We have talked a lot in the past several months about obtaining new members. We even wrote an eBook entitled Mastering Millennials as a guide for credit unions to attract the 35 and under generation. But I want to take a step back and discuss how to retain existing members, and how to get older members to embrace new technology, and not be afraid of it. I will talk specifically today about Check 21 and Remote Deposit Capture.
We reported in the past the 2014 Federal Reserve findings that 51% of smartphone users use their phones for Mobile banking, of which 38% of them have used remote deposit capture in the past year. We all have heard the findings, reports and analysis that these numbers are going to continue to grow. And while this may present opportunities for your credit union to obtain new members, it can also present challenges to getting existing members to use the credit union core technology you invested in.
While a physical branch presence and member service will be important to your existing members, and should not be overlooked, there are benefits to getting them on board with your mobile banking platform. Obstacles to adoption include human's natural tendency to fear new things, as well as a real concern about security. Even adoption of Check 21 technology at the teller window may raise some concerns from members. Having the conversation and providing education is key to eliminating any concerns, Read our case study on how Members 1st Credit Union overcame these concerns and installed Check 21 as a fully integrated feature to their core system for member convenience.
Start the Conversation with Members about Check 21 and RDC
I found the Federal Reserve put together a Check 21 FAQ list with a section that I listed below that would be comforting to share with members who may need some additional assurances and outside resources for guidance. There is also an FAQ that is more detailed with consumer protection information on the FFIEC website (you can view this one here). Or you may elect to put together your own FAQ using these two resources. Sharing this information will not replace what their trusted credit union representative tells them, but gives additional validity to the conversation:
- How am I protected under Check 21?
Check law protects you against erroneous and unauthorized check payments. In addition, Check 21 contains a number of new protections for consumers. For example, Check 21 contains a special refund procedure (called “expedited recredit”) for a consumer who suffers a loss related to a substitute check he or she received.
- What protections do I have if I receive image statements, access pictures of my checks online, or receive an account statement with descriptive information about my canceled checks?
Years ago, many banks stopped providing customers with canceled checks and, as an alternative, began providing customers with documentation showing which checks were paid. Regardless of the form of documentation you receive, check law protects you against erroneous and unauthorized check payments.
- If I suffer a loss related to a substitute check I received, can I file a claim with my bank?
Yes. If you have received a substitute check, you can file a special claim with your bank for a refund (called an “expedited recredit”) if you believe that the substitute check was incorrectly charged to your account, You lost money as a result of the substitute check being charged to your account, and you need the original check or a copy sufficient to show that the substitute check was incorrectly charged to your account.
- Does the special refund procedure apply if I receive an image statement with a picture of a substitute check but do not receive the actual substitute check?
No. The special refund procedure applies only if you actually received a substitute check. However, check law protects you from improper check charges regardless of whether you receive an original check, substitute check, image statement, or a line item on your account statement. If you feel an error was made to your account, contact your bank immediately.
- How do I make a claim under the Check 21 refund procedure?
If you believe that you have suffered a loss relating to a substitute check that you received, you should contact your bank as soon as possible but no later than 40 days from when your bank mailed or delivered your account statement. Your bank will ask you to provide information it needs to investigate your claim, which could include a description of the problem, an estimate of your loss, and information about the substitute check.
- How quickly must my bank handle my claim, and when will my account be refunded?
Your bank should investigate your claim promptly. If your bank finds that it incorrectly charged your account, the bank must refund the amount of your claim (up to the amount of the substitute check, plus interest if your account earns interest) within one business day of making that decision.
If your bank is unable to determine the validity of your claim within 10 business days after receiving it, your bank on that day must refund the amount of your loss up to the lesser of amount of the substitute check or $2,500, plus interest (if your account earns interest). Unless your bank determines that your claim is not valid, it must refund to your account any remaining amount of your loss, up to the amount of the substitute check, plus interest, no later than the 45th calendar day after the bank received your claim.
If your bank later determines that your claim was not valid, it may reverse the refund and interest it has paid to you.
- How will I know if my bank has refunded my account?
If your bank refunds your account, it will send you a notice by the next business day that tells you the amount of your refund and the date on which you may withdraw those funds. Normally, you may withdraw your refund on the business day after your bank refunds your account.
- Can my bank delay my ability to withdraw the amount that it refunds?
If your bank is still investigating your claim, it may delay your ability to withdraw up to the first $2,500 of the refund if (1) you are a new account holder, (2) your account is repeatedly overdrawn, or (3) the bank has reason to believe the claim is fraudulent. In these cases, your bank must allow you to withdraw the funds after determining that your claim is valid or on the 45th calendar day after the day that you submitted your claim, whichever occurs first.
- What happens if my bank says it charged my account correctly?
If your bank determines that it correctly charged your account, it will send you a notice by the next business day that explains the reason for that decision and will include either the original check or a copy of the original check that is sufficient to determine the validity of your claim. Your bank will also either include the documentation the bank used in making its determination or will explain that you can request such documentation.
Read the rest of the Federal Reserve's FAQ's on Check 21 HERE.