Combining 'High-Tech' and 'High-Touch' for a Complete Online Solution

For the keys to your next consumer loan, you may want to look as close as your computer keyboard. The Internet continues to gain popularity among credit union members looking for personalized account information and loan processing needs. Increased consumer confidence means that now is the time to begin or to expand your Internet lending capabilities.

 

By My Credit Union

 

The Keys to your Next Loan

For the keys to your next consumer loan, you may want to look as close as your computer keyboard. The Internet continues to gain popularity among credit union members looking for personalized account information and loan processing needs. Your members, like the rest of the population, are accessing the Internet in increasing numbers. Consumers are utilizing the Internet as a lifestyle tool - ordering gifts, reading news stories, paying bills and accessing their financial accounts. With each completed transaction, they grow more comfortable and accustomed to the speed, accuracy and security of online transactions. Increased consumer confidence means that now is the time to begin or to expand your Internet lending capabilities.

What's Needed for a Complete Online Solution?

A successful Internet lending strategy must meet your members' expectations for response times, accuracy, quality service and security. By combining the power of the Internet with personalized service, you can provide your members with an online branch that meets their requirements. Here are some key steps to follow:

  1. Develop a web site tailored to your members and their needs - make it informative, interactive and fun in order to get members to come back to the site more than once.
  2. Provide an online loan application that can be completed and processed online, not one that requires the member to print the application and then mail or fax it to the credit union. The client is online now and wants to apply now.
  3. Incorporate internal processes for responding to these applications - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Remember, the Internet is your around-the-clock branch. Members expect and deserve a response time guarantee for their online inquiries.
  4. Determine if you want to utilize automated decisioning for instant approvals or denials, providing your member with a loan decision at the time of application.
  5. Pair your online strategy with personalized service from loan officers who can answer questions, advise the member or provide a loan decision if the loan falls outside of your predetermined automated decisioning criteria.

My Own Solution or Find a Partner?

Many credit unions are trying to compete for loans online, but don't know if they have the resources available to meet their members' needs. Therefore, credit unions are considering the benefits of partnering with a provider that can assist them in developing a customized Internet solution. Often a third party vendor can provide the additional front-end technologies or back-end processing (24 hour staffing and data processor interfaces) that a credit union needs to meet their members' around-the-clock needs.

University Federal Credit Union ($388 million; Austin, TX) and Motorola Employees Credit Union - West ($330 million; Scottsdale, AZ) are two credit unions that have selected to develop their online lending strategy with Lending Solutions, Inc. (LSI) and have experienced outstanding results for their credit union and members.

Bill Berglund, Senior Manager of Real Estate/Consumer Lending at University Federal Credit Union is extremely pleased with the Internet lending program they have developed for their members. Currently, University FCU averages over 300 Internet applications a month. ''The program is exactly what we needed in order to capture additional member loans,'' states Berglund. Our members apply online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, receive immediate loan decisions and are happy to be processing that loan with their credit union.'' Berglund adds, ''For the credit union, working with LSI's Internet program has meant partnering with a highly trained lending staff that is always available to provide lending assistance, the ability to use automated decisioning for those members that meet the criteria we set and the ability to surpass our members expectations. Since the start of the program over a year ago, we have not had a single complaint about the program - only increased loans and satisfied members.''

Doris McCune from Motorola Employees Credit Union - West agrees, ''Online lending has helped us to make loans to more members who are accessing our services through new channels. Additionally, partnering with LSI, allows us to work with a vendor that can provide powerful Internet strategies with the support of a 24 hour call center staff.'' McCune continues, ''One of the reasons that we switched our Internet loan business from another vendor to LSI was to have the ability to utilize a call center and online lending solution all from the same organization. Additionally, it was critical that we be able to directly interface our Internet loans to our loan origination system. With LSI, this is all possible.''

Getting Connected

With the continued growth of online lending and the available resources to assist your credit union in establishing or enhancing your Internet strategy, now is the time to get connected to your members.

To find out more about getting started with Lending Solutions, Inc.'s affordable, online lending services, visit the Web site at www.nlpc.com or call 800-574-6572, fax 847-844-2300 or e-mail lsisales@nlpc.com.

This sponsored content article is provided to the credit union community for shared insights and knowledge from a recognized solutions provider in the industry. Please note that the views and opinions offered here do not reflect those of Callahan & Associates, and Callahan does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer.

If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact our Callahan Media team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.

 

Aug. 6, 2001


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