Although e-statements have been around for a few years, their popularity
has dramatically increased this year. When Callahan & Associates
began tracking the e-statement market in 2002, there were 141 credit
unions with assets greater than $25 million dollars that reported
using this new technology. That number has more than quadrupled
so far in 2003, according to the just released 2003
Credit Union Technology Survey. For that reason, e-statements
are experiencing the same level of adoption growth as seen in the
early days of Internet banking, which took about the same, short
time to reach the 500 credit union mark.
One of the reasons for this dramatic increase is clearly the perceived
cost savings. On average, it costs a typical credit union about
75 cents to print out member statements and send them through US
mail. e-Statements have helped reduce these direct mail costs and
also provide members with more timely statement information.
Perhaps more importantly to some, e-statements are beginning to
offer another direct medium through which credit unions can keep
in touch and offer new services to members. For instance, Brian
Warfel of Power 1 Credit Union in Pembroke Pines, FL, one of the
speakers at our August 14th webinar E-Statement
Strategy: Increasing Enrollment and Best Practice Approaches,
uses e-statements to encourage members to sign up for on-line banking.
In addition, monthly e-statement notifications are now accompanied
with relevant information the member may be interested in. Examples
of these include an HTML version of their newsletter and ''e-Stuffers'',
forms of marketing that are normally included with the paper statement
that can instead be included in the e-statement through promotional
banners and links. Another innovative credit union, Seven Seventeen
in Warren OH, sends forms of marketing via e-statements that are
targeted to specific groups of members by such demographics as age.
For credit unions who are still considering implementing e-statements,
there are three primary options. They can work with their existing
statement printer, find a third party provider that specializes
in e-statements or even develop an e-statement system on their own.
For those looking at third party vendors, the provider market is
very fragmented, an indication of how new this technology is, with
only one company accounting for over 10% of the market and just
five accounting for more than 5% of the market each: