How to Choose the Right Payment Provider for Credit Unions

When looking for an outside payment provider, it makes sense to look inside your organization…at your core system.

Without knowing what type of integration your core system has with a specific payment processor, you’ll be unsure about the capabilities and functionality your systems have. And, if they do not talk to each other at all, more manual work is required on a daily basis.

Why integrate with your core?

There are various reasons to have a true integration with your payment processor. Not the least of which is efficiency. A tight integration will deliver real-time payment posting. So instead of pulling a batch file at the end of each day and loading it into your core manually, it will happen automatically. That way, your staff will see member payments show up immediately right in your core system.

Also, integrating means you will have a custom member portal, which is branded to your credit union and gives your members the ability to make payments 24/7/365 on a computer or mobile device. They can make payments via credit/debit, eCheck or ACH, automated phone (IVR), text message—and can even set up recurring payments and AutoPay. You’re also free to customize the fields available and personalize disclosure information within the member portal.

What integrations are most important?

While this is not an exhaustive list, these are the major players that we believe payment providers should be integrated within the credit union space:

  • Corelation
  • Kasasa
  • MeridianLink
  • Symitar
  • Telrock
  • Temenos
  • Tyfone
  • Bankjoy
  • Fusion CRS
  • eCUTechnology
  • IMS Integration

What value-adds do you get with a payment integration?

Some extras you get with an integration with BillingTree is Account Updater, a tool that updates and repairs changed cards and updates expiration dates to save recurring payments. You also get two-way SMS payments, not just a link to the payment page. Additionally, there are flexible convenience fee options, which enable you to charge a flat dollar amount or waive the fee altogether based on the delivery channel.

The emailed payment link is another popular feature, which allows your staff to email a link to a pre-populated payment page, increasing the chances of making a payment.

Finally, one standout feature clients love is the virtual negotiator that allows members to negotiate a payment plan right within the member portal, with no employee intervention.

What are the key takeaways?

Above all else, it makes a ton of sense to look both outward and inward when choosing a payment platform. And that starts with your core. With some thoughtful evaluation and asking the right questions, you will choose a payment partner that’s a great fit for your organization.