Eagle One Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, was established in 1935. Today, with $69 million in assets, the full-service credit union serves 11,000 members with locations in Philadelphia and Lancaster, PA, as well as Claymont and Wilmington, DE.
Challenging economic environment leads to discussion of new member service
As the credit union began addressing the economic and regulatory challenges that have faced all financial institutions in the past several years, management started looking for outside-the-box solutions for increasing revenue and providing members with products and services that would help increase their financial stability.
One possible option discussed was implementing an overdraft program. Up until that point, credit union staff had looked at each account overdraft situation on a daily basis to determine which exceptions would be paid and which would be returned, based on the institution’s internal criteria. This process was time-consuming and left much room for improving efficiencies while providing a valuable member service.
“We initially thought about implementing the program on our own,” said Eagle One CEO John King. “However, we were concerned about the amount of time involved, as well as the fact that we wanted total assurance that the program would be completely in line with all compliance regulations.” After receiving a recommendation from the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association for JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®, King and his staff opted to get some professional advice.
Eagle One Vice President of Operations Chris Doran agreed. “We were concerned about the amount of time needed for tracking daily account activity and maintaining the paperwork on a full overdraft program,” he said. “We didn’t want to lessen the amount of time available for our staff to serve our members’ financial needs.”
Industry recommendation and company track record make vendor selection simple
Once the decision was made to contract with an outside provider, credit union leadership met with JMFA. Upon learning about the company’s 100 percent compliance guarantee and its record of providing successful revenue results, King was convinced that JMFA was the right solution. “With the increased regulatory focus, it was critical to find a third-party provider that could help us to maintain a totally compliant overdraft program, as well as one that resulted in excellent member service and improved revenue,” he said. “From everything we had heard about JMFA, we were convinced that they would keep us in line to avoid any regulatory issues and help us to reach our member service and revenue goals.”
Eagle One installed JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® in the first quarter of 2013. Within the first few months, the credit union began receiving positive input from members who appreciated having a safety net in the event they overdrew their checking account. Since implementing the program, Eagle One’s non-interest income has increased 40 basis points.
Superior staff training, automation and support materials enhance program management
King credits the staff training component of the program for helping credit union employees get up-to-speed regarding the important details that needed to be presented to members. “With the help of JMFA’s staff training recommendations and prepared scripts, our front-line employees were able to explain the difference this product would mean to our members,” he explained. “And when members understood the difference between paying one overdraft fee, as opposed to incurring additional merchant fees every time a returned item was presented, they saw the benefit of the program. Plus, they appreciated that merchants would not know if they had a shortfall in their account.”
King continued, “JMFA also provided follow-up communications materials that are an important element when it comes to compliance requirements. Additionally, we now have the resources we need to continue providing refresher training, as well as new employee coaching on the program.”
According to Doran, an unexpected post-implementation benefit for the operations staff was the automated Privilege Manager CRM® software. “The automation has enabled us to manage our program without needing additional staff and has helped us tremendously in keeping track of account status,” he said. “Plus, it provides us with reminders about when to send letters to members regarding their account.”
Doran also credits the compliance resources JMFA provided for helping to make program implementation easier. “In addition to providing templates for the information we send to our members, this cumulative resource also includes guidelines on vendor due diligence, training, operating procedures and regulatory updates.”
Credit union and members benefit from overall results
While there is always a level of uncertainty when rolling out a new product, King and Doran agreed that having JMFA’s experience and compliance guarantee has made JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® a very beneficial product for the credit union and its members.
“We have been very satisfied with the experience we have had with JMFA,” said King. “The sales and support staff have done an excellent job throughout the process, and they have provided all of the tools and advice we need to make this program successful for our members and the credit union.”