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By USERS INCORPORATED - A FISERV CONNECTION
It’s not often that you can provide a service that saves members money
and reduces their frustration, while generating fee income for the credit union.
But that’s exactly what Central Florida Educators’ Federal Credit
Union (Orlando, FL, $788 million, 109,000 members) has done with its implementation
of a Courtesy Payment program. In just six months, the credit union has seen
call center complaint calls drop, member satisfaction improve, and net fee income
increase by an average of over $350,000 monthly.
“We pride ourselves on member service, so our primary goal with courtesy
payment was to reduce member frustration – especially from overdrafts
that result from a simple math error,” explains Executive Vice President
Kent Lugrand. “Sometimes, that error throws the balance off just a few
cents, causing the member to bounce a check.” These situations prove frustrating
all around – as the member incurs merchant and credit union fees, and
the credit union’s staff is tied up handling complaints and reversing
fees. “We’d rather spend our labor dollars on positive services,
such as communicating current promotions, opening new accounts, and enrolling
new members,” Lugrand says.
Enabling a Solution
To develop a courtesy payment program that would be easy and efficient to set
up, administer and maintain, Central Florida recognized the need for the right
enabling technology. The credit union began by choosing the browser-based Courtesy
Pay Manager solution from its core processor, USERS. This software enables the
credit union to set up the criteria and business rules for courtesy payment,
then automatically processes qualified overdraft payments and assesses the right
fees to member accounts. The credit union also links Courtesy Pay Manager to
a third-party package designed for tasks like member communication, disclosure
delivery, and collections. Since both products are based on the pervasive SQL
standard, they can share the necessary data automatically.
The resulting courtesy payment program at Central Florida differs from many
in the industry in two respects:
Central Florida also extends the service on all types of inclearings, including
ATM, ACH, debit and check cards. “We’re encouraging members to use
electronic channels because it’s cheaper to clear an electronic transaction
than a paper check,” he says. “We didn’t want our courtesy
payment program to hinder that goal.”
Since launching the program in mid-September of 2003, Central Florida has seen
outstanding results on all fronts. “Members are writing and calling to
thank us for saving them money on the merchant side of the transaction,”
Lugrand says. Call center staff is handling fewer complaints and spending more
time on proactive sales. And while fee generation wasn’t the prime goal,
the credit union has succeeded here, too: After write-offs, the program has
generated an average of over $350,000 each month in additional fee income during
the first six months of the program.
“Courtesy Payment fits very well with our philosophy and goals,”
Lugrand says. “Our main focus was to deliver a checking service in a satisfactory
way, and I believe we’re doing that. And as we train our call center staff
to be ‘universal agents,’ the reduced volume of checking account
service calls will allow them to spend more time on true income generating products,
like mortgage, auto, and personal loans.”
For more information about USERS’
Courtesy Pay Manager or other technology solutions for credit unions, call 1-800-523-7282,
April 26, 2004
7/26/2012 04:14 PM
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