By Richard Miller, Executive Vice President
If the changing seasons are signaling you to change, update and grow within your career or community, those same tenets can also bring new value to your organization and its clients. When many of our clients in the past have sought a refreshing and positive re-direction, they’ve succeeded by implementing a fully-disclosed overdraft protection program for their account holders.
Since overdraft programs are relatively common, change may result more from a supplier perspective than a have vs. have-not program perspective. Ask yourself or your management team some basic questions as you evaluate or seek to improve your operational performance:
- In terms of revenue, are our program results sluggish, even flat or behind recent years? If so, is it due to decreased use from account holders? And, when considering changes to overall account growth, has there been a decline in fee income per account?
- Have we been slow to address potential compliance issues? And, how are we doing when it comes to interpreting rule changes correctly?
- Have we settled for a legacy service that was installed years ago? What types of enhancements have been made to track program use and identify areas that may need attention?
- Are charge-offs on the upswing? If so, is it because account holders aren’t educated well on how to use the program responsibly? Or, is it because staff is not effectively managing the program?
- Could our provider easily sell off their software, or, be at risk by not providing a broad array of services? If yes, could we be subject to changes beyond our control or not be receiving proper support?
If you find yourself saying yes to any of the above, perhaps it’s time to consider making a change to your current program—or, better yet a new provider.
Implementing changes that bring a fully-disclosed overdraft protection service current is especially beneficial in a climate of political change that can potentially impact regulations.
Many organizations have self-managed their programs for years without incident. However, even the most dogged followers can be challenged to maintain compliance, whether changes in the recent past are repealed or repeated to any degree.
Regulatory changes often impact processes and procedures, associates, training and your account holders. Accordingly, it’s valuable to employ a program with in-field managers that can assist with both software and soft-skill solutions to improve the way you do business.
Whether it’s related to providing compliance guidance and support, maximizing efficiencies or identifying ways to recover lost revenue, a fresh approach can make all the difference. And, having representatives who are responsive and can train or explain changes to your staff can ultimately help provide a seamless customer service experience. And when your account holders feel informed, the likelihood of service utilization and retention is maintained.
Organizations that have committed to providing a consumer-friendly and fully disclosed overdraft solution often experience renewed internal energy and goal attainment. Staff can take pride in an understandable program that helps offer a solution and benefit to account holders with a short-term need due to a cash-flow interruption or checking account error.
Aspirational growth is multi-dimensional and should consider:
- Non-interest income
- Staff and account holder satisfaction
- Reg E opt-in rates
- Institutional confidence resulting from a provider’s compliance guarantee or results-driven compensation
If improvements in these areas can benefit your bank or credit union, perhaps it’s time to find an overdraft program provider, one that is stable, innovative, active and connected in the industry, committed to helping consumers understand the program, and has a strong legacy with a complementary service offering.
After all, while overdraft protection plans are decades old, they remind us that—like a change in seasons—what is old can be new again.