The Power of Payments

The Power of Payments

The Power of Payments

by Todd Clark, President/CEO

Because it’s our business, we eat, sleep and breathe payments. Many of our credit union partners do, as well. But, is the same true for credit union members? Probably not. In fact, most increasingly expect to think as little as possible about the mechanics of buying. After all, this is the era of one-click purchases, contactless cards and auto pay; the fewer steps it takes to move money, the better.

The goal, then, is to make payments as simple as possible. Creating a seamless payments experience today will lead to unprecedented growth opportunities. Just look at Amazon Prime Day. This year, the number of Amazon Prime Day transactions processed by CO-OP nearly doubled compared to those processed in 2018. The credit unions whose credit or debit card members reached for during the biggest two-day online shopping event of the year saw significant non-interest revenue. Even more importantly they were able to extract valuable data that can be used to create the kind of personalized experiences that members expect. 

One way to do that is with the help of our SmartGrowth team, CO-OP’s credit portfolio experts that leverage transaction data and market-level trends to create customized campaigns drive portfolio growth. We partnered with several credit union card issuers to launch special rewards campaigns to drive their card to the coveted default payment for Amazon leading up to Prime Day. Now that Prime Day has come and gone, it’s time to think about how to set your card program up for success with more prime shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching.

We recently partnered with Launch FCU on a promotions campaign proposed by SmartGrowth, which led to double-digit credit portfolio growth within two years. But the even greater payoff for Launch FCU was the ability to learn and re-engage their members in a way that can inspire long-term loyalty. As Kristen Mecca, Launch FCU’s VP of e-Services, put it: “We owed our members the same level of attention as the megabanks and other card issuers, arguably more. That’s ultimately what we gave them.”

Payments are integral to future growth. As the auto and mortgage markets rise and fall with economic headwinds, payments will continue to endure and serve as a vital part of the member/CU relationship.

As your payments partner, we’re here to offer more than just the latest technology and solutions to bolster your payments offering. We are also here to provide consultative advice to help you stay ahead of ever-shifting industry dynamics. I encourage you to read our two newest whitepapers: “How to Succeed in the Credit Card Business and What’s in the Cards for Millennials?”, which offer a researched-based blueprint for optimizing your credit portfolio. And if you want to learn more about how SmartGrowth gathers and utilizes these insights, you can attend our upcoming webinar on August 20.

The SmartGrowth team also will be leading a Master Class on Payments Performance at our next two Roadshows in Chicago on August 22 and in Nashville on September 12. This 90-minute workshop will help you exam your current credit card portfolio, identify areas for improvement and discover how to use advanced analytics and marketing strategies to drive growth. I will be there in Chicago to provide a strategic update, and as always I look forward to our Roadshows as they give me an opportunity to speak directly with our credit union partners. Joining me will be our new Chief Product Officer, Bruce Dragt, who will be sharing the progress we’ve made on our product roadmap and showing live demos of our new solutions. If you haven’t attended a Roadshow yet, I highly encourage you or members of your team to join.

Finally, I am so proud to share our announcement this week that CO-OP has committed to donating $50,000 per year over the next ten years to the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN), totaling $500,000. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of women leaders progressing the credit union movement forward, and am incredibly proud to continue supporting the incredible work the GWLN does.


Todd Clark, President/CEO