Strategies for Tellers to Promote Interest in Your Credit Union’s Services

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Trust Tips |

You’ve heard it a thousand times…”I can’t possibly cross-sell at the drive-up window!” “Everyone is in a rush.” “They’re always on their cellphones.” “If they wanted to talk about products and services they’d come inside.” Negative assumptions like these become all too commonly accepted in a branch environment. Once assumptions like these take root, they are incredibly difficult to overcome. In truth, the assumption that “cross-selling through the drive-up is impossible” is costing financial institutions an incredible number of opportunities. Americans are using drive-ups now more than ever. An average branch’s drive-up accounts for a massive portion of its transaction totals. For instance, Jim Bishop, president of Barrington Bank and Trust in Barrington, IL, said that 40% of a teller’s total transactions occur at his bank’s drive-up (reference). When tellers fail to even try to cross-sell at the drive-up window, they are missing nearly 50% of the opportunities they are faced with! The negative assumption about cross-selling through the drive-up causes additional issues as well. In our experience, tellers who are uncomfortable cross-selling products and services will regularly volunteer to work the drive-up so that they have an excuse for not reaching their goals. Afterall, if cross-selling at the drive-up is “impossible” and he/she always works the drive-up, how can he/she ever be held accountable for falling short of his/her cross-selling goals? Tellers we have spoken to about this issue have admitted that they’re willing to take on the additional transaction workload as long as they aren’t held to the same cross-selling goals as others. So, in addition to missing all important opportunities, employees may also be using the drive-up window as shelter from accountability, which could also cause tension in your branch (“Why does she always get to work the drive-up?!” says the employee who doesn’t like to cross-sell either…). Why Drive-up Customers/Members May Be the Best to Cross-sell to: Drive-up customers/members are typically always drive-up customers/members. In other words, they rarely, if ever, come into the branch. Meaning your employees have likely never attempted to cross-sell them anything. This is a huge opportunity! With few exceptions, all customers/members can benefit from at least one, if not many, of your financial institution’s products and services. If these customers/members have never been approached about any products/services since they opened their accounts, they present a huge opportunity to increase product referrals. Further, many drive-up customers/members do not have accounts with your financial institution. They are simply using the drive-up to quickly cash a check drawn off of your institution. This is a great opportunity to tell them about the benefits of your institution and why they should bank with you. After all, you have them captive at this moment–this is...

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Eliminate Force-Placed Auto Insurance Tracking with Vendors Single Interest Protection

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in News |

When a member borrows money for a vehicle, it is the credit union’s right to require them to show proof of comprehensive and collision insurance to protect its interest from damage or loss throughout the life of the loan.  However, there is no guarantee that the member will keep it in force throughout the entire term.  If the member’s insurance lapses, the credit union will traditionally force-place auto insurance on the member’s loan, adding the premium to the loan principal. This force-placed (or lender-placed) process often creates member complaints and the need for credit union employees to play “detective” by tracking the insurance status of every loan on an ongoing basis. Credit unions are faced with a tough balance between dedicating administrative resources to verify member insurance status, protecting assets with force-placed insurance and endangering member relationships due to dissatisfaction.  This issue has guided many credit unions to seek the alternative protection solution, Vendors Single Interest (VSI), also referred to as Lenders Single Interest (LSI). Vendors Single Interest Vendors Single Interest insurance provides broad protection against collateral loss for the entire loan portfolio, without the need to track insurance status.  VSI simply protects the credit union’s interest against any loss that occurs if they repossess damaged collateral and the member’s insurance has lapsed.  Learn more > How does it work? At the time of the loan, the credit union adds the Vendors Single Interest premium to the member’s loan contract.  The premium is based on each credit union’s individual loss ratio experience.  Our agency has seen premiums that range from about $15 to $130 per loan. Typically, most credit unions pass this cost along to the member. What is the difference between CPI and VSI? Vendors Single Interest is a change in mindset from a reactive measure to a proactive measure.  Because the coverage is financed into every loan, it proactively protects the credit union and the member from uninsured damage or loss as opposed to the traditional reactive measure of tracking insurance status and force-placing coverage after the member’s insurance has lapsed. What about member dissatisfaction? Credit unions who have switched to VSI have seen a vast reduction in overall member complaints as it concerns force-placed insurance woes. Though the added cost is passed along to the member at the time of the loan, the premium has little affect on the overall payment and has been viewed as an acceptable requirement in the overall loan agreement. How does switching affect our existing loan portfolio? Switching from the traditional collateral protection insurance to Vendors Single Interest is surprisingly easy.  When a credit union makes the change, our vendor partners will assume coverage for a credit union’s existing loan portfolio free of charge.  This eliminates the...

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Introducing My Credit Union Benefits 2.0

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Benefits Update, News |

In the spring of 2014, Insurance Trust launched the first iteration of the My Credit Union Benefits marketplace website.  The website was created with the mission of assisting Maine credit union members in making the important decisions necessary to purchase individual health insurance with the recent changes under the Affordable Care Act. The private marketplace website was designed to allow credit union members to request a health insurance quote assisted by a licensed health insurance expert who will help them find the right policy to meet their unique needs from a variety of individual health plans from insurers doing business in our Maine communities. The website also offers access to dental insurance, voluntary benefits, term life, accidental death & dismemberment and auto & home insurance coverage as well as legal & ID theft protection. What’s New? Local Service – Insurance Trust has partnered with a local Maine employee benefits expert dedicated to assisting members with enrollments for individual health insurance.  This change has also made more insurance carrier plan options available to Maine credit union members including Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim. New Website – The My Credit Union Benefits website has been reformatted to offer an improved mobile friendly experience. The website has a responsive design that allows members to navigate the site on any device and enter information into forms that integrate with mobile keyboard features. Simple and Free –The My Credit Union Benefits website is now a free community hub for Maine credit unions to refer their members in need of coverage.  Many of the coverage options include special group discounts specifically for members of Maine credit unions.  We have simplified the onboarding process by offering one universal website option and referral arrangement. Visit Website For more information, please contact Elizabeth Ingram at or...

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