TUCSON, Ariz. -- The "wave of the future" has arrived at PIMA Federal Credit Union, which is using a set of new marketing tools to help drive adoption of its Paytraxx bill-pay solution.
The $244 million credit union has only recently ventured into the bill pay arena and so far has about 290 members enrolled in its branded EzPAL service from among its 42,000 members.
But there have been more than 9,500 hits on the bill pay section of the CU's Web site (www.pimafcu.org) and its marketing director expects many of those eventually will become users.
"It's quicker and easier and cheaper to pay bills online," said Paul Kramoski, marketing director for the PIMA FCU. "And it's the wave of the future anyway."
To help that wave build, the CU has adopted several elements of an adoption marketing program that Paytraxx developed in partnership with Beavercreek Marketing of Grand Island, Neb.
The program provides sample print materials such as statement inserts, newspaper ads, direct mail postcards, and lobby displays. Credit unions can add their own logos and photography to the material or have that done by Beavercreek Marketing.
A centerpiece of the program--which is free to all Paytraxx clients--is an online tutorial that walks consumers through the service, explaining how it works and promoting its benefits.
"We think this component is one of the most important aspects, because a lot of times you can use marketing material to raise awareness of a product but people still don't know how to use it and are a little afraid to take the leap," said Rory Ragsdale, product manager for Paytraxx in Frisco, Texas.
The tutorial uses audio, video, and subtitles to take members through the process of enrolling in the system and then setting up and executing bill payments.
"Most of the other online tutorials out there today are very high-level and generic in what they say," Ragsdale said. "Ours focuses first on the features and benefits of bill pay and but then takes you directly into the system with screen shots and step-by-step directions on how to interact with the Paytraxx system."
Paytraxx--which originated with Fiserv's Frisco-based IntegraSys unit--is one of the first pieces of the Fiserv 2.0 strategy to share and market its capabilities across its far-flung enterprise.
The tutorial also is valuable in training employees to use the system, seen as another key to successful member adoption.
"Employees need to be cheerleaders for the service for it to be successful," Ragsdale said.
There now are about 650 financial institutions using Paytraxx, including more than 200 that signed up in last year. Twenty to 30 more are being added every month, according to Ragsdale, augmenting a client base that's split roughly evenly between credit unions and banks.
"We took the original platform and enhanced it considerably. That included building out integration to all the other core platforms within Fiserv," Ragsdale said. (PIMA FCU, for instance, runs on a USERS Inc. core platform.)
He said Paytraxx is promoting the adoption marketing program to existing and potential new clients and is allocating staff to "work directly with our client institutions, proactively calling on them to help them in their efforts to market this service to their members."
"When more members use bill pay, everyone wins," Ragsdale said. "The members, the CU and Paytraxx. And a big part of that is awareness. The whole marketing adoption program is aimed at increasing the awareness of exactly what the benefits are and clearly showing how easily the system works."
Along with the online tutorial and marketing materials, PIMA FCU also has tied use of the EzPAL bill pay service to another money- and paper-saving venture -- e-statements.
Kramoski said a questionnaire he posted on the credit union's Web site showed a strong interest in receiving statements electronically rather than by mail. PIMA requires members to sign up for bill pay to receive e-statements.
"That interest is just one more thing telling me that we're going to have a lot more bill pay users," Kramoski said.