Community Chair

Leveraging ACH Data to Produce Real Outcomes

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“The world is now awash in data and we can see consumers in a lot clearer ways.”- Max Levchin

A transformation doesn’t exist until action is taken. One thing is to have amazing data and another thing is to be able to expose that data and visualize it. Until you use it to take action and bring effective outcomes it is not a transformation; it is just a trial on data. The team at Sound Credit Union has used data, analyzed it, and made decisions based on the analysis. So, here Martin Walker is sharing the experience at the Transformation Challenge for 2020 summit organized by the CULytics. Read on to know more about the transformation journey:

A Transformation Culture

Transformation is all about the culture that is hard to change but not impossible. Previously, activities were performed based on credit union needs. These were uninformed and one size used to fit all. With the transformation, activities are performed based on the member needs personalized to the individual member and based on behavioral data and understanding how the members can be best served.

Tools for Transformation

“Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile.” – Abu Bakr

Technology can be a part of the puzzle but it is a small part of the puzzle for Sound Credit Union. One of the most important parts was feedback loops and collection channels from members. Having different ways to understand, what the member is doing, what they are trying to do, and what they want to do, and having a variety of ways to get that information. The other pieces of the puzzle are automation and communication platforms. Members can’t be served individually from a marketing perspective. Serving members manually is a hard nut to crack. But using automation at this point can help in saving cost and resources. The third piece of the puzzle was data science and analytics for behavioral insights. With the help of information builders, it is easy to know the behavior of the member and made analysis accordingly.

Wins From ACH

According to the urban dictionary, ACH stands for Analytics Create Happiness. Here are five cases that Sound Credit Union got from ACH:

  1. Govt Shutdown
    Identified and helped specific members impacted by the 2018 government shutdown. 
    The Old Way – Previously, offer was sent to everyone, even though it is not relevant for the vast majority, or don’t send the offer at all.
    The New Way – Now, list of members is generated with ACH payroll deposits from federal government employers. Furthermore, members are identified with a missing ACH payroll deposit from the previous pattern and reach out to impacted members and offer a 90-day, interest-free loan. 

  2. CUDL Optimization
    The Old Way
    – Previously, a single process was used for all transactions, regardless of use case.
    The New Way - Upon analyzing the ACH data, it was discovered that 80% of ACH originations were for CUDL loan payments. Thus, the case-specific solutions can be deployed that quickly & significantly impact the time and labor cost involved in the activity.
  1. Courtesy Pay Enhancement
    The Old Way
    – Earlier, the “full” courtesy pay benefit was provided to all opted-in members, on all draft/checking shares. The result was; many members overextend themselves with courtesy pay and have difficulty in escaping the cycle.
    The New Way – Now, courtesy pay benefits are calculated based on recent ACH deposit activity to the draft/checking share. This is helpful in observing that members-only extended a courtesy pay limit that they can likely payback based on recent activity trends. If the member has a consistent level of deposit activity then a certain level of courtesy pay benefits can be provided and if that deposit activity is impacted; the courtesy pay benefits will change in an automated manner.
  1. Credit Card Offer Targeting 
    The Old Way
    – Before, a card offer was sent to all members who fit the qualifying credit box, typically resulting in low conversion.
    The New Way – Now, ways can be looked to Target members with ACH payments to card companies and no sound credit card
    The result - A 41% increase in new cards from Jan/Feb 2019 to Jan/Feb 2020
  2. Member View Portal
    The data analytics team built the Member view portal. The online staff can see all kinds of information on members. One of the most important parts of the puzzle that staff can see is the ACH activity of the last 60 days. They see the recipients, etc. Also, they can see who is offered credit cards, refinance opportunities, etc.

Analytics Create Happiness!

Analytics has truly helped in creating happiness for the members and the organization as it is:

  • Proactively helping members during potentially stressful times
  • Making it easier for members to do business with us
  • Saving members’ money
  • Helping members’ end cycles of high fees
  • Providing more personalized service

Analytics is useful in making the required changes in the organization, better serving the members, and creating never-ending relations. So, analyze the need of adopting analytics as it is invaluable to the process of improving and optimizing the operations.

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