One Credit Union Saves Big with e-Statements

Reducing transaction costs is high on most credit union agendas. So it's not surprising that the delivery of statements electronically is one of the fastest growing Web-based services. But while it can significantly reduce costs and improve member service, some institutions are taking a conservative approach to e-Statements. Fort Knox Federal Credit Union (Fort Knox, KY, $339 million, 62,000 members) is not among them - and the credit union has the results to prove its aggressive stance is right on target.

 

By USERS INCORPORATED - A FISERV CONNECTION

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Reducing transaction costs is high on most credit union agendas. So it's not surprising that the delivery of statements electronically is one of the fastest growing Web-based services. But while it can significantly reduce costs and improve member service, some institutions are taking a conservative approach to e-Statements. Fort Knox Federal Credit Union (Fort Knox, KY, $339 million, 62,000 members) is not among them - and the credit union has the results to prove its aggressive stance is right on target.

''Sometimes it's we, the credit unions, who keep members from adopting new services,'' says CEO Bill Rissel. ''We assume members must have things they might not care about anymore. We asked ourselves: Are we delivering statements in a way that makes sense with how we do business today? And we answered that question very differently than some credit unions.'' The results speak for themselves: Fort Knox will save an estimated $100,000 this year through e-Statements, using e-Documents technology from its core processor, USERS Incorporated.

Positioned for Success

When Fort Knox replaced its first-generation Internet banking with USERS' PCU Internet Banking in June of 2002, e-Statements was an integral part of the plan. Fort Knox was already storing statement images through the supplier's Access RMS optical system; the addition of e-Documents now enabled the credit union to deliver those statements for viewing on its secure Web site. The software is directly integrated with USERS' core processing system, automatically flagging the accounts of members who should receive e-Statements.

Before launching the service, Fort Knox carefully considered how to position it for optimal results. Instead of asking members for permission to deliver e-Statements, Fort Knox chose a ''motivational pricing'' approach. As Rissel notes, ''If you don't give members an incentive to change their behavior, why should they?'' To encourage such a change, the credit union made the e-Statement an automatic component of its Branch@Home Internet banking package, used by 26 percent of members. If Branch@Home users want a duplicate paper statement, they must pay the credit union's standard, duplicate statement fee of $1.00.

The aggressive approach didn't cause a backlash; instead, the response was overwhelmingly positive. ''We've probably gotten three complaints in total,'' Rissel says. ''Of all the members using online banking (over 16,000), only about 1,000 have asked for paper statements. If members are using online banking, they're probably reconciling their accounts as they go, so they don't need a statement.'' In truth, few of the members with access to e-Statements are actually viewing them in any given month.

Fort Knox will save at least $100,000 in avoided expenses this year through e-Statements - a conservative figure based on current Branch@Home usage. As enrollment inevitably increases, so too will the savings. Nine months after last summer's launch, Fort Knox is still signing up 500-600 members per month for Internet banking - each sign-up representing another opportunity to cut statement delivery costs, while improving convenience for the member.

Building on this success, Fort Knox intends to leverage the Internet channel again for more savings by delivering notifications electronically - informing members of NSFs, PIN changes, and other occurrences through USERS' e-Mail Services Product. ''Our members will find out sooner and we'll avoid the expense of paper mailings,'' Rissel says. He views electronic delivery of statements and notifications as ''a unique opportunity for the member and the credit union to win.'' And the key to success? ''It's all in how you present it.''


For more information about USERS' e-Documents or other technology solutions for credit unions, send an e-mail to info@users.com or call 1-800-523-7282.

 

April 7, 2003


Comments

 
 
 
  • We have purchased the E-Statement program as part of a package fomr our Web provider, DI. We will roll this product out early summer and would be interested in the experiences of other CU's that have had succes and failures in their rollout plan. What suggestions do you have for me to gather this type of information? We have about 7,000 regular users of our Internet Banking product. Bob Flanyak rflanyak@utcu.org
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very good article.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
 
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