Numerica is a front-runner with Alexa as part of a comprehensive member service digital strategy that includes payments.
Rewards, partnerships, fraud protections are essential pieces of the strategic pie.
The biggest opportunity is creating a great member experience.
Mark Fox joined Spokane Railway Credit Union as a teller in 1996. In 2015, he became the first vice president of payments for what’s now Numerica Credit Union ($2.2B, Spokane Valley, WA).
More than just the credit union’s name has changed over the years. In fact, change has become a constant for Numerica and for Fox, who left the credit union in 2002 and returned in 2012 as assistant vice president of e-services.
Here, Fox talks about evolving channels, growing expectations for payments delivery, early adoption, security, and more.
How has Numerica approached its payments strategy?
Mark Fox, Vice President of Payments, Numerica Credit Union
Mark Fox: Numerica created my position three years ago to focus on our payments strategy. We started by creating strong vendor partnerships — with Visa, for example — and focused on the member’s well-being to create an improved member experience. We’ve made some big improvements in that area. We’ve decreased the frequency with which we flag legitimate transactions as suspicious, and we’ve made it easier for members to confirm the legitimacy of their suspicious transactions.
We got EMV chips on both debit and credit cards in late 2015. We’re well ahead of a merchant base that still isn’t completely ready to accept EMV at all stores today. I was at a big box store this morning that required me to swipe my debit card rather than use the EMV reader.
We’ve added a great rewards credit card and added or expanded our partnerships by creating custom cards and reward programs for local universities, including Eastern Washington, Whitworth, and Gonzaga. Our members love supporting their favorite school while making their everyday purchases.
But, it’s not just about debit and credit cards. We were prepared for same-day ACH debits and credits well ahead of industry mandates. We also restructured our account number schema to accommodate generations of future growth. We’ve received several awards from Visa and been finalists for others. It’s an exciting time to be in payments, and I’m excited for where Numerica is heading.
What are the big opportunities in payments? How is Numerica responding to them?
MF: The biggest opportunity is in creating a great member experience — helping members manage their finances with as much ease and with as little stress as possible when performing transactions. To that end, we’re working on real-time payments and ATM innovation, among other initiatives.
We were one of the first institutions to offer Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Android Pay, now known as Google Pay. We’re a partner with Visa Checkout, and we’ve recently added FitBit Pay, Garmin Pay, and Microsoft Pay.