Inspirus Credit Union, EXL
Collin Campbell, Vice President Strategic Initiatives, was tasked in late 2015 with devising a payments strategy for Inspirus Credit Union. At the top of the agenda was the task of designing a credit card product for members that would become their “instinctive preference” when making daily purchases. Inspirus had built its [~$112M] Visa portfolio through highly compelling balance consolidation campaigns and the credit union now needed to introduce a product that would appeal to consumers as their ‘everyday spend’ card. With an increasingly competitive set of plastic and digital payment options being presented and adopted by consumers, especially in tech-centric Seattle, this was a tall order. Through a structured innovation and modelling process, working closely with experts at PSCU, EXL, the Visa Card Lab, Inspirus evaluated a significant amount of data about the latest product design, fees, rates and benefit trends and subsequently launched a leading Visa Signature Rewards “Black” card – with 2% unlimited cash back and no annual fee. In keeping with the Credit Union ethos of financial inclusivity, the product was made attractive to people across the credit spectrum. It is arguably the only prestigious black card on the market that is not “exclusive”.
One of the challenges in launching this product was that the credit union didn’t have dedicated “quants” on staff, meaning that they didn’t have sufficient internal resources to crunch and analyze data to turn it into actionable insight. By engaging EXL to provide deep credit card experience and perspective, Inspirus was able to efficiently add supplemental quantitative expertise to its team. EXL participated as an extension of the Credit Union and, within six months, the team designed a market leading product that took direct aim at replacing cards that had previously been at the top of member wallets.
The results so far have been remarkable. The Visa Signature Rewards Black card quickly gained traction in the market, and is used by Inspirus members, on average, four times more per month than their highly successful Visa Platinum card. In December of 2017, the card was used an average of almost 30 times by each cardholder – each transaction a positive interaction with the Inspirus brand.
When asked how important this was to the credit union, Campbell said, “Absolutely critical.” He emphasized the importance of finding ways such this for the Credit Union to become more significant in each consumer’s financial life. Listening to members by identifying and tapping into various sources of structured and unstructured data – and then applying advanced big data analytics to precisely understand what consumers expect – gives Credit Unions the ability to better understand what drives spend and balance behavior.
Leveraging this understanding to provide tailored offers to members – via marketing automation and transaction based triggers – is the key to developing strong member relationships.
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