Next generation of eStatements
It’s hard to believe that the CU eStatement industry is over two and a half years old. In its infancy, most eStatement programs were launched for the sole purpose of reducing statement delivery cost and speeding statement delivery – both benefits for the CU. eStatements have been providing little perceived benefit for the member - until now. eStatements with check images create member value and a new opportunity to use eStatements as a strategic tool to generate new business and retain existing members.
Finally, a Benefit for the Member
Nationwide FCU (Columbus, OH) and other CUs with eStatements that include check images are receiving hundreds of enrollments per week. Why? Members will gladly trade a paper statement for an electronic copy that includes 24/7 access to check images. In this age of information and instant gratification, eStatements with an e-CHECKs module are the perfect product for innovative credit unions. This product uses the CU’s web site to:
- Promote self-service technology
- Provide instant access to information
- Create a 24/7 service environment and
- Provide an additional channel for members to retrieve images
More importantly, e-Checks can free up credit union personnel and take the credit union to the next level of customer service in the eyes of their member.
A Trade Worth Making
I remember my early years in Accounting back in the ''green eye shade'' days when we worked nights and weekends searching tapes and film for check copies for members. Believe it or not, our 48-hour policy to get the check copy in the mail to the member at the time was ''leading edge.'' Today, with the introduction of this self-service technology it takes seconds for members to retrieve their own check copies. In addition, eStatements with check images can:
- Create stronger member relationships
- Can expand into the development of premium products
- Reduce statement printing costs
- Eliminate the cost of the CU’s time in retrieving check copies
- Generate new business and revenue for the CU and
- Compete with banks that return checks or images to customers
That last bullet is an important one. It will be difficult to reach true ''PFI'' status until CU’s provide what a segment in every CU’s membership wants - check copies. How many times a year do you hear ''I won’t move my account from XYZ Bank because they return checks'' from one of your members?
Can CU’s afford this technology?
The cost of check image technology was once prohibitive for most CUs. The introduction of the Internet and web-based technology has significantly reduced the cost of this product. Every month you can read announcements that Corporate CUs are opening up image retrieval over the Internet with pricing plans that even the smallest CUs can afford. For many CUs the technology is already in place. It’s just a matter of hooking it all together.
Some CU executives are worry that members will retrieve every check image on their statement. So what, it’s a small price to pay if that is what it will take to get a member to move his account to your CU and build a profitable relationship.
Given these factors, the question is more likely, can credit unions afford not to implement eStatements with e-Check technology.
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DigitalMailer’s (www.DigitalMailer.com) digital communication products assist credit unions in gaining a strategic business advantage over competitors via the Internet and their web site. DigitalMailer provides products such as eSTATEMENTS and e-CHECK for credit unions that are designed by CU professionals to reduce operating expenses, enhance cross-selling opportunities and increase revenue for our clients. DigitalMailer’s e-LERT, an e-mail notification system, is an e-mail address collection service that gives CUs the ability to offer members ''tell-me-when'' e-mail notification services. For more information, contact DigitalMailer directly at 866-994-4900, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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