To date, credit unions have been faced with the choice of providing credit card processing in-house or outsourcing. Historically, only big credit unions ran in-house credit card processing. Smaller CUs shied away from credit card processing due to a variety of factors: It was expensive to do so in-house, and outsourcing was often difficult to integrate with the core. Furthermore, the rewards programs were not up to par with those of banks and larger FIs, which made them less desirable to members. Now, with increases in integration capabilities and decreases in cost, credit unions of all sizes are incorporating integrated processing capabilities. Here’s why credit unions big and small have opted for integrated credit card processing.
Now that more credit card processors are on the market, and core technology has evolved, the integrations between the two continue to improve. With better connections to the core, a higher volume of member data is now accessible on member spending habits. Understanding how members shop and use their cards, credit unions can structure rewards programs around their members’ habits and interests. As a result, members are more engaged with CU credit cards than ever before.
For credit unions that are wary of taking on the burden of in-house processing, there are vendors who can not only manage the process, but customize solutions to the needs of the CU. When choosing a vendor, it’s important to consider the goals in offering integrated processing. Whether it be better rewards programs to attract new members, more features, or improved reporting capabilities - these aspects will help guide the selection process when considering vendors.
Ultimately members want efficiency for their financial management, perks with their cards, and the convenience and quality of service that credit unions traditionally provide. The CU advantage in credit card processing is the ability to offer lower rates than larger FIs while offering the features and services that members want, while providing the efficiency they expect. But it is not only the member who experiences efficiency with this integration.
In the article 2+1 Reasons to Consider Card Management Within the Core, it's discussed how, as cores adapt, integrating instant issuance and card loan servicing seamlessly, credit unions can experience efficiency in serving their members. The technology should reduce the number of manual processes your MSR's have to take, including the amount of data required to enter manually and transmit to the CU's card provider when opening a new account. Troubleshooting card management issues, such as security and fraud, also become an easier process.
Vendors that are committed to making the member experience and the credit union management experience as seamless as possible will be the best partners for credit unions.
Beyond is one such vendor in the market. They are a leading provider in the payments industry that has proven to be a great processing partner for credit unions. Their capabilities allow credit unions to process payments both in-branch and over the phone through integration with the core. Organizations like Beyond are a perfect match for the credit union industry because they strive to make their customer’s operations more efficient and convenient, which translates well into the member experience.
When core providers work to integrate with vendors like Beyond, credit unions are able to process card payments in-branch and over the phone for loan payments, account funding, in collection scenarios and more, directly through their core processing system.