As Christmas decorations begin to fill the aisles and ads flood our news feeds, we embark on another holiday season. From holiday exchanges to presents for the kids, purchases are being made at an escalated rate. Even the most stubborn scrooge finds themselves frivolously spending during the holidays. Whether your members are early bird Black Friday shoppers or those who run through Target aisles on Christmas Eve, it's easy to forget budgets and overspend. As a credit union, it's important to keep your members in mind during the festive season and offer them the tools to keep their assets in line.
Picture these all-too-familiar scenarios and how your credit union can offer members a solution.
SET IT BEFORE YOU SPEND IT. Thanksgiving feast has just been put away and the turkey platter is replaced with plans for a successful Black Friday shopping trip. Everyone in the family has been studying the holiday ads and have their favorite gifts already in mind. The anticipation is finally over and they hit the stores to take advantage of the year's biggest sales. Their cart fills up quickly and around every corner is another can't miss deal. Your member overspends and finds themselves riding home in panic and shame. They spend the rest of the season working longer hours trying to make up for the breach in budget. Now imagine if such a member had proper daily card limits in place or notification alerts to inform them budgets had been exceeded. Be sure that members know about your credit union card services and guide them to set reasonable budgets that will keep their holiday spirits high.
KNOW WHERE ALL THAT MONEY IS GOING AT ALL TIME. Your members have more ways than ever to make holiday purchases. CUNA conducted a survey that estimates that shoppers will make 51% of their purchases online, 42% in-store and 7% via catalog or direct mail. With member transactions taking place in many different ways, it can sometimes be difficult for members to remember what was spent and where. Your credit union's mobile banking app will be vital for members whose transactions are scattered. Members can instantly check their balances and easily review when and where purchases were made. Staying organized and informed is important to members and credit unions can provide the tools to do it.
BE PREPARED FOR SOMETHING TO GO WRONG. We all know card fraud and cybercrime is on a steep trajectory. Nobody is immune to identity theft, not even companies that spend millions of dollars a year to prevent it. Credit union card management goes beyond making it easy to shop and set budgets, but very importantly provides security and peace of mind with remote control debit and credit cards.
Understanding and anticipating your member's needs is essential to the success of your credit union not only during the holidays but all year round. CUNA cited that 22% of shoppers will use their mobile wallet to make in-store purchases this year. Offer members the opportunity to take advantage of this feature by educating your members to connect their cards to mobile wallets and online retailers such as Apple Pay and Amazon. By putting yourself in the shoes of your members this shopping season, you can better anticipate their needs and provide exceptional service.