Training Employees On Debit Interchange

Indiana Members Credit Union's CEO is ensuring employees are well versed in the new interchange rules.

 
Rebecca McClay

 

Indiana Members Credit Union's CEO Ron Collier has already conducted two rounds of training for its employees on new debit interchange regulation, the Indianapolis-based credit union recently announced in a press release.

"It's important to keep all employees up-to-date on this ruling," Collier said in a statement. "I would like them to feel equipped to handle any questions that arise from current and potential members."

Indiana Members CU ($1.3B), which has the 33rd largest branch network in the U.S. with 94 branches and ATMs as of June 30, according to Callahan & Associates data, is exempt from the Durbin Amendment's new cap on debit swipe fees, which applies to institutions with over $10 billion in assets. The credit union is the second-largest credit unions by assets in the state, after Teachers Credit Union ($2.1B, South Bend, IN).

Jennifer Newby, Indiana Members CU’s director of business development, says the training focused on the political process behind the Durbin Amendment, which took effect Oct. 1, and the Test-Corker Bill, which sought to delay the Durbin Amendment but did not pass. Newby said that when the training was kept simple and was originally scheduled, many other financial institutions were beginning to come out with debit card monthly fees.

“We needed to schedule a training for our employees to explain to them what was happening with other financial institutions, and to assure them that Indiana Members Credit Union would not be making these same changes,” Newby said in an email to creditunions.com. “Our CEO focused part of the training on the fees that others were beginning to charge, so that IMCU employees felt equipped with knowledge to speak with our membership.”

The training aimed to make employees “feel empowered to answer questions that our members have” by learning what other financial institutions are doing in response to Durbin. Employees learned to confidently tell members that they were not making any changes to debit or checking.

“IMCU employees were very receptive to the training provided by our CEO,” Newby says.  “They came prepared and were aware of the situation, and mentioned that members were asking questions.  They felt as though they left training with valuable information to share with our members.”

Indiana Members CU's training comes on the heels of larger banks like Bank of America are reversing their decision to implement new fees to counter debit interchange income reduction, and after Nov. 5's Bank Transfer Day, in which nearly 40,000 bank customers proportedly swapped their accounts to a credit union, according to Credit Union National Association.

Meanwhile, credit unions have taken advantage of the consumer backlash by promoting no-fee checking accounts, rewards programs and other low-cost features of joining.

 

 
 

Nov. 23, 2011


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