As the level of uncertainty and concern continues to grow around the coronavirus (aka “COVID-19”) and its potential impact on the economy, our members are in the midst of making difficult decisions about whether to travel, go to work, or stock up on supplies and groceries. In this challenging time, it is important for them to feel confident that their credit union is supporting their overall health and financial safety.
As the situation unfolds, here are a few helpful tips and reminders to ensure your credit union is well-prepared to deal with COVID-19. We’ll also be sharing some ideas for payments-related offers and campaigns you can run to help support your members financially during this difficult time shortly.
- Encourage Members to Leverage Your Digital & Mobile Tools
As CDC guidelines mandate increased “social distancing,” now is the time to remind members to utilize their digital banking channels. Whether it’s making payments, viewing transactions, or finding a nearby ATM, members are empowered with tools to support their daily financial lives from the convenience of their phones.
At the same time, members should be extra vigilant about potential fraud, which typically spikes in situations like these. Remind your members to:
- Never provide any personal or financial information over email, text, or phone to an unknown person or organization or open/click unfamiliar links in an email.
- Actively monitor their spending activity through apps like CardNav by CO-OP.
- Set up fraud text alerts from their credit union to keep them informed of any suspicious activity.
Members should also use their mobile wallets or contactless cards whenever possible during POS transactions to help lower their risk of infection.
- Go Above and Beyond With Member Support
Right now, your support channels are probably experiencing a flood of member inquiries. Members are feeling anxious, not only about their accounts but also their overall financial wellbeing.
To help put them at ease, ensure any critical updates or changes to business continuity are clearly communicated on your website, social channels, and member-facing products. If you haven’t already, consider posting an FAQ document that outlines how your credit union is responding to COVID-19 and provides quick answers to members’ most common questions.
If you have a Contact Center, prioritize the health and safety of your agents by advising them to stay home if experiencing any flu-like symptoms or if they have been in contact with anyone that has tested positive for COVID-19. It is also important to remind employees to maintain frequent contact with their managers during this time.
To help reduce high call volumes, encourage members to submit any non-urgent inquiries through their mobile banking, digital, or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) channels.
As you grapple with how to prepare for remote working arrangements, consider a tiered approach, migrating employees as quickly as possible without significant loss to business functions.
For credit unions that utilize CO-OP Contact Center for lending, after-hours and member support, know that we are here for you and are actively working to provide the highest level of support to our current clients and their members.
- Exercise EXTRA Caution at Your Branches & ATMs
Finally, as more states institute lockdowns, encourage your members to stay indoors whenever possible. In the event a member must access a branch or ATM, CO-OP has asked all of our Shared Branch and ATM Network participants to ensure their facilities are well-prepared for interactions with members. That includes deploying extra janitorial staff to do a deep cleaning of all staffed facilities, wiping down all ATMs, teller counters and other surfaces, and setting up hand sanitization stations around the branch.
As your business partner, CO-OP remains ready to support and respond to your credit union’s and members’ needs. We have taken extra precautions both at our facilities and with our vendor relationships to ensure we are able to continue serving the needs of our credit unions and we will continue to keep you informed on any important business updates.
In the meantime, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your Client Business Executive or contact us if you need any assistance responding to the ongoing situation.