By. Sean McDonald, Your Full Potential
I know what you may be thinking after reading that title. We don’t need deposits right now, we need loans!”
I get it. I agree with that sentiment. Credit unions need loans – no doubt about it! Credit unions need members to open and use VISA or MASTERCARD lines. I get it. Credit unions need members to refinance their mortgages or come to them for their first mortgage. I get it. Credit unions need loans.
Concentrating on putting more loans on the books makes perfect sense. But allow me to give you 3 reasons to leverage the member’s checking account to reach your loan goals.
The checking account is the connector. Many consumers have set up automatic payments for their various debts. An overwhelming majority of those people use their checking account for those payments. A great many consumers are more comfortable if their financial accounts are in one place. So, if their checking account is at a bank, chances are that they are going to go to the bank first when they need a loan. Based on the aforementioned logic, why wouldn’t they? But if the credit union makes an effort to acquire the member’s checking account from that bank and therefore brings everything “in house,” the logical conclusion would be that the member would now go to the credit union first when they need a loan. Then you can wow them with your lower loan rates and convenient terms and payment options (which would now include automatic debits from the member’s credit union checking account.)
Despite some opinions, it is NOT that difficult to get a member to move their checking accounts to the credit union. We’ve heard the excuses for not encouraging members to transfer their checking accounts. The process takes too much time and effort. All of their payments are set up and they won’t want to change all of that. The credit union doesn’t offer interest bearing accounts. Etc. All of those excuses are garbage. These particular objections can easily be turned into opportunities if your employees are properly trained on how to recognize them as such. Indeed, there now exists a fantastic opportunity to showcase your credit union’s OUTSTANDING service! How? The credit union should offer to do all of the grunt work for the member. The credit union should offer to pay the fee that may be assessed by the bank from which the account is transferred. Offer those things and you will certainly bolster your argument that the member should move their accounts to the credit union.
Once the checking account is at the credit union, most if not all of the member’s other accounts (including loans) will roll in. Going back to the first point above, if consumers like everything to be in one place, then the checking account will serve as the catalyst to get the member thinking about just moving everything. Remember the old adage: where the checking is, so goes everything else. It’s true! Many credit unions have implemented cross-selling programs. That is awesome! As someone who has assisted many credit unions in this regard, I know from experience and am confident enough to assure you that cross-selling gets easier and is more successful with members whose checking accounts are at the credit union.
So don’t ignore the leverage, benefit, and importance of the checking account. If you do, you’re missing a golden opportunity.
Please visit www.yfptips.com for my most recent blog post entitled, “It Starts With Checking.”
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