be their own supervisor, employee, accountant, marketer, and so much more. If you have resources and experienced advisors available, SMBs will see that as a huge advantage.

Leverage APIs

An application programming interface – or API – is a “code that allows two application systems to connect and share information with each other. You can see some quick and easy examples in this CUInsight article.

Leveraging APIs helps credit unions compete with the big banks and their multi-million dollar tech resources. APIs allow your CU to save time and money on significant website and app improvements by using pre-built programs to help drive engagement and growth.

Listen to Your Employees

Being a credit union leader often involves making hard decisions, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it in a vacuum. You have dozens of experienced employees who are your boots on the ground every day. One of the best ways to improve credit union customer service is to listen to the struggles of your staff.

If there are systems or procedures that have not been updated or optimized in a while, talk to the people who use them every day. Ask them what they struggle with, and what their members are struggling with. Having an open-door policy on process improvements can allow your credit union to keep moving forward with incremental changes, rather than forcing shutdowns or huge company-wide strategy overhauls in the coming years.

Take Advantage of Testing

You’ve heard it before: no two customers are alike and no two businesses – even two branches of the same credit union – are alike. Just because a messaging system isn’t well-received at branch A doesn’t mean the system should be scrapped or replaced. It means you should do some testing to find the reasons certain programs are working at each branch of your credit union.

Testing, especially after the year of rapid technological change we just had, is paramount to the success of your credit union. Some of the temporary solutions you’ve implemented may be great tools or resources to keep for the long haul. And maybe others need some refining before they can be considered an asset to your business.

Offer Great Online Resources and Services

Fintech partnering is a big trend right now, and it’s probably going to stick around for a while. Finding companies that can help you provide valuable services online is a great, cost-effective way to improve customer service.

IMS Integration is here to help you optimize your credit union’s website with Web Loan Applications, Online Account Opening, and so much more.

Contact us today for more information about our credit union solutions.


Human Interface – Fintech with a Personal Touch

 

As more and more banking operations go digital, it’s easy to get caught up in the convenience and forget about the human aspect of doing business. And that human aspect, the connection to community and customer, is what sets credit unions apart from other financial institutions. And that’s why creating human interfaces is so important in this age of digital transformation.

Let’s take a look at what a human interface is and the benefits of having this software in your credit union arsenal.

What is a Human Interface?

“Human interface” is a term you have probably not heard as often as “bots” or “intelligent virtual assistants.” But human interfaces mean that these advanced and emerging technologies are learning to look and talk the way real people naturally look and talk. Here’s a quick video that explains the evolution and importance of human interfaces.

Benefits of a Human Interface

While this technology may seem overwhelming at first, there are many benefits to creating technology that better understands and interacts with humans. It means your credit union can more fully serve its customers, even from the comfort of their own home. Here are some of the top benefits of human interfaces.

Anticipate Customer Needs, Based on Common Search Terms and Collected Data

You may be surprised to find out very few credit union and bank customers use bots and virtual assistants for digital support. Technologies have been enhanced in recent years to become more intuitive and user-friendly. These enhancements mean navigating and using your credit union’s website or app is easy for most of your members.

With these improvements, bots and virtual assistants are now using the data they collect on member usage. This can show you exactly what areas customers need assistance with and allow you and your credit union to cater to those needs. You can also use the data to provide more targeted training to your employees based on customer search trends.

Conversational Use is More Effective

Did you know over 30% of the time, “people say ‘hello’ or some other personal greeting when they start interacting with a bot?” Human interface bots seem more human, so customers treat them that way.

The recreation of that “personal touch” human interfaces can replicate means credit union members feel more comfortable using the service, and they continue to reach out via digital assistant to perform many standard or low-level banking functions. This allows your employees more time to handle more difficult or intricate tasks.

The conversational experience in human interface technologies can also help enhance the user experience. It is easier for people to use a computer if they can talk to it. Think about how much easier it is to learn a new app or feature on your phone or smart device when someone is explaining it to you, versus trying to follow written instructions for use.  

Reliability

Human interface solutions are a 24/7 support staff for your credit union. After business hours or during peak customer traffic, your virtual assistant is always “on” and ready to assist, even if your employees are all already assisting customers.

Security

In the same way that online banking is usually very safe, banking operations being run through a bot or virtual assistant that has a human interface and multi-factor authentication also bolster cybersecurity.

Pandemic Health and Safety

Of course, one of the biggest reasons digital solutions like the human interface are getting so much attention this year is because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Human interface, bots, and virtual assistants fill a very specific void your credit union members are experiencing right now: the need for touchless interfaces and the desire for human-centric service that still “maintains efficiency, security, privacy, and choice,” according to this Forbes article.

Take Your CU Tech to the Next Level

Digital solutions are the best way to differentiate your credit union from the rest and serve your customers using the most up-to-date technology.

From eStatements and eNotices to Web Loan Applications, Online Account Opening, and Trial Balance+, IMS Integration can help you serve your customers better with our elegant, member-facing solutions

Questions? Contact us today!


Digital Lending and Other 2021 Trends

 

Your digital banking solutions are under scrutiny, your member expectations are higher than ever, and your credit union has just come out of one of the toughest years in modern history. Let’s discuss how you’ll get a leg up this year by looking at the top digital and lending trends set to dominate 2021.

Until recently, banking institutions (and credit unions especially) were taking a conservative approach to digital transformation. But COVID-19 showed up and wrecked a lot of plans and protocols in a short amount of time, leaving financial leaders scratching their heads.

However, the new normal is here, and it’s not going anywhere. So what trends should you, as credit union leaders and employees, be pushing in the new year? Let’s break them down.

Digital Lending Solutions

Lending solutions are going to be a hot topic this year. With the amount of financial stress Americans and small businesses have been under since last March, expect to increase small ticket loan offerings. Focusing on low-dollar, short-term, “buy now, pay later” loans – often with zero interest rates – can fill some of the holes left by the 2020 economic downturn.

Lending also needs to go digital. This includes self-service and online options. With or without COVID, Millennials and Gen Z prefer to handle as much of their life and lifestyle as possible through remote channels.

It may seem strange, but these digital darlings are more likely to patronize your credit union if they never have to step foot inside it! This means creating and managing these online offerings as well as increasing machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities.

There are many advantages of digital lending:

  • Optimized User Experience – digital lending programs put the power back in your customers’ hands.
  • Increased Efficiency – digital lending also streamlines the lending process and creates shorter turnaround times.
  • Digital Channels Mean More Analytics – when all of your lending information is stored and handled digitally, it gives you the opportunity to analyze all that data and create intelligent, tailored banking solutions for your members.

Small Business Relationships

Another focus area in the banking industry this year will be recapturing small businesses. Credit unions already set themselves up for success in this area last year by participating in PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans. The program helped many small businesses keep their doors open during this trying time. It also created an avenue for small-to-midsized banks and credit unions to lend to businesses that were ineligible for other big bank-sponsored programs.

‘Financial Health’ Focus

Financial health is going to be a heavily leveraged topic in 2021 as well because the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all how badly financial unpreparedness can cripple our lives and economy.

Credit unions are in a great position to tackle this topic, however. Bigger banks tend not to offer comprehensive or tailored financial wellness and education resources. Credit unions have been doing that for decades already.

To take advantage of this trend, banks and credit unions will take advantage of virtue-signaling efforts to craft customer-facing messages that are more socially conscious.

These empathy-based messages will also cater to the direction of the changing White House administration.

Start Your Digital Lending Journey with Web Loan Applications

IMS Integration can help you create a seamless transition to digital lending and other online services:

  • Infuzion: This powerful tool was developed to streamline complex functions without spending hours developing scripts.
  • Web Loan Applications: Loans are critical to your credit union’s success. Enhance your member experience by implementing our online loan applications system, which tightly integrates with KeyStone core.

If you want to explore our offerings further, or you have questions about our solutions, contact us today.


It’s Time to Optimize Your Digital Member Experience

Historically, credit unions have been regarded as slow to innovate when it comes to new technology. But 2020 is no ordinary year, and credit unions are recognizing the power of this rapid change and its value as we move towards an ever-evolving and heavily digital future. It’s time to optimize your digital member experience.

Digital Member Experience Is More than Fast Processing Times

This year has exponentially enhanced the ability of every industry to churn out large-scale digital solutions to compete with stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies. But the unintended result of this is an overwhelming preference, from customers and bank members, to have these services optimized and available in the future, no matter how long this pandemic lasts.

But digital solutions aren’t as easy to implement as a plexiglass partition or extra customer service associates. The easier the digital solution is for the customer to use, the more difficult and intricate the behind-the-scenes setup can be for IT and third-party software engineers.

Here are some tips and solutions for improving the digital member experience.

Enhance Chat Abilities with Video

Video chatting is now commonplace, for people of all ages. Young children are on Zoom for virtual classroom time, and elderly credit union members are hopping on Telehealth calls with their doctors. Why not incorporate video appointments in your credit union’s offerings?

Integrating a video chat option through your online banking website and app can bring back that personal, one-on-one customer service that has been slowly fading as we continue to practice safe social distancing.

It’s also a great way to introduce your already-tech-savvy members with your newest “upgrades” – you can use the video call to not only answer customer questions but to also keep them in the loop on the latest changes to the digital member experience.

Increase Customization in the Digital Member Experience

No matter how much you digitize, there will always be members who prefer that personal touch. This approach is something credit unions all over the country are most known for – their commitment to take care of and be an essential part of the communities they serve.

That same “perfect fit” feel can largely be replicated online if your credit union offers solutions that can be tailored either to your members’ preferences or manipulated by your members themselves.

Custom web development allows you to tell developers exactly what your credit union’s digital member experience should be, with web solutions ranging from online member applications to integration with third-party tools.

Ease of Use Is a Difficult, But Crucial Feature

Many customers, regardless of where they do their banking, are always looking for insights, shortcuts, and transparency. Increasing transaction visibility and speed are things many people are coming to expect – think of the one-click payment options on retail sites like Amazon.

The digital member experience needs to be as close as possible to an all-encompassing, no limits, one-on-one discussion about the many products and programs your credit union offers. One way you can do this is by recreating as many lending and other credit unions forms online.

IMSI Has A Variety of Software Solutions For You

At IMS Integration, we can create tailored software solutions for your credit union. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.


4 Trends Credit Union Customers Will Come to Expect

Neither big banks nor credit unions were prepared for the panic and major strategy pivoting that took place this year. COVID-19 has shaken nearly every industry to its core – so let’s focus on credit union solutions that will spell success in the future.

Identifying powerful trends can drive important changes that will set your credit union ahead of that elusive, ever-changing curve of tech, customer, and financial landscape changes. Modernization has not always been a top priority for credit unions, which typically have done more business with Gen X and older members.

However, at the start of the pandemic everyone rushed to their banks to take out as much cash as possible, in preparation for the shutdowns – but a few weeks later, according to UCCU CEO Steven Stapp, “suddenly all they want is the card.”

Customer needs are changing more rapidly, which means your credit union’s response has to keep up with these quick changes.

Focus on the Customers and Their Need for Great Contactless Experiences

Contactless experiences are an emerging trend that will likely stay around. Customers are moving away from credit cards, spending, and in-store shopping and now prefer debit cards, saving, and perusing online stores.

Giants like Amazon, who have all but perfected the customer experience, are skewing user preferences towards that model. Now, online customers are expecting easy, lightning-fast service with top tech.

This also means that real-time assistance with customer issues is a luxury no longer – it is a necessity for your Millennial and Gen Z customers, and it’s becoming a strong preference for older generations as they are learning to navigate this new digital-forward, post-pandemic world.

The challenge for credit unions moving forward will be tailoring their approaches and offerings to each CU’s region and specific demographics.

Meet Demand for Faster Payments

Fast service also means faster payments. With in-person visits being discouraged, the time between a transaction request and its posting or transfer can no longer be held up by days, as has been standard in the past.

“Differing member needs and expectations will impact each credit union’s choice of a payments solution, but noted there are four key experiences and procedures that all credit unions should keep in mind,” according to this recap of a PSCU white paper.

Those four things are:

  • Member experience and design – responsible for account controls, contact strategy, and instant issuance
  • Operational rigor – things like authorization strategies, general ledger practices, and liquidity management
  • Enterprise fraud management – changes to authentication, dark web monitoring, and real-time analytics
  • Compliance – includes consideration of changes to exception processing, payment scheme rules and regulations

Take Advantage of Outside Specialists

Credit unions and their employees should be focusing on customer-forward solutions, not on background tech and applications.

There are many third-party options for things like core hosting, payment delivery systems, and the like. Taking these burdens off your staff can free up time and energy for optimizing other areas of your member experience.

CUs Must Be Proactive to Beat Out Big Banks

Historically, credit unions have been slower to react than big banks when it comes to implementing new technology and processes. If your credit unions can adapt and innovate quickly, they can capture a lot of new customers. An essential part of this rapid implementation can be coupled with the previous trend – outsourcing intricate niche operations to companies with experience and optimized solutions.

Partner with IMS Integration

At IMS Integration, we can create tailored software solutions for your credit union. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.


The Importance of Online Self-Service Forms

The shift to contactless consumer solutions has not just shown how quickly businesses can adapt. It has also shown how important it is to have wide-ranging, quality self-service options.

Online banking, previously a word used to describe the ability to complete financial transactions, is evolving to reflect a fully digital customer experience. Funds transfers and bill payments were a great start, but more and more, users want to be able to perform 100% of their credit union tasks digitally.

Online self-service forms are a key component in that evolution.

From Payment Apps to Communication Apps

Credit union websites and mobile banking apps are changing. Previously, the main functions of this technology were for customers to view account balances or move money from one account to another.

With the COVID-19 crisis, solutions that we thought were years away had to be implemented virtually overnight. And rather than stopping that momentum, it’s time to harness that power to transition even more functions to online platforms.

The teller window experience has started going digital. Banking apps will need to start offering customer service digitally – using chat functions and online self-service forms.  

Self Service Forms – What Are They and What Can they Do?

As more complex member requests are processed digitally, having a wide array of online self-service forms is essential. In the past, one-on-one support has been the standard. But now, 81% of all customers prefer having the ability to “do it themselves” using online self-service over talking to a live representative when they encounter issues.

Online self-service is contact between a credit union and its members without involving a live credit union employee. Members can and want to take care of themselves using your credit union’s software and resources.

Self-service forms are customizable solutions designed to incorporate your credit union’s brand and image and to collect information required to fill member requests.

Some examples of tasks online self-service forms can help with include:

  • ATM/Debit – Address change, Delete Card, New Card, Reorder, Research Requests
  • Auto Transfer
  • CD Rollover Request
  • Checking Conversion
  • E-Certificate Request
  • HE Packet
  • Lost Card Notification
  • Reorder Checks
  • Savings Bond Request

Benefits of Self Service Forms

Online self-service forms offer a range of benefits for your credit union and your members.

It saves your customer service and support representatives’ time. By processing straightforward or standard requests through online self-service forms, your members are able to steer themselves through many processes that would previously have needed a credit union employee’s help.

Saving that time also means you are saving money. If you give your members the tools to answer their own questions and complete tasks online, your staff will be fielding fewer calls, tickets, and email requests.

Customization is key. Every one of your members wants to handle their information and their money differently. Having a good volume of online self-service forms can help your members do their banking the way they want to in regards to account details, payment methods, and more. Handing these tools to your customers also empowers them and gives them a sense of ownership and control over their finances.

It also keeps them engaged – which means traffic to your credit union’s websites and apps will increase. Driving traffic to your website also increases the chance that your customers will go on to explore further. You now have their attention on your site and they will view and take advantage of your new products or purchase additional services from you, as well as contributing to your online community by following news, events, and social media pages.

IMS Integration Can Help

At IMS Integration, we make online self-service forms to help create tailored software solutions for your credit union. Contact us to learn more about how our member-facing web solutions can help you.


Credit Unions Offer Unique Post-COVID Solutions

 

Since credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit institutions, many have created new pandemic-centric programs. Here are some of the post-COVID solutions CUs are offering to help their communities while generating business. We’ve also included a unique opportunity for credit unions looking to add to their offerings.

Short-Term, Low Rate Personal Loans

Credit unions have stepped up to help their members by offering 3-month and other short-term loans at or near zero percent interest. These short loans are often called pandemic relief loans.

Individuals and businesses are using them to bridge the gap caused by lost wages and reduced business. These “small dollar” loans are being compared to stimulus checks that each individual gets to control and define.

Financial Counseling

Unlike big banks, credit unions don’t take advantage of their customers’ financial ignorance. Though this isn’t a new offering, offering financial counseling is a major asset right now. No one was prepared for a pandemic or its effects, but punishing customers for their lack of knowledge creates brand distrust and hurts your bottom line and your customers’ livelihood. Credit unions have adjusted hours and protocols to offer one-on-one counseling to their members throughout this crisis.

Financial counseling is another example of how credit unions have been focused on helping their communities well before COVID-19.

Waiving Fees

Though it seems counterintuitive, many CUs were encouraged to waive fees. Eligible fees include ATM withdrawals, early withdrawals on timed deposits, credit card balances, loan balances, late payments, and more.

Increasing Credit Card Limits

CUs are increasing credit card limits to accommodate the lack of cash flow from shutdowns and decreased capacities. This solution does not include all memebrs. However, increasing credit for trusted borrowers creates business for the CU and eases the financial burden temporarily for members.

Deferring Payments

Similar to the pandemic relief loans, credit unions are also generously deferring monthly payments. Members are grateful for the choice to defer a payment for one month, giving them time to recover lost finances.

IMS Integration’s software includes Skip A Pay, which can help your credit union easily process these deferments.

Bonus: Small Business Service Opportunity

Nearly six in ten small businesses said they’re at least somewhat likely to look for a new banking relationship in the next year, according to this Forbes article. Many of these small businesses accept upwards of 10 different payment types. But why does this matter to your credit union?

Processing these payment types through a third-party service includes fees. These fees make it even harder for small businesses to turn a good profit. And as COVID measures continue to affect the economy, small businesses are looking for ways to cut costs. This is where the opportunity comes in: credit unions should consider providing accounting and payment services to SMEs (small- and medium-sized businesses).

Offering these services generates business for you and provides your local business owners with a valuable service.

Final Thoughts

Though it feels like things are shifting toward a new normal, many of your members are still struggling to adapt to the changes caused by COVID-19. By now, nearly all government-mandated relief efforts have ended.

This creates a huge opportunity for your credit union to re-evaluate programs and pick up that slack to help your communities bounce back even faster. These efforts also generate business, so it’s really a “help us help you” situation.

Upgrade Your Software Today

IMS Integration offers unique solutions of its own for credit unions. Contact us to learn more about how our member-facing web solutions can help you better serve your members.


4 Reasons to Choose Credit Unions Over Big Banks

 

Sometimes it feels like big banks have all the power and resources to offer much “more” than local credit unions, but that is not the case. In a world where small businesses are gaining momentum, customers are looking for better deals and hometown service. Here are four reasons why customers are choosing credit unions over big banks.

Customer Service

Big banks often have cumbersome systems and processes for answers to even simple inquiries like “What is my loan balance?” Customers know it is a waste of time to dial through all the automated phone tree selections. They also know saying “Customer Service” may get you to a live person, but the odds that person will find a solution are slim to none.

Credit unions, as non-profit organizations, are focused on giving their customers the best possible experience. Many credit unions serve specific geographic locations and local employers, too, so they have a better knowledge base on what services are most valuable to their members in the area.

Educational Resource Offerings

Do you know the saying, “read the fine print”? Many big banks create rigid programs for things like applying for and paying loans, opening and closing accounts, and other basic offerings. They also have a bad reputation for leaving customers in the dark on certain protocols within those programs, including late fees and extra fees for paying off a loan early or for closing an account before a certain amount of time has gone by.

Nearly all credit unions offer free or inexpensive classes on many common topics ranging from basic budgeting to how to start a business or create a balance sheet. CUs want their members to have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their finances.

More Flexible Lending Practices

Big banks are very strict in their lending practices. Local branches often have to send loan and other financial information out to a corporate liaison. Aside from the extra time this takes, large banks also do not offer any flexibility on interest rates, many offerings are considered “templated” – there is a written step-by-step protocol for each and every interaction customers will have with them.

Credit unions do their utmost to work with members regardless of their financial situation. This means that many times, interest rates are lower. Credit unions are also more likely to make exceptions that will allow a higher-risk member to obtain the financial aid they need.

Online Services

Technological solutions continue to create faster, more customizable, and more affordable options, which means your credit union can operate at national bank-level efficiency, all while staying committed to a customer-first business model.

Marketing and expanding your CU’s online services offerings can show potential customers that your business’s smaller size doesn’t mean fewer options and solutions for their financial needs. Many people say they are unsatisfied with their large bank’s apps and online offerings. Creating more user-friendly approaches is easy when you can customize your offerings to fit your credit union.

Optimize Your Offerings

Credit unions are integral to the communities they serve, both for individual customers and small businesses. Offering those customers big bank services at hometown prices is a great way to stand out in your credit union’s local market.

Let IMS Integration take care of your software solutions. Contact us to discuss your credit union’s software upgrade options.


The Importance of Offering Skip A Pay

 

Many Americans are still struggling financially after the last few months of layoffs and shutdowns, some of which are going back into effect after being eased earlier in the summer. 30% of Americans missed their June housing payments – this is up from April’s 24%. In these unprecedented times, financial flexibility is a top priority for credit union members. It has never been more important to offer your members a Skip a Pay option.

Many individual financial and housing institutions are offering things like 3 months of forbearance on mortgage payments or paused rent payments for those whose workloads are negatively affected by layoffs and downsizing in this crisis. But smaller debts, like vehicle loans, are not always included in these provisions.

But what is Skip A Pay and why is it important?

What is Skip A Pay?

Skip A Pay is a flexible payment offering that allows credit union members to defer one monthly loan payment in a rolling period, which can be restricted to as little as once every 12 months or as often as every 90 days. Loan payments resume as usual in the month that follows a skipped month. 

The skipped payment amount is tacked on to the end of the loan and extends the time on the loan by one month for each Skip A Pay fulfilled. The loan total is not affected by skipping a payment, but interest does still accrue through the new end date of the loan.

Typically, these loans are eligible for the Skip A Pay option: vehicle and recreational vehicle loans, recreational loans, unsecured personal loans, and more.

The Importance of Skip A Pay

Stalling a single monthly payment doesn’t hurt the member’s credit score, though overuse can result in higher interest amounts paid over the life of the extended loan. While it is not a good idea for members to make Skip A Pay a habit, it is a great choice for those who need a bit of flexibility in their payments so as to pay other, higher-interest debts when money is tight.

Offering a Skip A Pay option gives members the chance to ride out short term crises with little penalty.

There are also negatives to a Skip A Pay program, for credit unions and their members. If a program is rolled out and it doesn’t have a satisfactory evaluation process for eligibility, members who overutilize the option could accrue more debt through the increased interest, and credit unions could have difficulty collecting timely payments if a good schedule for using Skip A Pay is not put in place.

Forgo the Hassle with Skip A Pay

IMS Integration offers a unique approach to setting up a Skip a Pay batch eligibility evaluation process that is customized to your credit union’s preferences. The process evaluates loans based on custom criteria set by your credit union and adds notes to eligible and non-eligible loans for ease of processing.

IMS Integration’s customized Skip A Pay program could be the solution to your credit union’s needs. Contact us to discuss your credit union’s software upgrade options.


The Benefits of Online Courtesy Pay

 

Courtesy Pay programs are a safety net for members’ checking accounts when funds are low and they don’t have sufficient funds to cover these transactions. Courtesy Pay is designed to give members peace of mind by providing coverage if they inadvertently overdraft their account, or even make a mistake. It’s an added measure to help members when they need it. Plus, it’s a reliable source of non-interest income for your credit union.

Under the Federal Reserve System, Regulation E protects consumers when electronic funds are transferred. Electronic fund transfers include: ATMs, direct deposit, gift cards, overdraft, point of sale transfers, remittances and telephone transfers. Regulation topics cover the disclosure of fees and limits, error correction, liability, preauthorized transfers and receipts.

Specifically, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states: “the term “overdraft service” means a service under which a financial institution assesses a fee or charge on a consumer’s account held by the institution for paying a transaction (including a check or other item) when the consumer has insufficient or unavailable funds in the account.”

In summary, to protect consumers, credit union members must enroll, or opt-in, to cover those transactions and associated fees. To complete the enrollment process, credit unions can use a variety of methods to do this, such as telephone, mail, email or an online platform, which has become the most common solution due to the expediency of processing. It doesn’t cost anything for your members to enroll into Courtesy Pay, as fees will be assessed on a per-transaction basis, and debit card transactions are covered.

At IMSI, we’ve developed a Courtesy Pay solution that is fully integrated with core systems and handles the regulatory requirement for member notifications. It’s an affordable, easy and quick solution that can be installed in-house or hosted. With our system, members and staff can opt in as little as two minutes. Additionally, it’ll help ensure your credit union is compliant and meet service goals. Contact us to learn more about this solution.