The Digital Experience: Why You Need to Survey Members

COVID-19 has changed a lot of things in the last few months. Almost all of our shopping and service needs are online now. Members of credit unions are having to rely on digital channels more than ever before. There has been a massive increase in mobile and online banking since the pandemic started.

Continue reading “The Digital Experience: Why You Need to Survey Members”

3 Overdraft Hacks That Your Members Will Love


Nobody likes getting dinged with fees. In fact, levying too many fees at your members is a surefire way of frustrating them. But what if I told you there’s a way to make your members appreciate your approach to overdraft fees?

There are a few win-win ways to turn a bad member experience (overdraft fees) into a great one. And the best part is, they don’t take much effort. In fact, they may even save time in the long run… Continue reading “3 Overdraft Hacks That Your Members Will Love”

CU 2.0 Podcast 23: Sitting Down with Gabe Krajicek, CEO of Kasasa

It’s the Credit Union podcast! CU 2.0 is excited to bring you the twenty-third in a series of podcasts from Robert McGarvey. Welcome to the CU 2.0 Podcast, regular interviews with credit union leaders, thinkers, movers, shakers and more.

If Kasasa were a bank branch network, it would be the nation’s fourth largest and it says that sometime this year it will overtake Bank of America and be the 3rd biggest.

Surprised? You bet. Probably you know that Kasasa has been building up its customer base for digital banking products – checking in particular – but now it is big enough where it’s tooting its horn.

This”branch network” isn’t a consumer-facing product – CO-OP Shared Branching it is not – but what’s interesting is that lots of FIs, some 907 community banks, and credit unions, now have joined together to offer Kasasa products, particularly the free, rewards-based checking.

And that’s also where Kasasa has a real plus – according to company CEO Gabe Krajicek, Kasasa consumers have free access to essentially every ATM in the US. When fees are imposed, the consumer is reimbursed.

And that’s an enormous perk for credit union members when many institutions have ATM fleets that can be counted on one hand.

Think about the enormity of that plus for credit union members in Kasasa institutions.

Kasasa also aims to put high-quality digital products in the hands of consumers because, said Krajicek, often consumers say they couldn’t belong to a credit union because the digital is no good.

But what if it, in fact, is good? With the right digital products, community institutions can and will survive, said Krajicek.

Along the way, Krajicek- whose company serves both community banks and credit unions – says community institutions would better serve their interests if they recognized that they have more in common and in particular they have in common a shared enemy and that’s the money center banks.

It’s an interesting thesis. So often community banks and credit unions are reflexively Hatfield and McCoy. But what if they joined together to oppose a shared foe?

What if? What if cooperation flourished? It’s a big vs. small battle, he said.  And nowadays it’s becoming a life or death struggle where many community institutions are vanishing.

Krajicek tosses out big ideas. Come along for the ride in this CU.0 podcast.

Listen here.

credit union banking, credit union member experience, credit union podcast

Check out other podcasts in the series here!

Being Relevant to our Members

credit union data

In my last blog, I talked about cleaning up data. Ugh. It is hard work, and I was primarily focusing on core system data. Today I want to suggest thinking about new ways Credit Unions can use existing data.

Most Credit Unions have a heartfelt mission of supporting member’s financial well-being. Yet in some ways – we simply do not engage members enough. What! Hear me out – I’ve got an idea…

Credit Unions can use their data in creative ways to be more relevant to our member’s lives. Let’s take the example of a car loan. We spend a lot of effort and money on “selling” the loan. We offer great rates, we make the buying process convenient, and we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on systems that will make the loan application process easy with features like automatically creating their membership or integrating with online banking. OK, we got them, they purchased the car and we closed the loan. We did it!

That member now has a 60-month loan and, if they pay on time, we’ll send them their pink slip in 5 years. For many Credit Unions, this scenario is the extent of the relationship between the credit union and the member’s car loan.

It’s all about the data.

What if we used the data we have about car loans to make relevant offers at relevant intervals for something that a member wants? (I know, you may be saying you already make offers at regular intervals, but staying relevant means offering something the member wants.) In the case of a car loan, how about offering a credit card at 18 months (when cars typically need new tires) and double or triple the points off on tires? For an even sweeter deal for the member, work with a box store or a local tire shop to provide even deeper discounts.

The Credit Union gains a more engaged member and credit card revenue. The member gains a deal on a credit card and a discount on something they know they need to purchase soon anyway. The local tire shop gains more awareness and local business.


Now, if you are an even more entrepreneurial community Credit Union, you can offer business customers faceless data. In the auto loan example, if the tire store could see how many tires your members purchased over the last year, they could use that data to improve their marketing efforts and the timing of their advertising and discount offers. They would not be able to see individual transactions, only the aggregate information on purchases.

Now you have an engaged business member that is only able to get that information from your Credit Union.


The digital journey requires us to find creative and innovative ways to use data to help our members while becoming more engaged in their lives, not just their financial lives. Becoming more innovative with information is a transition that Credit Unions must embark on to continue to be relevant!

Read more about Credit Union Data and Data Analytics:

Getting Your Data In Order – A Recipe for Digital Success

Credit Union Data Analytics: Put the Community in your Fees!

Predictive Analytics for Credit Union: Member Limits

In the first several posts in this series, we covered key insights that can be gathered from address changes, payroll changes, and fees as part of our “Almost 99 Small Data Hacks for Credit Unions” series. Next up, we will dive into credit union services and limits that can sometimes negatively impact your relationship with a member.

This is the fourth post in a 9 part series. If you can’t wait for next week and want the full guide “Almost 99 Credit Union Small Data Hacks Guide” click here!

Credit Union 2.0 – A Guide for Helping Credit Unions Compete in the Digital Age covers in depth both big and small data for credit unions. There are six types of data that your Credit Union should be aware of:

  1. Digital Analytics – Desire
  2. Profitability – Fit
  3. Wallet Share – Depth
  4. Transaction – Triggers
  5. Design Data – Predictive
  6. Execution – IFTT (if this than that)

Most credit unions have several potentially confusing service limits and fees. Exposing some of these can cause undue fraud and sometimes even compliance risk. Consequently, credit unions may want to leverage this data behind the scenes and highly personalized it so as not to broadcast key risks or vulnerabilities to the world.

We explore several of these below.

Service or Limits What could happen? What should you do?
Remote Deposit Capture Setting a low limit universally will frustrate your top members. Design a multi-tiered profile based on key risk data and ensure that you give your best members higher limits.


When a member hits a limit, trigger an outbound email explaining how the limit was set and what they can do to change it.

ATM Limits Member is forced to make multiple trips to the ATM to get their business done…frustrating. If you see a member make the same size transaction multiple days in a row, send them a guide on how to request an increase and the pros and cons of doing so.
Change of Address You change it one account, but in a different system you forgot to update. Make a checklist of all of the locations you store addresses and make sure you clean them up everywhere at once.
Check holds Member forgets a hold came off. Ask members if they want to know when holds expire in an email. Offer them a one-click enroll in this option and then send them an email if a hold is removed.
No retirement savings Member struggles to retire Offer easy savings strategy series to members. Provide weekly tips or ideas to help your members save.
Fraudulent ACH Member is confused If a member reports fraud, trigger an outbound email that links back to an overview of how the credit union will help them troubleshoot and resolve the fraud. Update the member at agreed upon times during the investigation/resolution of the issue.
Fraudulent Check Member is confused If a member reports fraud, trigger an outbound email that links back to an overview of how the credit union will help them troubleshoot and resolve the fraud. Update the member at agreed upon times during the investigation/resolution of the issue.
Fraudulent Credit/Debit Member is confused If a member reports fraud, trigger an outbound email that links back to an overview of how the credit union will help them troubleshoot and resolve the fraud. Update the member at agreed upon times during the investigation/resolution of the issue.
Declined Transaction Member is confused and/or annoyed Have guides and information outlined on when and how transactions are declined. Include key troubleshooting strategies to resolve the issue for legitimate transactions. When the decline happens, send an outbound email to the member with a link to the guide.

As in our earlier post on turning negative fees into more positive experience, service limits are a similar opportunity. Anytime your credit union can change confusing non-transparent service items into positive transparent items, you build trust and loyalty from members.

Want to learn more about how your fellow Credit Union leaders are using data? We invite you to join our Credit Union 2.0 Strategist Group where over one thousand industry leaders comment on new news and trends while sharing and learning from one another.

This is the fourth post in a 9 part series. If you can’t wait for next week and want the full “Almost 99 Credit Union Small Data Hacks Guide” click here!

In case you missed it:

Click here for part one of the data analytics series.

Click here for part two of the data analytics series.

Click here for part three of the data analytics series.