The California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) issued a warning about credit unions using certain language about their fields of membership in their advertising.
In the April monthly bulletin, the California DFI issued a statement regarding "Impermissible Advertising by Credit Unions."
"The Department has recently become aware of certain impermissible advertising campaigns by credit unions. The advertisements state that 'everyone can join' or 'all individuals can join' the credit union," DFI said in the bulletin.
"Advertisements that display this message violate the Commissioner's regulation concerning common-bond requirements for field of membership," the bulletin continued.
"Title 10 California Code of Regulations 30.51 provides that members must share a common bond 'beyond obtaining financial services.' Stating that 'everyone can join' or that 'all can join' the credit union incorrectly suggests that the common-bond requirement of 30.51 does not apply.
"Please note this regulation when advertising to increase membership and do not use or display any advertisement that is in violation of Title 10 California Code of Regulations 30.51."
The type of credit union campaigns involved were in-branch signage and Internet/Web pages, Alana Golden, California DFI public information officer, told News Now.
"Three credit unions were sent a letter directly, and the bulletin announcement was sent to all licensees," Golden added.
The California regulator became aware of the issue when a DFI employee saw a window advertisement, which then led to Internet searches, she explained.
Reprinted with permission from the Credit Union National Association.
I recently had the opportunity to accompany my four year on a school field trip to the Apple Store. Frankly, I had no idea that Apple even offered school field trips. Not only do they offer field trips, they offer free field trips. It’s a pretty simple formula. Get the little ones into the store, delight them with a fantastic experience, and instill the desire for Apple products. The kids will then of course start to beg their parents for an iPad or iPod Touch.
I have to say that the field trip experience was extraordinary. We entered the store in the early AM, prior to opening. A team of Apple Store staffers greeted us with thunderous applause and proceeded to hand out t-shirts to all the kids. The children were then directed to take a seat in front of one of the many iPads that were setup on the large square tables. Each student had access to their own iPad and was neatly seated around the giant tables. One of the staff members then walked them through basic iPad use, including using the camera, opening apps, etc. The kids had a ball (so did this parent). While we were finishing up, a group of senior citizens began to arrive for a session on how to use Pages.
Why am I telling you this story? The experience got me thinking about what all this could mean for banking. The branch isn’t dead, even if branch density is on the decline. The role of the branch has to be reinvented. What can banks take away from my Apple Store experience?
Use the branch as a training center. Roll out the large square tables equipped with multiple iPads. Offer training sessions on how to use online/mobile banking, seminars on financial education, etc. This can be used as a method to boost digital banking adoption. Sessions can also emphasize solutions that have lower adoption rates (e.g. bill pay, PFM). In-branch training can also be geared to certain age groups. I would love to take my four year old on a field trip to the bank and have it be an educational and fun experience!
Provide access to digital tools when training is not taking place. Customers should be able to come up to the table and play around with the equipment. Let them open accounts, login to existing accounts, book an appointment, view interactive brochures, etc.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, clearly a lot more can be done with branch real estate. Some banks are starting to go this route, with somewhat different twists:
And for those of you wondering, yes, my daughter has requested (and been denied) a “mini iPad.” I’m looking forward to the day when she voluntarily asks me for a savings account.
Reprinted with permission from http://bankingblog.celent.com/.
Account Opening and Loan Origination on Wireless, Paperless Platform Move Users Beyond Balance Inquiries and Account Transfers to Greater Use of Mobile Delivery Channel
American consumers are rapidly becoming comfortable with conducting an extensive range of banking functions and transactions through the use of mobile and wireless devices. This according to a 30-month study of application traffic sources recently completed by Andera, a financial software company that simplifies account opening and lending for banks and credit unions.
“Up to now, what we’ve called ‘Mobile Banking’ has largely meant using mobile phones to check account balances and transfer funds between accounts. That’s changing,” said Charles Kroll, president of Andera.
Kroll pointed out that the Federal Reserve Bank’s study, Consumers and Mobile Financial Services, released in March, 2012, stated that the most common use of mobile banking – by 90% of mobile banking users - is to check account balances or recent transactions. Transferring money between accounts is the second most common use (by 42% of users) of mobile banking.
“The Fed’s report is well documented and covers the full spectrum of mobile and online banking behaviors. I believe that Andera’s data show a developing trend on the leading edge of that spectrum. Our applications enable our client institutions’ customers to open new accounts and apply for loans.
“In the two years since we began tracking and analyzing the sources of visits to our company’s platforms, we have seen a 70.3% growth in total number of online visits. But within that total number of online visits, the portion that comes from mobile phones and tablet devices has grown dramatically – by 269%,” explained Kroll.
The Andera study summarized here covered five six-month segments, beginning with January 1, 2010 and ending on June 30, 2012. Andera used Google Analytics to track applicant device types for the company’s 15 largest client institutions. During the initial period, just 2.59% of applicants used smart phones. In the period ending June 30, 2012, 9.55% of applicants used smart phones or tablets.
“This tells me two things,” stated Kroll. “First, more and more consumers are getting used to dealing with their financial institutions online. But more importantly, they are feeling confident about establishing new banking relationships or expanding existing ones on a mobile, paperless platform. They are no longer using their smart phones or tablets solely to check balances or move funds.
“And the message to banks and credit unions is unmistakable: your customers will be expecting you to deliver through this channel. Build that capability now, before they look elsewhere,” he concluded.
In my opinion, there's nothing like a good story. Told well, it captivates and moves its audience. Whether shared through a gripping novel, used in a compelling marketing message, or embraced to build relationships, good stories share two common characteristics: a clear purpose and a noteworthy impact.
I think of this as I embark on my tenure as your new CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Chair. It seems especially fitting that it is spring, a time of new beginnings, as we forge ahead together to write a new chapter in our Council's "story."
Our Council possesses the characteristics of an epic story. It has a clear purpose—to raise the level of professionalism among credit union marketers and business development professionals. And, through the efforts of dedicated, visionary volunteers, our Council has had a noteworthy impact, influencing positive advances in our profession. I am truly honored and thankful for the support and confidence of Council Members and the Executive Committee (EC) to entrust me as the next Chair of our Council. I plan to stay the course set by my predecessors who approached this responsibility with keen eyes for leading our volunteer group and profession along the path to new heights. It is my vision to foster innovators to prepare us as industry leaders, spawn ideas to deliver growth, and inspire passion to drive positive change. Together, let’s write a best seller.
So, where do we go from here? Your EC brings an incredible cross section of knowledge and expertise as well an unparalleled commitment and dedication to serve you. And, we recognize that best sellers require raving fans. This means that we not only need to know what you expect from your Membership, but we must strive to exceed those expectations. That's why the next chapter of our story begins with you. My first order of business as your new Chair was to engage you, our valued member, in a brief survey. I enthusiastically look forward to working alongside my fellow EC members, a highly-talented group, to use your feedback to help define our work head.
Three main themes will guide us in writing this next chapter: Discover, Collaborate, and Share. In the coming months, we will dedicate ourselves to discover the story behind your face and how the Council can best serve you. As always, your input is welcomed and encouraged. We will collaborate using our strength in numbers and the power of CUNA to aggregate insightful information needed to advance your career and bolster our industry. We will share, in new and innovative ways, relevant resources to help you succeed. We know that being well-educated allows you to make better decisions and greater contributions to your credit union's success. We also know that your time is valuable and finding relevant, meaningful information can be difficult—especially in one manageable, concise location. We will continue to strive to be that source.
Lastly, I would like to take a moment to thank you, the main character of our story. Your engagement indicates that you care about your career and the advancement of the marketing and business development disciplines. By developing best practices, encouraging innovation, sharing ideas, and stimulating discussions about important subjects, you make significant contributions for which we are grateful. If you'd like an even greater role in telling our tale, I encourage you to check out one of our many committees. We are always in search of dynamic, diverse, and talented professionals to help advance the work of our profession and Council.
On behalf of your entire EC, we look forward to serving you. It is our desire to continue our story with adventures that will inform, inspire, challenge, and educate you. Thank you for joining us on this journey and for entrusting us to help you author your professional biography.
Stuff happens, and credit unions must be ready to respond with a crisis communication plan when it does, says Jeanne Ouellette, founder/principal of Winly Communications.
Winly recently addressed the 20th Annual CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
Too often, leaders take on a “bunker mentality” when a crisis strikes, Ouellette says, hunkering down and withholding information from the press, staff, and members. Instead, leaders should “fill the information vacuum by helping to shape coverage of the crisis. Saying ‘no comment’ makes no sense. Spread the message that you care.
“Transparency and honest communication are expected today,” she continues. “It’s a dialogue, not a monologue.”
While you can’t anticipate specific crises, you can plan for types of mishaps, such as security breaches. Ouellette advises developing scenario-based communication plans covering possible misfortunes.
“Pay attention to what’s happening within your credit union, and watch for outside events that could affect it,” she says. “Look within and look around. What could become a crisis?”
Also, recognize that the media has a right—and responsibility—to cover crises. “Acknowledge that fact and work effectively with your local media. Build equity with the media now—it will be too late after a crisis.”
Ouellette offers these crisis communication tips:
* Don’t give a story legs. Have a crisis communication plan in place and respond during the same news cycle in which a crisis is reported.
* Protect your credibility. Never say something you can't prove and, above all, never lie.
“That doesn’t mean you have to reveal everything,” Ouellette says. “But your reputation is your most valuable asset. Once you lose trust, it’s hard to regain it.”
* Set the proper tone in your communications. If you’re calm and confident, you’ll come off better.
* Argue with your lawyers. They’ll err on the side of avoiding litigation while you’ll likely side with members or employees. Find a compromise.
* Know your stakeholders. You’ll need them during a crisis.
“It’s always better to have others advocate for you,” Ouellette says.
* Centralize communications so you speak with one voice.
“That said, don’t forget your people,” she adds. “Member-facing staff are a critical link in crisis communications. Members will ask them what’s going on. Give staff something to say that’s consistent with your central communications.
“Reputation is a matter of perception. Protecting it is the result of strategic planning.”
(Via Credit Union Magazine)