Unleashing the Power of AI and Digital Marketing to Supercharge Credit Union Membership Growth

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In today’s digital age, credit unions face stiff competition in attracting and retaining members. The key to thriving in this environment is harnessing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital marketing strategies. By combining the strength of AI-driven insights with targeted digital marketing campaigns, credit unions can not only expand their member base but also enhance member engagement and satisfaction. Let’s explore the remarkable synergy between AI and digital marketing and how they can be leveraged to foster credit union membership growth.       1. Data-Driven Personalization AI excels at processing vast amounts of data and deriving meaningful insights. Credit unions can use AI to analyze member data, transactions, and behaviors to understand their unique preferences and needs. This insight can be used to create personalized experiences, tailored product offerings, and relevant communications that resonate with individual members. By delivering what members want, credit unions can strengthen member loyalty and attract new members who value this personalized service. Imagine knowing the exact next best product for your member through the power of AI.        2. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are transforming member interactions. These tools provide 24/7 support, answering common queries, assisting with account management, and even helping members apply for loans or open accounts. This not only enhances member satisfaction but also frees up credit union staff to focus on more complex and strategic tasks.      3. Predictive Analytics Predictive analytics, a subset of AI, can help credit unions anticipate member needs and behaviors. By analyzing historical data, AI can predict when a member might be in the market for a new loan or other financial products. Credit unions can use these insights to proactively reach out to members, offering solutions before they even realize they need them. Gone are the days of one size fits all marketing to your members.       4. Targeted Marketing Campaigns Digital marketing powered by AI allows credit unions to create highly targeted campaigns. By using member data and AI algorithms, credit unions can identify the right audience for specific products or services. This precision not only saves marketing budget but also ensures that marketing efforts are directed towards individuals who are more likely to convert, thus boosting member acquisition.      5. Automation for Member Onboarding The onboarding process is a critical touchpoint for credit unions. AI can streamline and automate the onboarding process, ensuring that new members have a seamless and convenient experience. Automated processes not only reduce administrative overhead but also leave a positive first impression, increasing the likelihood of new members sticking with the credit union.      6. Credit Scoring and Risk Assessment AI can improve credit unions’ risk assessment and lending decisions. By analyzing an applicant’s financial history, credit unions can make more accurate lending decisions. This reduces the risk of defaults and allows credit unions to serve a broader range of members, including those with unconventional credit histories.      7. Member Retention AI can help credit unions proactively identify members at risk of leaving and develop strategies to retain them. By monitoring behavior and engagement patterns, AI can trigger personalized retention efforts such as tailored offers, loyalty programs, or proactive issue resolution.      8. Security and Fraud Prevention In an age of increasing cyber threats, AI can strengthen security measures. Machine learning algorithms can identify unusual patterns and detect potential fraudulent activities in real-time, safeguarding members’ accounts and trust. Conclusion Incorporating AI and digital marketing strategies into credit union operations is no longer a choice but a necessity to stay competitive. The synergy between AI-driven insights and personalized digital marketing campaigns can significantly boost credit union membership growth while simultaneously enhancing member satisfaction and loyalty. By embracing the power of AI and digital marketing, credit unions can position themselves as modern, member-centric financial institutions ready to meet the needs of the digital age. This not only benefits the credit union but also ensures members receive top-notch financial services and support. The future of credit union membership growth is undoubtedly digital, and the time to invest in AI and digital marketing is now.

Curing what Ails Medical Debt

What credit unions have known all along federal regulation may now agree: For too many years, medical debt and collections have weighed heavy on consumers and members credit scores. Due to the rising price of medical care, newer high-deductible plans for insurance and inflation, medical debts have become a burden many of our members cannot help or erase. In fact, 58% of debts recorded in 2021 were for medical debt, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Even worse, these collections affect 100 million US consumers or 41% of the adult population. Among the hardest hit areas for medical debt are in the deep south and southeast regions of the US in which many counties experience rates of 30%-40% of consumers with medical debt. The debts negatively affect members credit scores although the CFPB also finds that medical debt, unlike other kinds, does not accurately predict a consumer’s creditworthiness. In fact, we’ve seen similar changes already on a smaller scale. Last year, the three largest credit agencies – Equifax, Experian, and Transunion – stopped including some medical debt on credit reports, as long as the bills were paid-off or less than $500. If this debt or the collections thereof does not accurately predict a person’s creditworthiness or risk, why is it even included on the credit report? That’s a question that’s being answered now as the Biden Administration enacts a plan to introduce federal rules barring medical bills from affecting consumer credit scores. Many credit unions already overlook or disregard medical debt or collections from their loan decisioning. And rightfully so considering members can and do budget for big purchases, payments and monthly costs but few budget for illness, accident or medical emergencies. Unfortunately, even with great loan decisioning, many in our industry use risk-based pricing to decide loan rates, further hurting these members financially and costing them more each month due to the reporting of their medical debt. Looking past just loan decisioning, consider the additional costs associated with low credit scoring. From insurance to utility down payments, these members will pay more out for the same services or products than others simply for healthcare-related reasons. The worse their score gets, the bigger the burden to pay for monthly services or to save up the required down payments. Many turn to alternative lenders like payday companies, finance companies and other high-rate lenders for help. If enacted, the regulation under consideration could be great news not just for our members, but for our financial industry. Our members can save money on down payments with utility companies and get better insurance rates. They can get better loan rates, leaving more money each month for family, fun or what matters most to them. Further, we should see medical-driven bankruptcies fall further, much like it did from 2010 to 2016 when the Affordable Care Act took effect and bankruptcy rates dropped to nearly half. If it produces similar results, we may see fewer member bankruptcies, charge-offs, repossessions, and further improved credit scoring for our members.  

The Art of Persuasion in Credit Union Sales Success

Year-End Sales Push: Persuasion TipsAs we stand on the cusp of the busiest time of the year, with year-end credit union goals looming large, it’s crucial to recognize that the art of persuasion can be a game-changer, not only for you, but for your entire team. Sales, at its core, is not just about products or services; it’s about people. It’s about understanding the member’s interests, needs and aspirations. It’s about making them feel important and valued. Success hinges on more than just closing loans, opening accounts, and welcoming new members; it’s about forging lasting connections and creating genuine value. Let’s unlock the secrets of persuasion that can reshape your approach to sales at your credit union. Understanding Your Members’ Needs Emotional appeal is a remarkable power in sales. Every person carries a unique story within them, filled with emotions, experiences and desires. Take time to engage with them, ask questions and actively listen to their concerns. You have the opportunity to position your products or services as the key to unlocking the door to their aspirations. Remember this: Questions pave the path to solutions, and solutions pave the way to buyers. The Power of Authenticity Encourage your frontline staff and loan officers to drop the sales scripts and foster genuine connections. When members trust your team, they’re more likely to consider the financial products and services you recommend. Authenticity equips you and your team to address objections with confidence because you’re not peddling a product; you’re offering a solution you genuinely believe in. Note Well: You may be thinking, “I’m not sure I want (insert name) to be unapologetically himself/herself.” If that’s the case, it’s essential to consider whether you have the right person on your team. In a sales environment where being relatable and authentic is key, having the right people can make all the difference in achieving your goals and fostering lasting member relationships. Skillful Follow-Up Techniques Don’t be a pest. Instead, be skillful. Persistence is often the dividing line between a successful sale and missed opportunities. Train your frontline staff to stay in touch with members, answer inquiries promptly, and provide additional information as needed. So long as your narrative remains genuinely interested in making the members’ lives better, you are not being annoying; you are conveying an unwavering commitment to serve their needs. Of course, nobody wants a barrage of emails or phone calls, and there are tactics for a well-timed response. The kicker, however, is making sure your team understands the need to do it. Too often  people hesitate because they fear rejection or have too many distractions and forget. Make follow-up habits a priority at your credit union. Building Strong Relationships Relationships are the bedrock upon which successful credit unions are formed. People are more likely to buy from someone they like, and your service reputation is what members carry with them and share with others. There’s an adage of “to get loyalty, you must give loyalty.” How true it is! Teach your staff how to create a connection, find a common ground, and make your members feel valued and understood. The Impact of Showing Appreciation There’s a reason why Chick-fil-a employees say, “my pleasure” rather than “no problem.” It’s warm, memorable, and different. Gratitude is a powerful motivator. Remind your team that they become known by the actions they take (and those they don’t). Showing appreciation fosters goodwill. When your team learns the art of persuasion, what you’ll find is that generosity will be reciprocated by your membership. This is how you create enthusiastic advocates for your credit union. Follow the steps and create a ripple effect of raving fans at your credit union. Need help teaching the art of persuasion? Reach out to us! 

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche


Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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