ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Credit unions looking to step up their credit card programs should be sure to include their front line staff in their card promotion efforts, according to two credit unions which have found strong card success.
The 48,000-member, $244 million American 1 Federal Credit Union in Jackson, Mich., and the 65,000-member, $845 million Fox Communities Credit Union in Appleton, Wis., each made presentations about their card program success to payment executives attending the Card Services for Credit Unions annual meeting that concluded this past weekend in St. Petersburg.
American 1 had a card portfolio of roughly 14,000 card accounts worth roughly $31 million as of Sept. 31, 2011, according to NCUA records. Fox Communities reported roughly 7,000 card accounts worth $10 million in outstanding balances as of March 31, 2012.
Kristi Latoszewski, vice president of marketing for American 1, recounted how the research the credit union did into how their members used credit cards and how they acquired them, combined with research done on competing cards, helped her credit union empower front line staff to actively promote the card.
“The research helped move the card from being just a piece of plastic to being something that our staff understood would really serve our members’ needs and help them avoid some of the higher interest rate cards out there,” Latoszewski explained.
Likewise David Thone, vice president of internal operations at Fox Communities, explained how working with a consultant from CSCU convinced his credit union to actively back the card program which had been neglected for some time and also helped Fox Communities decide to use staff to actively promote the card offering.
This meant in some cases having to retrain staff in how to effectively cross sell the card by listening more closely to member needs, Thone said.