As any financial institution will attest, alot of time, energy and resources go into developing abest-in-class card program – and for good reason. Offering just theright mix of credit and debit card products is one of the mostvaluable services you can provide to members.

|

To help you generate all the member engagement and excitementyour card program deserves, comprehensive marketing andcommunications support is imperative. Here are CO-OP's top 10strategies for success:

|

1. Know your membership. This means leveragingadvanced technologies that deliver data access and analysisreporting. Understanding member spend patterns, behaviors andpreferences are critical to determining new product direction,targeted marketing segments, and the promotions and offers toexecute to reach the maximum potential in your portfolio.

|

2. Send the right offer at the right time. Onceyou have established which members are the best candidates for eachcard product, show them a relevant offer at every touchpoint – inthe branch, online and within your mobile apps. Keep your messagesconsistent to get the best results.

|

3. Reward cardholders. And as often aspossible. Give loyalty points for opening an account, making atransaction, increasing card usage and signing up for mobilebanking. Consider a merchant-funded program that can help youoffset costs while giving members a customized offering with lotsof local cachet. Make the rewards flexible, with options fortravel, merchandise and cash back. And send loyalty updates.Congratulate members by text whenever they earn triple points atCVS or a free pizza at Domino's.

|

4. Tie debit and credit products together.Rewards are a great vehicle for achieving this. If a member has oneof your debit cards – but not your credit card – promote thebenefits of earning rewards on two cards. Frequently, one familymember is more apt to use debit, while another relies on credit, sohouseholding points can lead to better returns for the entirefamily. And make sure both credit and debit accounts are integratedinto your online and mobile banking platforms. Members prefer – andexpect – to access a holistic view of their finances, and tighterintegration between accounts makes for a tighter relationship withthe member.

|

5. Launch a direct mail campaign. What is oldis new again. All the major card issuers have gone right back todirect mail because it works. CO-OP recommends employing a strategythat is extremely targeted at first because of the expenseinvolved. Working with small groups of members will ensure that youcan apply the time and resources needed to effectively follow up oncampaigns. And, remember that this is not necessarily a “one anddone” proposition. Repetition is powerful, so plan to send membersa second round of mailers to drive your message home.

|

6. Talk up the security of your cards. Tomembers, security equals peace of mind and inspires confidence inyour brand. So make sure members are well informed on all themeasures you take to safeguard their information – including anymobile apps you offer for card controls and alerts. Theseinnovative tools empower members in the fight against fraud,allowing them to set exacting restrictions on how, when and wheretheir cards can be used.

|

7. Make applying easy. Provide online accountopening – membership, DDA and credit accounts. Carry this accessthroughout your digital channels. When online account opening isn'tavailable, place a banner ad that links to your application righton your home page and within your online and mobile bankingportals. The easier it is for members to access and complete anapplication, the more likely it is that they will follow throughwith the process. And, always have applications on hand at ATMs andin the branch, in addition to the prime real estate afforded tothem across your all-digital channels. Be sure to keep clicks to aminimum.

|

8. Cross-sell at account and loan openings. Anytime you are already pulling a credit report is the right time tooffer a credit card. Your loan and account officers should know howto read the report and determine the other credit accounts themember has. Discuss balance transfers and any special offers youhave for new cardholders.

|

9. Encourage signature debit. Your debitcardholders receive additional consumer protection when they signfor debit, and they should be aware of this. This practice alsobenefits your credit union by reducing transaction feesoverall.

|

10. Recognize the critical role marketingplays. If you create the best card program in the industryand members don't know about it, it will simply be a cost. Soinclude the marketing team in your management committee. Constructstrategies that put cards in front of members at every turn. Thefact is that marketing is more important than just about anythingelse you do to support your card program. And expanding yourcardholder base is vitally important to your future growth andsuccess.

|

For expert insights on the state of credit payments, view thepremium content video below, “The Credit Evolution: A PanelDiscussion,” available exclusively from CO-OP FinancialServices.

|

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to CUTimes.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical CUTimes.com information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including Law.com and GlobeSt.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.