The landscape for credit unions and other financial institutions has certainly changed over the past 5 years. In fact, we took a survey back in 2016, asking credit unions their most preferred form of payment, with 68.2% responding that over the phone through a staff member as their number one choice. While this kind of personal service is appreciated by the client, that tends to be one of the costliest and least effective methods of taking payments, especially if you want to grow your business from a local to a national perspective.
Now, credit unions seem to agree that the preferred method is a convenient online portal. Not only do you put the power back in the member’s hand, but you also decrease the amount of work for your staff. Managing your payments from the comfort of home seems like the obvious choice in 2021 and the pandemic has radically shifted the perspective of most credit unions to adopt these technologies at a much faster rate.
But what’s the next step?
Many CUs want to know what comes next and how it will help them expand their member base. While some competitors have can offer a simple payment portal, BillingTree takes this technology a step further by offering mobile payments as well.
The Future is Mobile
We’ve discussed online portals being among the most popular choices for payment options but what about those that still want the phone experience? IVR is another tool we use to help manage your resources and automate the payment process, accepting payments 24/7 through phone systems and allowing your staff to handle the more difficult tasks that require time and attention.
In fact, mobile technology, like IVR and SMS text payments, provides opportunities for client acquisition. Mobile transactions continue to grow in the US. It’s no wonder that people would rather make a payment on their phone than go into the bank where they risk their health and waste valuable time.
According to a recent Accenture survey, millennials and higher-income households make mobile payments the most, with 23% and 38% using contactless payments at least once a week, respectively. Many credit unions are already initiating newer and more reliable systems in which to accept payments and automate the process, costing them less in the long run.
What We Suggest
How can you use mobile payments to attract more clients? First, talk to your payment processor and ask what mobile payment solutions they offer. Then, put together a focused effort to draw in clients who want mobile payments.
Don’t Forget to Market Your Solutions
Now that you have the tools, how do you use them to grow?
We understand that a strong marketing plan is a must in this industry. How are people going to use your new tools if they don’t know about them? We suggest asking your payment processor what tools they offer to help you market their product. For example, we offer our partners a kit of marketing tools to help them advertise our suite of products and how they benefit your members. We also offer custom marketing collateral to ensure that the voice and tone of your message are unique to your business, helping your increase brand awareness too.
So take the time to evaluate the online and mobile payment services you offer. Look into the various methods that are currently in use and determine if you can provide tools to reach the segments that you are currently not addressing very well. A little time invested in research and adding new technology can result in a large increase in your customer base.