Personal financial management tools can offer members a convenient way to budget and save while providing a plethora of data about their spending habits, other banking relationships.
While they’re aimed at helping credit unions improve service and marketing efficiency, to reap the most benefits from PFM tools, they may need to capture data accurately, analyze it efficiently and utilize it strategically, some experts have suggested.
In order to make the most out of PFM, the $1.3 billion Local Government Federal Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C., recently inked a deal with Provo, Utah-based MoneyDesktop to participate in the private beta testing phase of MoneyDesktop’s Insight and Target, the firm’s new PFM-based analytics and marketing tools.
Insight and Target, which were named as a FinovateSpring 2013 Best of Show winner, are data-driven analytics tools that aggregate information from MoneyDesktop’s PFM platform. They are designed to enable financial institutions to better understand account holders’ banking relationships and create focused marketing strategies aimed at specific users, according to MoneyDesktop.
Insight leverages aggregated PFM user data to enable financial institutions to gain a deeper view into their account holders’ spending habits and create customizable marketing segments based on user growth, demographics, accounts, spending, interest rates on competing financial products and other metrics.
Target, which builds on Insight, turns data visualization into action and enables credit unions to send hyper relevant marketing content and product offerings to their account holders in real time, according to MoneyDesktop.
The tool also allows financial institutions to feature their products alongside an account holder’s existing products including those that relate to accounts held outside of their primary institution. For example, credit unions can create ads that are so specific that they actually pinpoint exactly how much members can save by transferring a car loan from another financial institution.
Maurice Smith, president/CEO of LGFCU, said his goal in implementing Insight and Target is to improve efficiency in marketing products and services to members, enhance customer service and improve market penetration.
“We intend to use Insight to gain a better understanding of our members’ financial behavior in a number of different areas,” said Smith, who is also chair of the North Carolina Credit Union League. “As a credit union, we feel an obligation to improve our members’ lives with responsible financial products and education. The first step in this process is acquiring the understanding of what members are doing with credit.”
Smith said after looking for members who are overburdened with debt or have mortgage loans with supposed aggressive terms, the credit union will search for savings for them. Target will also enable the credit union to put in action the intelligence learned with Insight, he added.
“We are a credit union that has always been proactive with member education but some members have criticized us for not taking the next step and presenting them with offers,” he said.
“Target will help us do this. Not only will we be able to target member education to consumers who need specific messages, we will be able to place product offerings to members who have a demonstrated need.”
Smith said while LGFCU currently markets to members using a variety of methods including email, direct response marketing via USPS, point of sale displays and statement inserts, the credit union was searching for a solution to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
“With these new tools, we will avoid the inconvenience of presenting product offerings to members who have not expressed an interest nor have no particular need,” Smith explained. “Goodwill will increase as members realize they are getting better offers tailored to their life needs and interests.”
He said Insight and Target will also benefit the credit union by increasing its market penetration of some products.
“This is more than just a focus on sales,” Smith noted. “We earnestly believe we provide great value to our members. It stands to reason that increasing the portfolios of our products delivers even greater value to the membership as a whole. We can calculate this aggregate benefit in some very precise ways.”
Using PFM data strategically can help credit unions capitalize on technology, improve return on investment and boost profitability, according to Bret Skousen, executive vice president of marketing and public relations at MoneyDesktop, which claims about 400 banks and credit unions as clients.
“For several years, people have been discussing big data but have failed to harness it in a meaningful way, especially when it comes to financial technology,” Skousen said. “But Insight and Target provide powerful tools to assist credit unions that want to increase loan volume, user acquisition and wallet share.”
Insight’s data is displayed with an intuitive user interface, which eliminates the need for a statistician to interpret data and allows credit unions to quickly gain a glimpse into the overall status of their institution, Skousen said. In addition, Target allows credit unions to select the exact group of account holders it wants to market to and provides an easy, efficient way to launch effective marketing campaigns, he said.
By meshing analytics and marketing, Skousen said credit unions can maximize their return on investment.
“Insight and Target will fundamentally change the relationship between FIs and their account holders,” he concluded. “FIs will finally be able to harness the power of big data to understand their end users, increase wallet share, increase loan volume and become their end users’ primary financial institution.”