Tuscaloosa Credit Union (TCU) has been serving the needs of West Alabama since 1951. Today, TCU provides safe, affordable and personal financial services through three locations, meeting the needs of more than 6,500 members who live or work in Tuscaloosa County.
Why JMFA is still the best choice after all these years
When Tuscaloosa Credit Union CEO Tommy Cobb saw that overdraft protection programs were becoming accepted in the credit union community, he decided it was time to consider a courtesy pay option for his credit union members. The year was 2005. “The programs were no longer a ‘hocus pocus’ deal,” Cobb said. “They were gaining traction and had merit.” After considering three providers, Cobb began a relationship with John M. Floyd & Associates (JMFA), a decision driven by two key factors: he was impressed with the approach of the JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® program, and he appreciated that JMFA had the ability to work with his credit union’s core processor. He was even more impressed following the program’s implementation. “It couldn’t have gone better,” according to Cobb. His growing satisfaction with JMFA didn’t stop there. “This program cannot lose,” he added.
Over the years, JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® has contributed to significant growth for TCU. The additional revenue from the program has played a pivotal role in helping the credit union grow and better serve its more than 6,500 members in Western Alabama. They have increased their staff to improve service levels, started a marketing department to ensure the credit union’s benefits are well communicated to their membership, and created a mortgage department that strengthens their competitive position while providing a valuable service that improves member loyalty and retention.
Prior to working with JMFA, TCU handled its overdrawn accounts in a very hands-on fashion. The staff went over the NSF report daily but the process lacked consistency, depending on whether or not the members frequented the bank. With JFMA, they now have a fully disclosed, fully communicated program in place, ensuring all members stay informed and can benefit from the service if and when they need it.
When asked what initial feedback he received from his members about JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE®, Cobb proudly says there was “zero negative response.” “Everyone likes to know their items will get paid,” he added.
JMFA to the rescue with Reg E issues
The era of Regulation E changes proved daunting to most banks and credit unions. Government regulations can be hard to decipher, and the new regulations requiring credit union members to opt in for overdraft services were no exception, bringing with them their own set of difficult-to-understand requirements. While most CEOs were putting off the process due to limited time and resources, JMFA consultants were providing their clients specific, hands-on help, arming them with a plan of action and leading them through the transition.
“My JMFA consultant walked me through the Reg E process step-by-step, making it easy,” Cobb said. “Soon we were educating our staff and contacting members to ensure they fully understood the program. Once we had all the knowledge we needed, we just put it in place.” This proactive approach enabled TCU to complete its implementation of Reg E requirements with a more than 80 percent opt-in rate six months before it became mandatory. Cobb credits the “human touch” for their impressive results and says the trust factor he has with his JMFA consultant makes the service invaluable.
JMFA’s compliance guarantee
Cobb acknowledges the importance of JMFA’s compliance guarantee in TCU’s initial choice to use JMFA’s services, and the even greater role it played in their decision to continue their relationship. “Early on the value of that compliance guarantee was not as evident, but now, with the regulatory spotlight on courtesy pay, I wouldn’t do business without it,” Cobb said. “I know when new regulations come out, I can be sure my consultant will be contacting me with everything I need to know. It makes my job more efficient knowing that JMFA handles that whole part of my world.”
Sharing sound advice
Cobb’s peers within The League of Southeastern Credit Unions recommended JMFA to him, and he is happy to pass along the recommendation to others. His message: TCU’s long-time relationship with JMFA has provided not only sustainable revenue, with comprehensive education and software to make his job easier, but has also enabled him to offer a valuable service to his members. “They appreciate knowing their items will be honored,” says Cobb. “I tell other credit union CEOs to not just sit back and do nothing. I tell them to call JMFA.”