In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, consumers are changing their behaviors on a daily basis. Job losses are creating stress, while social distancing measures have changed how people can do business with their credit unions.  Travel restrictions and business closures are changing normal spending habits and putting strain on small businesses. The news isn’t all negative, though.

Life in this “new normal” is bringing out the best in many people – helping their neighbors, donating to those who are immediately impacted, and creating the opportunity for businesses and financial institutions to begin thinking outside of the box. Below are just a few examples of programs Saylent developed quickly to support credit unions as they support their members.

Use Your Institution’s Data to Help Members in Need

For years, credit unions have prioritized how to use their data to create more meaningful relationships with their members. By paying attention to the story the data tells, they’re ready to respond to members’ needs — sometimes before the member even recognizes those needs —creating mutually profitable, lasting relationships that people value.

That is no different in the world we find ourselves living in now. By analyzing leading indicators that flag members who are potentially experiencing stress and financial hardship, you can be prepared to reach out and offer services to support them.  These indicators could include:

  • Accounts with stalled direct deposits
  • Accounts with new overdrafts
  • Bill pay irregularities
  • Declining balances
  • Changes in spending behaviors

Credit unions have always been known to be strong supporters of their communities and their members. Tracking changes in trends and behaviors and supporting struggling members through the impacts of the pandemic will build even stronger trust and relationships in your market.

To provide an even more personalized support system for your members, further analyze the data about those impacted to offer alternative products or solutions that can offer relief in their unique situations. For example:

  • Encourage Reg E opt-in for members experiencing denials
  • Provide relief from interest and fees
  • Offer low-rate promotions with relief language: for example, 0%APR for six months
  • Credit line increases, where strategically appropriate

Promote Alternative Banking Solutions to Targeted Segments

In addition to flagging potential members in need, you can also tap into your data to find segments of your audience who could benefit from products and services that help make banking and shopping from a distance a bit easier.

Rather than simply promoting the benefits of Online and Mobile Banking on your website, target members who have never used digital banking tools with a communication that incents them to try Bill Pay for the first time. Promote the benefits of contactless cards and digital wallets to reinforce additional options for shopping safely while social distancing. Or reach out to members who have inactive cards with a push to activate their cards and begin using them for point-of-sale purchases.

Put a New Spin on Marketing Campaigns

There is no shortage of advice on how financial marketers should change – or not change – their marketing strategies in response to the changing economy and life experiences. These range from stopping all promotional marketing with a wait and see approach, creating new fast-tracked campaigns, or continuing communications as it is business as usual. While everyone is working through what is the right solution for their institutions, there are ways to stay in front of your members without appearing tone-deaf to what the world is experiencing – and help your community at the same time.

For example, many institutions run campaigns throughout the year to incent members to increase point-of-sale spending or volume of transactions. While a strong message of increasing in-person spending may no longer feel appropriate, updating the message toward supporting local businesses or online purchases of essential items during this time speaks to community and allows you to continue running campaigns that are essential to your bottom line.

Another option is to make a simple change to your incentive strategy. If you plan to run an incentive-based campaign that allows your members to earn a gift card for reaching certain spending tiers, adjust that campaign to allow qualifying members to “thank a local hero” with a gift card instead. Or offer to make a charitable donation to your chosen local community charity. Your members will feel good about what you have allowed them to do for their community, and you can continue to stay in front of them during this time.

Want to learn more? Download our free webinar, hosted by CUInsight

With credit unions facing many new and unprecedented challenges, there has never been a more important time for credit unions to use their data to better understand and support their members.

The Saylent team joined forces with CUInsight to discuss this on a webinar in June 2020. Watch it on demand for more ideas about how to connect more meaningfully with your members and continue to fulfill your promise of supporting them and the local community during this time.

On Demand Webinar: Do your data tools support your members?

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