Three New Ways to Personalize e-Member Service

Online technology allows credit unions to provide a level of personalized and targeted messaging, previously associated primarily with branches and call centers.


It’s hard to imagine a credit union today that doesn’t deploy some level of personalized messaging in their branches and call centers. Many have invested in complicated MCIF systems while others may use more limited functionality provided by their core processor.  In either case, if they weren’t actively putting this data in the hands of their member services representatives, we’d question whether they were getting real value out of their investment.

Yet, surprisingly very few credit unions extend this same level attention to their website and email communications. Perceptions of cost and complexity cause many to dismiss 1:1 e-communication out of hand.

Now, that is finally changing. Today, credit unions are cost effectively running different types of 1:1 messaging getting even greater return on their investment in member specific data.

Point of Entry
Some credit unions begin the customization at the point of entry into the home banking platform. Once a member logs-in, they see specific messages—either banners or text—that are selected based on the full range of information the credit union has about that member. Now, rather than seeing the “promotions of the month,” a member who has significant recurring credit card balance debt will receive information about debt consolidation options instead.

Other credit unions are using a different approach called behavioral analysis. This technique happens outside of authenticated channels by analyzing a site visitor’s behavioral patterns and history to logically deliver content relevant to their particular needs. For example, information on auto loan specials, upcoming member car sales, auto loan calculators, and auto-buying education is prioritized for site visitors who have checked the auto loan rates page within the last few days.

A particularly exciting development in 1:1 e-communication is the ability to embed the same series of targeted messages within permission-based e-mail notification services. This provides message control across the entire Internet channel through a single system and more effectively leverages the existing volume of email communication with member-specific promotions. Further, this ensures that messages are delivered in the determined priority regardless of whether the member actively visits the website or simply receives an e-mail notification during a specified period of time.

Perhaps most notably of all, the credit unions experiencing success with these strategies are not always the “billion dollar” cooperatives.  The technology has finally reached the price point and ease-of-use that credit unions with more modest resources can afford to deploy it.

To explore in further detail how these exciting new developments are being leveraged and can be deployed at your credit union join Callahan & Associates and leading credit unions on our upcoming webinar Getting Personal - Leveraging One-to-One Member E-Communications, sponsored by Corillian.




Nov. 6, 2006


  • We have so much information about our members that it only makes sense to use all of it. Those who ignore the potential gains available by custom-tailoring communications to members will be the next casualties of the information age. The ability to embrace this kind of technology is what will differentiate us going forward.