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CUNA finds partner to help reach Hispanic market

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MADISON, Wis. (6/23/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) recently created a strategic partnership with Coopera Consulting to provide products to help credit unions serve the Hispanic market. CUNA and Coopera will offer products and services to help credit unions reach and serve the Hispanic market, including assessments, training, consulting, translations and Hispanic consumer products. “Credit unions will now have greater access to a variety of Hispanic outreach products and services,” said Dan Mica, CUNA president/CEO. “By combining CUNA’s resources with Coopera’s expertise, we are able to offer credit unions high-quality solutions that will help them reach this vital but still widely underserved community.” Hispanics are the fastest growing and most underserved population in America, according to Warren Morrow, Coopera CEO. “We are convinced that credit unions need Hispanics as much as Hispanics need credit unions,” he said. The Hispanic population is expected to reach nearly 103 million by 2050. About 40% to 55% of Hispanics are unbanked. They access fringe financial service providers such as check cashers, remittance shops, and pawn shops--many of which charge exorbitant fees. In 2004, CUNA appointed leaders in the credit union industry to a Hispanic Outreach Task Force that served as a sounding board for Hispanic outreach-related research and product ideas. CUNA’s Membership Growth Task Force also identified reaching out to underserved markets as one of its top priorities in 2008. Since then, CUNA has worked with Coopera to develop a strategic plan to help credit unions grow by serving Hispanics. “Credit unions are well-positioned to serve this emerging market, and they must act now before it’s too late,” said Winona Nava, CUNA board member and chair of CUNA’s Hispanic Outreach Task Force.

Six CUs see results with outsourced call centers

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (6/23/09)--Six credit unions that outsourced their call centers to PSCU Financial Services reduced their expenses while improving efficiency, according to a recent study. KPMG surveyed the six credit unions, which transitioned to PSCU Financial Services’ Total Member Care, and examined the subsequent business impact. Some improvements:
* Abandon rates dropped to 3% from 15%; * Speed of answer improved to 30-to-40 seconds from two to four minutes; and * Single-call resolution rates jumped to a range of 86%-96%.
One credit union reduced costs per call by 71% while experiencing an increase in call volume due to longer hours of operation. Another credit union realized savings of $430,000 when compared to using internal staff for after-hours support, the study said. PSCU Financial Services recommends that credit unions partner with a call center provider to answer ember calls after business hours. It also recommended that credit unions allow overflow calls to be diverted to an outside contact center. “The call center is a primary point of contact with members,” said David J. Serlo, PSCU Financial Services president. “When a representative is able to answer a member’s question or resolve an issue, members are often very receptive to discussing other needs that may lead to new business.” PSCU Financial Services is a credit union service organization based in St. Petersburg, Fla., that serves more than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide.