member supportAround the world, people are choosing to keep their distance from each other. They're foregoing family visits and hangouts with friends. They're cancelling parties, skipping inessential shopping, and delaying trips. In any other situation, it could be seen as selfish and probably rude. But in this time of crisis, it's really an act of great care. While there is no actual law forcing them to stay home, they're doing it because they are helping protect those that are more likely to suffer from this disease. It's an act of love. It's a way to show each other that we care, that we have each others back.

Businesses are showing support too. Stylists are sharing videos to help clients cut their own hair. Gyms are streaming popular classes so members can keep up with their fitness routines. Restaurants are sharing their secret recipes so patrons can cook their favorite dishes from the safety of their homes. Businesses are finding ways to help their customers because it's the right thing to do--to support each other. So what can your credit union do to show your members you are there for them, even when you can't actually be there for them? We have a few ideas.

  1. Waive Overdraft Fees 

    Times are tough for many workers. In the US, 26.5 million jobs have been lost and the unemployment rate has shot over 20%. The government assistance programs are hard at work, but people are left waiting on unemployment and stimulus checks. If there was ever a time that members could use a little leniency, it's right now.
  2. Increasing ATM Withdrawal Limits, Temporarily Too

    Normally when members need to withdrawal more than a few hundred dollars, they'd come into the branch and do so in person. But, with many branches closed and social distancing restrictions in place, going into the branch may not be possible. By increasing your ATM withdrawal limits, it will allow your members to access their cash safely and when they need it. This doesn't mean you permanently need to make this change, but long enough for a little normalcy to return. 
  3. Deferring Loan Payments (skip-a-pay)

    While people are struggling to make money, loan payments can be a real source of stress. Many CUs offer skip-a-pay as part of normal operations, but this may be a good time to remind your members of the option, even with just a little note on the statements or a notice on your website. Allowing an extra 30 days to get the payment together may help your members keep their heads above water.  
  4. Refunding Foreign ATM Fees

    If your members traveled internationally in the last two months, for work or leisure, they may have wound up staying a lot longer than expected--just think of the tens of thousands of crew stuck on cruise ships. ATM fees are always a little painful, but international ones can be significant. Combined with withdrawal limits, those fees are going to rack up pretty quickly. Refunding them for a certain period would certainly not go unnoticed by those members.
  5. Remote Deposit Capture Funds Availability

    While members are staying home, they are likely making deposits remotely as well. These funds may not be available for several days depending on the CU and their policies. While money is tight, that may cause major strain, especially if that cash is being used to pay bills on time or make other time-sensitive payments. Shortening that turnaround could lift a little of that burden.

All of these simple changes could make dramatic impacts on your members' lives. They show your membership that you are there for them; that you have their backs. In some cases, your core processor may already have built-in functionality for each of these to make it easy to execute, like FLEX does. There's a famous quote from Mr. Rogers about times of crisis. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mom would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Your members give you so much and you can be the helper they need. 

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Topics: Core Technology, Member Services

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