Credit unions are posting record lending numbers, and attracting deposits to fund loan activity remains top-of-mind for many institutions.
The good news: lessons learned on the deposit side of the balance sheet abound, especially on CreditUnions.com. Here, are five of the most popular from 2016.
A monthly fee at CommonWealth One FCU has helped the credit union encourage higher checking account balances and close inactive accounts, which can skew financial performance data, negatively affect ratios, and cost time, money, and resources to maintain. But inactive checking accounts also represent opportunity. That’s why the Virginia cooperative gives inactive account holders a nudge, in the form of a monthly inactivity fee, to jump-start the relationship. Learn more about how the credit union uses the fee as an opportunity to re-engage members and cleanup dormant accounts.
Lakota FCU celebrated its third anniversary in 2016, and a survey showed 31% of members had opened a savings account for the first time in their lives. The closest bank to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota was 40 miles away until Lakota FCU opened its doors, the first ever federally insured financial institution to do so. Today, Lakota FCU has attracted nearly 2,500 members and made more than $2.5 million in loans.
In 2015, Langley Federal Credit Union launched a checking account essential for members with low credit scores. A novel idea suggested by a staff member, the checking account includes risk-mitigating features to keep the credit union’s losses low while preventing unbanked and underbanked individuals from falling victim to high-rate predatory financial services that suck them into cycles of debt. With this checking account, which the credit union has dubbed “Essential Checking,” Langley hopes to provide stability to members who need it the most. Learn more about how the account is structured and the positive results the credit union has already seen.
A debit payback program at Warren Federal Credit Union has helped build member interest and non-interest income. The credit union is rewarding its members for swiping their debit cards at the rate of five cents a transaction. The Earn 5 rewards account is one of five free checking programs the credit union offers, and one of only two that offers rewards. Warren designed the Earn 5 account to be easy and automatic. The first five transactions don’t earn the nickel, but the fifth one does, and the credit union automatically deposits the cash at the end of the month. Learn more about how this debit payback program is beneficial to both the credit union and its members.
With the Rogue Rewards loyalty program, Rogue Credit Union educates members on the benefits of ownership and highlights the credit union difference. The program includes a Rogue Rewards Loyalty Dividend and an Ownership Savings Account. Since launching the program in February 2016, Rogue has deposited $2.5 million into members' accounts. In this article, CEO Gene Pelham discusses the parameters of the program, its positioning, and the credit union’s expectations for 2017 and beyond.
Are you a Leadership program participant? Check out "How To Use High-Yield Ownership Accounts To Build Loyalty."