ICYMI: In case you missed it

In case you missed it (Vol 7)

RTO Mortgages, UPLs, AIO for EVs, and the beginning of the end of NSF fees? ICYMI is our way of sharing “Did you see this?!” news and tidbits, just in case you missed it. (And yes, we do try to spell out the acronyms.)

Branches still matter

Alaska USA FCU’s new branch is in North Pole, Alaska, and it’s on Santa Claus lane. Really. I just thought everyone should know. But the point remains; even with the rush to online, people in physical spaces still make a difference. A lot of members need to know you’re really there.

CU Giant Alliant eliminates overdraft/NSF fees

Overdraft/NSF fees are sooooo last decade. Alliant is doing it right: eliminate the much-hated fees and then — here’s the important part — make sure the world knows. Make the most of it.

There are still plenty of opportunities for credit unions large and small to be the first in their state or city to eliminate (not rename, reduce, or conceal) OD/NSF fees and make news, but that door is closing rapidly.

Happy people don’t move their accounts, and the number one reason people are unhappy is fees, specifically overdraft fees. This is a no-brainer, folks.

What if starting up a new credit union was a little easier?

Interesting bit of news from CUNA – there’s a bill in the works to help ease the regulatory burdens of creating new credit unions. Applause — it’s one small step toward serving more of the underserved. (Plus, we learned that “de novo” is a fancy-schmancy way of saying “new”.)

Here’s hoping that similar efforts to lift some of the burdens on smaller CUs will also be successful. Diversity is a key strength of the CU business model, and small CUs serve a huge variety of communities in a lot of ways. If you could start a credit union from scratch, what would you do differently?

Mortgage service quality makes a big difference

Everyone has pretty much the same mortgage rates and closing costs, right? Mortgage servicing can be your CU’s secret weapon. Can your members look forward to 15-30 years of smooth sailing, or decades of headaches as their loan and servicing bounce around? Whether you retain or outsource, the future member experience makes all the difference. Marketing needs to get nosy, bust those silos, and get involved in these decisions and in keeping service quality high.

Could a CU with CDFI offer RTO mortgages?

When you have investors like Jay-Z and Will Smith, your company is going to attract more attention and trust. But maybe credit unions should consider Rent-to-Own mortgages as well. After all, CUs enjoy a unique position of trust in their communities as well. Plus, as not-for-profit entities, CUs are in a position to take a more holistic approach to financial wellness; doing much more than home ownership.

There’s a certain amount of base structure to get in place, but overall it seems like a pretty scalable idea. Landis is talking 1,000 homes in 11 states, but a CU or group of CUs could also start with 10-12 local homes as income properties that become mortgages later, and grow from there.

Electric all-in-one

Our President is setting goals for 50% of autos being electric, and I just got an email from the local electric utility that they’re partnering with Motor to offer all-in-one electric car subscriptions. One monthly payment covers everything; maintenance, insurance, roadside assistance, license plate, and they’ll even come install a charger in your home. All you’re on the hook for is the electricity.

EVs are different than ICE (internal combustion engine) cars, and EV financing is a different beast as well. Still, I’ve always thought that a subscription model has a lot of potential for EVs, hybrids, and ICE cars, especially with younger folks. How can your CU get on the AIO (All In One) pricing bandwagon? There’s a lot of territory and opportunity between the good ol’ 60 month car loan and a car subscription.

Know your audience for personal loans

This acronym-packed article on Unsecured Personal Loans (UPLs) from Transunion is a little dense, but there are some interesting things to note for marketers here. For one, demand for “UPLs” for debt consolidation and emergency expenses is projected to rise. An awful lot of people will be spending the next few years rebuilding their financial lives post-COVID, and credit unions need to be ready to make these loans in a financially healthy, positive way. Many of these folks have already used “alternate financial providers” – will they feel welcome at your CU? Marketers need to be part of lending strategy and risk management conversations.

If you like this kind of thing (or don’t), feel free to let us know or join the conversation!

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