This article is excerpted from Callahan's recently published white paper, Steps to Increasing Member Bill Pay Penetration.
Given that many credit unions pay their bill pay vendors based on the number of users who sign up for the service, having members sign up but not use the service can be costly for the credit union. Credit unions should carefully monitor the percentage of inactive members and implement programs to reduce this percentage. You should have a program in place to remind new users of how to start their service along with the benefits, and explain how the member can get help. The member comments below show what types of problems members experienced.
"Lost my logon id - have requested it via e-mail several times."
"Cannot login, hard to find help or someone to explain to me"
"Guess I feel a little intimidated. I couldn't easily find the tutorial I had been told was there. Used to doing the old paper way."
There's a variety of ways that credit unions can try to push inactive users towards using the service, ranging from online banking or email reminders to telephone calls. Here are some examples:
- Ent Federal Credit Union and their bill pay vendor, PSCU Financial Services, recently embarked on a telephone campaign to contact inactive users. The objective was to trim any inactive users, as well as reach out and possibly re-activate them. PSCU Financial Services handled the outbound calling, resulting in 44% (537) of those contacted indicating they would re-activate their Bill Pay.
- Digital Credit Union has a program whereby members who sign up but don't use their bill pay account are called to see if they need any help or have questions answered. This enables DCU to better understand whether there are features which need to be improved and reinforce their image of helping members.
"I signed up to see what it was, never used it, then a DCU representative called me to see if I had any questions and gave me a number if I needed help getting started and that made me use it. I guess I just needed to know that support was there if I had any questions."
- At Service Credit Union (NH, $730M), members who have inactive bill pay accounts are sent pop-up reminders through home banking, reminding them that they are still signed up for this service. Through their new home banking vendor, they are also adding the ability to send email reminders in order to remind members of the benefits and send targeted information to prospective and inactive users.
Navy Federal Credit Union, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and Community First Credit Union(WI), will discuss on the webinar, Strategies for Bill Payment Program Success, how they justify offering bill pay for free including challenges faced, desired outcomes and results. The webinar will be held on Thursday, May 27th at 2:00 p.m and includes a copy of Callahan's white paper, Steps to Increasing Member Bill Pay Penetration. For more information or to register, click here.