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PALO ALTO, Calif. – Paper’s not going away anytime soon, so credit unions might as well make the most of what technology has to offer in the way of print, too. That’s the philosophy behind Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union’s use of the customization options it has for its electronic and print statements alike from its vendor, InfoIMAGE Inc. in nearby South San Francisco. Addison Avenue (www.addisonavenue.com) adds two marketing boxes to each monthly statement and can target them to the specific member, says Virginia Bock, communications specialist at the $1.7 billion, 124,000-member CU. And the same messages can appear in online statements, too, both facilitated by the same data in MCIF or other forms extractable at InfoIMAGE, says Dan Biewener, the company’s business director. InfoIMAGE (www.infoimageinc.com) has more than 60 credit union clients and produces more than 100 million images a year through its variable-data document services, which include paper and electronic statements, bill presentment and pay, and paper and electronic daily notices, Biewener says. Credit unions are able to target messages specifically to different members in print or online and can make as many different iterations as they want, as well as maximize the viewability of their online statements and readability of print versions using the latest in print technologies and typefaces, Biewener says. Addison Avenue sticks to two different messages in monthly statements and keeps them “fairly generic,” Bock says. “It might be something that’s for everyone and then a special pre-approval for a HELOC or a car loan, for example.” The credit union also sends out quarterly statements “that can be quite complex,” the Addison Avenue communications specialist adds. “The last one I did had seven different special messages for special groups,” she says. The credit union alerts members by e-mail that their statement is available for viewing, and also uses that opportunity for a targeted message, too. In addition to product offers, statements also can include such specific information as a notice informing that member that the CU had checked his or her credit reports before offering the HELOC or credit card or other product. Outsourcing statement printing has long been standard procedure for most credit unions, Biewener says, but he says the ability to customize the statements adds a new dimension. “The nicest part may be the ability to print two marketing messages on a statement, which besides targeting that member’s specific interests, also can be used to eliminate the need to create separate inserts, saving money on design, production and postage,” the InfoIMAGE business director says. “A lot of this is so new, we really don’t know quite what we’re saving yet or what the ROI has been,” says Bock at Addison Avenue. Of course, the credit union would save more money if the paper statements were not sent all, but not all members want their data pushed to them online. “Our strategy is to make everybody happy. It really is,” Bock says. -

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