BOCA RATON, Fla. — Too many credit union credit card programs suffer because they lack a dedicated manager or champion within the credit union, according to card consultants who spoke Monday at CO-OP Financial Services’ THINK Conference.
Tim Kolk, founder of TK Advisers, a credit card consultancy that works with credit unions to improve their card programs, noted that too many of the card programs he sees are “legacy” programs, cards offered for some time that are often part of the shared responsibility of the lending department. The problem with this approach is that the programs often lack someone who has responsibility for the card portfolio, Kolk said.
“And when they have a person responsible for the program, they are often someone who specializes in operations, because that is part of the card legacy. But increasingly they need to be good analysts too who are able to read the data that makes up the core of card usage.”
Ondine Irving, founder of Card Analysis Solutions, a consultancy that focuses on credit union card management and cost control, agreed on the need for card managers to have an analytical side but also said they should have a passion for cards.
“They shouldn't see cards as an afterthought or as a pain in their side, but as a vital way for a credit union to better serve its members,” she said.
(CO-OP CEO Stan Hollen discusses the evolution of THINK over the past five years in this video.)