A new program at Wright-Patt Credit Union helps members achieve goals and manage money.
Training for the coaches is as central to the program as evaluation tools and financial plans.
CU QUICK FACTS
Wright-Patt Credit Union
HQ: Beavercreek, OH
Data as of 12.31.18
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 11.0%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 16.7%
Wright-Patt Credit Union ($4.4B, Beavercreek, OH) has undertaken an aggressive, comprehensive initiative to boost the financial wellness of its members and people who the big Ohio credit union would like to make members.
Called Financial Flexibility and Freedom, the effort includes products and services the credit union has long provided — such as money management campaigns and re-financing offers — as well as something entirely new — the MoneyMagnifier coaching program.
Under that program, the 32-branch financial cooperative is training and deploying what it calls “member center financial coaches” to instruct members on:
What their current financial position looks like.
How to modify their course, if needed.
How to plan for future opportunities and/or inevitable challenges.
The MoneyMagnifier program and the umbrella Financial Flexibility and Freedom initiative are a product of the Dayton, OH, credit union’s partnership with the Center for Financial Services Innovation. Here, Tracy Szarzi-Fors, vice president of marketing and development at WPCU, dishes on the details of the programs.
Tracy Szarzi-Fors, VP of Marketing and Developmemt, Wright-Patt Credit Union
What is the MoneyMagnifier program?
Tracy Szarzi-Fors: MoneyMagnifier is in-person, one-on-one coaching that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours based on a member’s situation.
The program includes an eight-question financial questionnaire — an assessment tool created through our partnership with CFSI. The tool generates an overall MoneyMagnifier score along with sub scores in categories that align with our four pillars: save, spend, borrow, and plan.
Financial coaches help members outline a financial plan based on their needs, goals, and life stage. Coaches use the MoneyMagnifier sub scores to recommend specific products and services based on several save, spend, borrow, and plan scoring scenarios. The plan can include refinance options, savings plans, referrals, and budget creation as well as financial education based on the member’s personal situation.
The member walks away with a plan to get to the next step in their financial journey, and follow-up appointments by phone or in person ensure they have taken the steps outlined in their plan. Coaches give the MoneyMagnifier questionnaire to the member again after six months to see if and what progress they’ve made.
How many coaches do you have? Describe the training process.
TS: We have approximately 20 financial coaches who have been trained as MoneyMagnifier coaches. The training is a full-day session with a lot of follow-up interactions. We selected staff who were already strong coaches — we simply added a new layer and included a lot of emotional intelligence components. We also observe our coaches and offer weekly tips.
We’re in the process of integrating this throughout the rest of the credit union, which will be a “lite” version that also will use our four pillars of save, spend/manage, borrow, and plan.
How will the credit union track the progress and measure the success of these efforts?
TS: There are many KPIs. Surveys, Net Promoter Score, member engagement, and strategic member relationship measures in addition to fewer members using check cashing facilities and courtesy pay or paying non-sufficient funds and late loan fees, just to name a few. We’re using all of the above and more.
The MoneyMagnifier placemat provides an engagement roadmap for Wright-Patt Credit Union’s financial coaches. Click here to download the PDF.
What’s the Financial Flexibility and Freedom program that underlies WPCU’s MoneyMagnifier effort?
TS: I wouldn’t say it’s a program; it’s more of a way of life here at the credit union. It’s an evolution of our culture and provides a guiding North Star.
We’ve always been an organization that helps members through life. We’ve developed products, services, and marketing campaigns to represent this approach — showcasing how WPCU takes care of people so they’re better off today and tomorrow.
A few years ago, “financial health” and “financial wellness” became buzz words, and now there are a lot of organizations trying to create a culture that personifies a more holistic approach to taking care of their members and customers.
We were already doing that, we just didn’t articulate it in those terms, which seem very clinical. We wanted something more pleasant sounding and less prescriptive. The words “financial flexibility and freedom” together address both the need to be responsible with money and the desire to use money in service of a less stressful, more enjoyable and fulfilling life.
What role does the financial flexibility and freedom concept play in the wellness strategies you already had in place?
TS: It sets the framework and foundation for member engagement. This includes product and service development, training, service delivery, marketing, and community involvement. It’s becoming part of our brand and is considered in our strategy and execution.