Monday, September 8, 2014

Invest in America is Now Love My Credit Union Rewards



www.lovemycreditunion.org

We thrilled to announce that it’s official – Invest in America is now Love My Credit Union Rewards.

For credit unions, this rebrand brings two big changes. First, and brand new to the program, we’ve developed bundles to make it easier for credit unions to participate in the holistic program. We also have developed cohesive marketing requirements to simplify promotion implementation and management. Second, we streamlined marketing requirements across the individual programs.

So, what are bundles? We have grouped like-discounts into bundles – which facilitates enrollment and offers multi-partner marketing materials.

Bundles

Click on the bundle links to learn more or to enroll: 
  • All – This includes all Love My Credit Union Rewards partners and is the best option for both credit unions and members. It encompasses all of our exclusive partner discounts and our 1,500+ merchant cashback shopping experience, so members save on large purchases, as well as on the things they buy every day. Your credit union will receive all the benefits of the program – adding member value and member retention, increased usage of core products and generating non-interest income.
  • Auto – All auto-related discounts that help boost auto loans.
  • Home – Home-related discounts that can help drive mortgages and refinances.
  • Invest in America – Discounts on U.S.-based companies.
Many of the updated marketing materials are already available in our Partner Center; including GM, Sprint, Allied, ADT, Credit Union Auto Club and Love to Shop (formerly Shop America). And more are rolling out soon, including DIRECTV and our bundled materials.
 
We are very excited to launch our program with changes that benefit everyone. Saving your members money and accessing great tactics for loan growth, member retention and non-interest income just got easier!

For more information on any of these new, exciting changes, visit the Love My Credit Union Rewards Partner Center, reach out to your business consultant or email ClientSupport@cusolutionsgroup.com


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HR Neutrality – Does One Size Fit All at Your Credit Union?


by Charisse Rockett, PHR

As credit union HR professionals, we are always trying to make sure everyone is treated the same – that no one feels slighted or left out; that everyone is treated equally. In certain instances that's a really good idea, especially if it keeps you out of legal trouble, (e.g. male/female, old/young, black/white). But, are our HR practices becoming a one-size-fits-all?

Let’s take a step back. Examining our motive for treating all of our credit union employees the same should give us some insight as to whether this is a constructive practice. Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly:
  • Am I afraid of a claim of discrimination or retaliation?
  • Am I trying to avoid conflict by applying policies the same way to all employees?
  • Am I ignoring an underlying employee performance issue that needs to be addressed?
  • Is treating all employees the same taking the easy way out? 
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be practicing HR neutrality. Obviously, some policies must be applied the same way to all of your credit union's employees, like no smoking in the office. But, must our top performers be treated the same as our mediocre or low performers? No, but we must treat them fairly.  In fact, our treating employees fairly sometimes mean we treat them differently. How?  A high performing employee doesn’t want to be treated the same as one they view as a slacker. They want to be treated differently, because they deserve it. There is nothing illegal about treating a high performer better than you treat your employee that is not meeting your expectations.  

So, the next time you encounter a situation that previously had the one-size-fits-all HR neutrality applied to, examine your motive for doing so, use empathy by putting yourself in your credit union's employee’s shoes, and always keep the human in Human Resources. Oh yes, and you must deal head-on with the perceived slacker; they may just need clearer expectations, but you won’t know if you don’t ask!

Source:  Sackett, Tim.  “HR Neutrality:  Everybody Seems to Hate It – Except, of Course, HR.”  Available here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Help Your Credit Union Take the Technology Leap




There’s much more expanding the divide between large and small credit unions than their asset size – there’s technology. There are numerous technology offerings that have become the norm for larger credit unions such as remote deposit capture, mobile banking and apps, online banking and online applications. But are these technology offerings out of reach for smaller credit unions? 

A recent study from Callahan & Associates discovered that only 21 small credit unions nationwide had the above technology offerings. The study also showed that these 21 credit unions routinely outpaced similarly sized credit unions in share draft, auto loan and credit card growth. The tech-savvy credit unions also had a higher average member relationship balance than credit unions with a similar asset size: $10, 439 compared to $8.966.

Affordable Technology

If you’re a smaller credit union that hasn’t kept up with larger ones, there’s good news – the cost of technology is becoming consistently more affordable. Online banking and online applications for membership, loans and credit cards have come down in price over the past couple of years. Plus, there are plenty of turnkey versions of these technology offerings out there that can fit even the smaller budgets, and could offer a sizable return on your investment.

The world of technology, especially finance technology, seems to be growing and morphing at a pace that’s too fast. Especially if you’re looking to catch up. But don’t let that intimidate you. Determine what technology would best benefit your credit union and start there.

Why Mobile Banking?

If you’re still not sure, then you might want to start with online and mobile banking. The recent Credit Union Satisfaction Index from CFI Group found that for members, online and mobile banking are the most important aspect of their credit union experience. Another report, this one from Monitise called The Mobile Money Landscape: Market Statistics and Expert Views, reveals that 51% of U.S. adults, or 61% of Internet users, bank online while over 50% of the U.S.’ 5,800 commercial banks now offer some form of mobile banking.

No matter what technology product or service you want to offer your members next, CU Solutions Group has affordable options for nearly any size budget. From online member applications and loan applications to mobile banking and more, we’ll make sure you’re making the best technology decision for your credit union.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Does Your Credit Union Have the Right Member Loyalty Program?



Consumers have gotten used to getting perks, loyalty discounts and rewards wherever they go these days. So, how’s a credit union supposed to compete?

A recent study from TechnologyAdvice took a look at what consumers want out of a loyalty program and what they don’t. Respondents said they’d be over 80% more likely to shop at stores that offered some type of loyalty program. The main reason they participate in loyalty programs at all? 57% said it was to save money. And it turns out that exclusive rewards were 57% more likely to incentivize participation. Most significantly, 82% of respondents said they’d be “more likely” or “much more likely” to shop at stores that offer loyalty programs.

Loyalty Programs and Your CU

We know that you need to attract members, not consumers, and that you’re not a store or retailer. But credit unions could still use these facts as a springboard to start a loyalty or rewards program for its members. This study is just one of many that pinpoint how vital a rewards program can be to attract new members and increase current members’ loyalty.

The go-to loyalty program for most financial institutions tends to be a credit card rewards program. ScoreCard Rewards is one of the more popular programs, but there are plenty of others out there. The problem of going with a program like this is it’s somewhat counter-intuitive to what credit unions are all about. If you’re truly putting your members first, then you might want to think about how it looks to reward them for spending money and potentially going into debt.

Why not reward your members and give them valuable discounts on things they already buy or use on a daily basis like a car, smartphone, satellite TV or tax preparation? That’s what Love My Credit Union Rewards is all about. This exclusive member discount program was created specifically to help members save and for credit unions to build member loyalty – and hopefully attract new members at the same time.

Whether your credit union already has a loyalty program in place, or whether it chooses to use Love My Credit Union Rewards or not, we encourage you to seriously think about having the right programs with the right benefits for both you and your members. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Setting Expectations for Success at Your Credit Union


by Charisse Rockett, PHR

Have you ever tried to put a 500-piece puzzle together using only 386 pieces? That is what it can feel like to an employee who has not be given straightforward expectations to accomplish their goals. An important part of performance management is to set clear expectations for employees so there is no question as to how their work should get done.

When your credit union's employees feel their goals and your expectations are undefined or ambiguous, they become frustrated, productivity declines, and you risk losing them. To keep them committed to you as their manager and to the credit union, you can't leave anything to chance. By including employees in the goal-setting process and then developing action plans with timelines, your expectations are clear and you are setting them up to succeed; the rest is up to them.

Learn more about HR Performance Solutions Performance Pro and manage your employees performance with ease. Start your 30 day FREE trial today!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why Credit Unions Should Pick Pandora







If more and more of your credit union's marketing budget is going to digital, you'll want to read this article. According to Martini Media, credit unions and banks allocated about 40 percent of their marketing budgets toward digital marketing in 2013. By 2017, digital will account for nearly one in three dollars spent in U.S. advertising reaching close to $44.5 billion in ad spending. 

One of the best bets for your digital marketing dollar is quickly becoming Pandora Internet Radio. If you’re curious why more advertising dollars are being shifted toward Pandora media buys, here are some reasons why Pandora is worth it:
  • You can target your marketing efforts with almost pinpoint accuracy with segment and sub-segment choices that include household income, auto preferences, ethnicity, education levels, home and business ownership, etc.
  • 28 percent of U.S. adults that are online stream music on their computer or smartphone; yet only six percent are willing to pay for commercial-free online music.
  • Compared to other online ads, Pandora only play one in-stream ad at a time, so marketers have the listener’s full attention.
  • Users are less likely to tune out the ads since Pandora runs less than two minutes of commercials per hour compared to the up to ten minutes of broadcast radio stations.
  • Pandora is a clear favorite of the 13 to 35 age group with 39 percent of them using it. The next closest is iHeartRadio with only eleven percent.
  • Ten out of the ten best-selling passenger vehicles in the U.S. now come with Pandora.
If you'd like to learn more about Pandora, CU Solutions Group has worked with numerous credit unions to help develop a creative, effective and successful media buy. Click here to contact us today