RateMatch Helps Eastern New York FCU and Creative Abandon Win
RateMatch Helps Eastern New York FCU and Creative Abandon Win 2010 CUES Golden Mirror Award for Innovation
Ferndale, NY – September 29, 2010 – Eastern New York Federal Credit Union ($58 million; 7,442 members; Napanoch, NY) has won the 2010 CUES Golden Mirror Award (GMA) in the Innovation category for its use of Syphr’s (http://www.syphronline.com) RateMatch® loan payment analyzing and reporting tool. Eastern New York FCU has leveraged RateMatch’s patent-pending technology to match participating credit unions with thousands of credit report purchasers per month. RateMatch compares the loans on these reports with those of participating credit unions, shows the consumer how they can save money, then sends the consumer’s information to the participating credit union or bank.
The credit union enlisted the help of design and branding firm Creative Abandon, Inc., to help brand the product and give it consumer-friendly face. The RateHound character, who invites consumers into and guides them through the site, was created not just as a visual element, but as a metaphor for the entire product.
“RateHound’s job is be the consumer’ s trusted servant,” says Rich Hammons, partner with Creative Abandon. “He goes to work immediately and sniffs out the very best deals for the consumer.”
Along with Eastern New York FCU, all GMA winners will be recognized in the October issue of Credit Union Management magazine, Credit Union Times, Credit Union Journal, and a post on the CUES Nexus Connection blog. This is the second Golden Mirror award Eastern New York FCU has won with Creative Abandon.
Some of the judges’ comments for Eastern New York FCU’s RateMatch entry:
“You’ve carried the [RateMatch] hound through very nicely and without putting an abundance of witty, little references to him in there. Would still like to see him come to life as a real hound in more of your material.”
(According to Hammons, the RateMatch hound does come to life. To see it, visit: http://www.saveonyourloans.com/cobrand.ASP?Subscriber=232CIS&Customer=ENYFCU.)
“This seems like a great way to show how the credit union can really benefit the individual member. I like how simple this seems to make it to switch accounts to the credit union.”
“Innovative, useful service for members. Many CUs are providing similar info but not based on actual numbers from member’s credit report.”
“Innovative product to increase loan participation.”
For the Golden Mirror Award overview, please visit http://cuesgma.org/.
RateMatch’s history began at Eastern New York FCU in August 2006 as a series of Excel spreadsheets that loan officers would use when interacting with members. Loan officers would use credit report of interview data to enter members’ existing loan information, which would then be compared with credit union offerings. RateMatch was then moved to a local database application allowing smoother use across multiple loan officers. Creative Abandon was brought in early in the process, helping ensure the product’s feature set remained easy for consumers to understand and to use. When it came time for branding and visual development, this early involvement became invaluable in creating the RateHound character.
Work began on building RateMatch into a web-based application, which Eastern New York FCU could more easily deploy across branches. Partners ISS (software development) and Equidata (credit report platform) were sourced, and the “black box” credit report parsing and engine was built. Finally a full-featured Web application was built based on user studies and use-case analysis.
“Credit unions caught wind of this application and expressed interest,” says Syphr CEO, Chris Langley. “So we researched the feasibility to offering RateMatch as a solution for other credit unions and RateMatch was officially launched in 2009.”
The RateMatch platform was launched live to the credit union community on April 8, 2009 at the FinovateStartUp09 Conference in San Francisco.
“Credit unions, especially smaller ones, are in a difficult spot. Many are no longer as closely tied to their sponsoring organizations as they once were. As a result, they are no longer the default financial institution for employees of these organizations. Additionally, more and more members and prospective members are looking to the Internet as a primary source of rate information,” says Langley. “RateMatch gives credit unions a ‘secret weapon’ to extend high-touch service to its members without the need for additional staff, and to significantly increase share of outstanding loan balances of their members. RateMatch gives credit unions an Internet presence specifically directed at individuals using the Web to shop for loans.”
About Creative Abandon
Creative Abandon, based in Portland, OR, provides a strong connection with customers by fusing their business strategies with creative marketing and communications. From credit unions to manufacturers, retailers to charity events, Creative Abandon offers services that help its clients’ organizations grow and prosper, helping them develop a strong brand and communicate it via online, print, broadcast and events. For more information, visit www.creativeabandon.com.
About Syphr, LLC
Syphr, LLC, is a technology and marketing CUSO that develops solutions for credit unions to provide them with the opportunity to reach prospective members via web-based channels. Syphr’s RateMatch® uses patent-pending technology to match participating credit unions with thousands of credit report purchasers per month. RateMatch compares the loans on these reports with those of participating credit unions, shows the consumer how they can save money, then sends the consumer’s information to the participating credit union or bank. For more information, visit www.massxvelocity.com.