Last month we talked about the necessity to make sure your overdraft payment program was up to par from a regulatory standpoint. New NCUA directives and regulations will take effect in July and we discussed the importance of regulatory compliance. This month we’re going to switch gears and talk specifically to those of you who have seen your overdraft payment program lose its vitality. For a number of reasons -- employee turnover, lack of training, and simple administrative system changes -- program performance erosion can occur.
Overdraft payment programs also experience performance erosion if they become unresponsive to changes outside the credit union such as changes in the regulatory and consumer environment. Changes in any of these areas signal the need to alter or develop new policies, procedures, training, and member communications.
‘Self Administered’ Programs
We have found, in our experience with credit unions, that overdraft programs often decline in performance when the credit union elects to administer the program on their own. Self administered programs often lack systems to upgrade processes, compliance requirements, training, business support and other important response mechanisms.
In response to many credit unions that requested a solution to program erosion, we set out to design a system that would address this issue.
When we were designing our program we found that, to be effective, we could not develop a one-size-fits-all cookie cutter solution. The system had to be customized and designed to meet the specific needs of each individual client. It had to be a program suited to a client’s particular culture and environment. Carried a step further, we made it imperative that each new client experience a significant improvement in underperforming areas of their existing overdraft payment service.
When a client approaches us requesting our upgrade we have a formalized process in place that we follow. First, we conduct an extensive audit and efficiency exam of the credit union’s current overdraft payment system. We visit with relevant departments during our review to create an open dialogue so we can fully understand the credit union’s operations involving overdraft payment services. These include policies, procedures, risk assessment, staff resources, legal and compliance status, marketing practices, and member disclosure efforts.
We see this process as rather unique in that much of it is one-on-one and focuses on give and take between our process specialists and your credit union staffers. This bi-directional approach to transferring information helps us better identify the credit union’s overdraft program strengths and weaknesses.
After the audit is complete and we have carefully examined our data, we prepare and submit to a credit union detailed recommendations on how to improve your member service experience as well as details relating to earnings improvement initiatives. The recommendations cover such areas as impact analysis on the credit union’s operations, legal and compliance position, marketing efforts and technology.
In addition, each client receives an operational package that includes business support processes that are individually configured to meet each credit union’s future needs and requirements for successful growth, compliance, maintenance, integration, effectiveness and control of its overdraft payment service.
One element that is crucial to the success of the Strunk ODP Plus SM overdraft payment upgrade service is the training – sometimes retraining -- of credit union staff. Even with the best overdraft payment programs we find that over time 50 to 75 percent of your credit union employees assigned to work with overdraft services have had no formal training. We’re proud to say that we are unmatched in our ability to design and create easy-to-understand training tools and effective training programs. During our training programs, the entire upgrade process is put into perspective as employees learn to effectively put into practice improvement initiatives needed to ignite growth and sustain strong and mutually beneficial member relationships.
If you want us to give your overdraft payment program a second look, consider Strunk’s ODP Plus. Give us a call or send an email. Call us at 800.728.3116, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check our web site at www.strunklp.com.
In business since 1976, Strunk & Associates, LP is a financial advisory service recognized nationally for its innovative design, development and implementation of the original “Overdraft Privilege Service Program”. Strunk & Associates, LP currently has well over 1200 verifiable Overdraft Privilege Service clients throughout the United States and the Caribbean.