Preston Packer

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How Important is Providing Quality Member Services in the World of Digital Banking?

By Preston Packer |

Jun

27

Mobile banking has revolutionized the traditional banking scene as we once knew it. Having access to your money and account information as fast as you can think of it has become normal. Did my check clear? What’s my account balance? Let me check! But what about that home-town comfortable feel you used to get from visiting your favorite member service representative at your branch? The one who handed your kid a lollipop and asked how your mom was? Are those days gone?

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Are Your 2019 FinTech Goals on Track?

By Preston Packer |

Jun

27

At the mid-point of 2019, Summer is here and vacations have started. If you manage to sneak away from your role as a  credit union leader, perhaps sipping your lemonade poolside, you may start to reflect on where you stand with some of the goals you set in your strategic plan for 2019. How much progress have you made toward achieving those FinTech goals you set for your credit union? Are they still relevant? Do they need modifying or to be re-prioritized? Start by reviewing just what those initial goals were and your vision for your credit union for 2019. Your technology goals are unique to your particular credit union and the areas you’d like to improve upon. No matter where you are in your digital FinTech development, whether just starting to offer mobile capabilities or looking to implement the latest cutting edge technology, here are some things to consider as you work towards those goals:

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Do Challenger Banks Pose a Challenge to Credit Unions?

By Preston Packer |

Jun

19

Credit unions have traditionally competed with banks for market share, striving to offer comparable (if not better) products, services and the newest and best in technology. While most credit unions hold their own with technology and products, what ultimately gives them their edge is their foundation built on the importance of member relationships and a member’s personal ownership in the credit union. But as we have seen over the last few years, digital banking conveniences have become a fundamental part of a financial institution's offerings, a requirement in order to stay competitive. And to that end, credit unions might have a new competitor - Challenger Banks. While these digital-only institutions are still more widely used overseas, they are gaining in popularity here in the US market, and could represent a potential threat of lost deposits, revenue and members to credit unions and other financial institutions in general.

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The Ever-Changing Role of a Member Service Representative

By Preston Packer |

Jun

13

The digital banking revolution has begun, and Member Service Representatives may feel like a casualty of war. It’s tempting to think that there’s no longer a need for Member Service Representatives. After all, questions can be answered easily online or using a chat window, transactions performed with just a few clicks, and information about products is readily available. But consider this: Who is responding to your member in that chat window? Who will assist your member when a transaction goes awry (heaven forbid fraud!), or if they have specific questions about which loan product might be best for them? Answer: A much needed Member Services Representative.

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Member Statements: The Yellow Pages of Member Experience

By Preston Packer |

Jun

06

When looking for an HVAC repair company to save you from the Summer heat, or a cell phone repair company to fix your cracked screen, a quick Google search produces current, relevant and targeted information that fits what you're looking for. Gone are the days of tabbing through a bulky phone book only to find pages of listings for the same service with no way of knowing if they're still in business, hours of operation, or even service the area you live in. The big directories were over-sized and underwhelming in their usefulness. Printed material begins to depreciate in value the minute it's printed, not to mention the incredible waste of paper and fuel it can leave in its wake. Yet, the famed yellow book was dropped on doorsteps all around the country long after most people had moved on, becoming more of a burden than a tool. Are member statements headed to a similar fate of recipients just turning from the mailbox to the trash bin with their monthly statements? Absolutely. It's time to keep your member statements from becoming a burden by employing a paperless strategy with eDocuments and eStatements.

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Your Members Most Important Financial Number

By Preston Packer |

Jun

04

A member's credit score is only one number, yet knowing and understanding that number is very important. A great credit score leads to great deals — on loans, credit cards, insurance premiums, apartments and cell phone plans. Bad scores can limit choices or cause members to pay more. The lifetime cost of higher interest rates from bad or mediocre credit can exceed six figures! This means that helping your members know their score and how to improve it is extremely valuable. Education is key to member services, and it begins with helping members find and understand their credit score.

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Employing Millennials: Courting the Purpose over Paycheck Generation

By Preston Packer |

May

30

They have been called many things, from entitled to humble, hardworking to lazy, overly reliant on their parents while at the same time independent. Tom Brokaw even famously tagged them as "the greatest generation since The Greatest Generation." An enigma for retailers to attract and an adjustment for businesses to employ, Millennials (the generation loosely defined as those born between 1981 and 1996) have been simultaneously torn down and put on a pedestal by their peers and elders. But data doesn't lie. With over 56 million in the US workforce according to US Census Bureau data, Millennials make up the greatest percentage of employees today, and are proving that they are just as hardworking and perhaps even more balanced in their approach than generations before them. Hiring Millennials and keeping them happy and engaged at your credit union is heavily reliant upon the traditional motivators: money and benefits. However, what sets this generation apart when it comes to job satisfaction is the level of importance they place on purpose and technology... working for a credit union whose mission is in-line with their primary values, and one that provides them with the latest technology to get their job done efficiently are major factors in retention.

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Venmo Wants to offer Your Members a Debit Card

By Preston Packer |

May

29

Non-bank competition is increasing with the rising popularity of mobile payment apps such as Venmo, Zelle and Square, just to name a few. Millennials and younger credit union members, in particular, have discovered the convenience of these apps and the ease with which funds can be exchanged and transferred. Using P2P (peer-to-peer) mobile payment systems, restaurant bills and bar tabs can be paid, pizza money contributed and concert tickets repaid with just a few clicks, all while never leaving the couch. However, with all this virtual money exchanging hands, should there be concerns these transactions are being adequately protected and secured?

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Build a Modern Banking Experience for your Members

By Preston Packer |

May

22

According to a LinkedIn study, Millennials will change jobs an average of four times in their first decade out of college, compared to about two job changes by Gen Xers in their first ten years out of college. This in contrast to their parents and grandparents, who seemingly "stuck it out" for longer, with the mentality of "why leave a perfectly good job for an uncertain one." even if the promise of greater money and benefits was appealing. While the reasons for younger generations to job hop more frequently are not limited to just factors of pay and benefits, a study by Utah-based Thrive Communications found that over 20 percent of Millennials would actually quit a job if the employer did not offer fast in-office technology. Technology is such a central and crucial aspect of this generations' lives that businesses who do not adopt new technologies will not keep the hearts of younger generations for long. It is not so much a lack of loyalty as it is a shift in priority. For this very reason, credit unions who wish to attract and keep Millennial members must build a modern banking experience, and do it well. 

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Is Amazon Competing for Your Members?

By Preston Packer |

May

16

Amazon has been a threat to retail for many years. While brick and mortar stores have pointed fingers at Amazon for their decline in foot traffic, some credit unions are beginning to fear competition from Amazon as well. Amazon has yet to implement any banking features in the U.S. but they have already begun taking deposits in India. Delivery staff can now accept cash as payment upon delivery, as well as collect deposits through a Cashload feature in a version of Amazon Pay. Amazon allows their India-based customers to deposit any surplus cash from their purchase into their Amazon Pay account, and they can deposit additional funds to be used toward future orders or bills within partner websites and apps. Amazon allows deposits up to 10,000 rupees ($143 U.S. dollars), which is quite a bit, considering the average Indian household makes about $50 per month. Could such services be on the horizon for U.S. customers? Here’s what we can expect from Amazon in banking: Read More

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