Top 3 tips to know about texting

Published by: Jose Ortiz

September 8, 2021 | Industry Supporters

As communication trends evolve, members request the ability to communicate via text messaging. As credit unions adopt this new way of connecting, many have also found it very efficient and effective, thus resulting in a better member experience, streamlined operations, and an enhanced bottom line. Eltropy can provide this digital solution to your credit unions.

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Credit unions should be aware of the restrictions, regulations, and benefits of deploying member texting.

Below are the top three tips to be aware of when implementing an enterprise text messaging solution.

  1. SMS/MMS is Unencrypted.

As consumers, we often text without thinking twice about the security of the message or picture.

While, in theory, having members send pictures or documents with important information (driver’s license, paystub, proof of residence, W4, etc.) to help streamline operations, it is essential to ensure the data transmission is secure.

Since text messages travel over unsecured channels, texts are inherently not secure. Therefore, these documents and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) should absolutely be restricted from being sent via multimedia messaging service, MMS. The only way to securely acquire such documents is to ensure the texting platform can transfer the PII in a secure and encrypted manner within the texting workflow.

Just as mobile deposit capture allows for images of checks to be securely delivered in collaboration with a financial institution’s native banking app, the Eltropy platform enables PII to be delivered with the same level of security and encryption in collaboration with texting.

  1. Text Messaging is Regulated, Unlike Email

Since texting is regulated by the FCC and operates under the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), credit unions need to know what type of texts (informational or promotional) can be sent and to whom.  The regulations prohibit contact with consumers unless the company has the proper “consent” to contact the consumer.

“Implicit consent” allows an entity to send “informational” texts, while “express written consent” allows for the delivery of “promotional” texts.  There are various ways to acquire such consent, whether digitally or manually.  Also important is the ongoing management of the permission throughout the different departments. For example, situations may arise where multiple departments may be sending texts to members. However, suppose the member opts out of receiving texts from one department. In that case, the other parts of the organization should be aware so texts are not accidentally delivered or violate TCPA.

On the other hand, email is not regulated, which is why many emails go unanswered or even unnoticed.  As consumers, we have accepted that our email boxes will have an abundance of spam and therefore, we may pay less attention to our personal email inboxes than our text inboxes.

The combination of regulated text boxes and texting simplicity makes member interactions that much easier and more efficient.

  1. Most Popular Use-Cases

A texting platform will enable happier members, more efficient interactions (reduced OPEX), and a more robust bottom line (accelerated interest income).

Applications – Lending / Account Opening – One-to-one texting conversations eliminate the dreaded phone tag game while enabling productive and efficient communication with the applicant.  When combining efficient text conversations with the ability to securely transfer images of documents (driver’s license, paystub, etc.), Eltropy members have accelerated these operations by more than 20%.

Collections – Actual phone engagement for collections is extremely low because the situation is personal, undesirable, or the person may be busy during the collections call.  Texting is appreciatively less personal, asynchronous, and has a “paper trail” for ease of reference. Eltropy clients have seen 40x more engagement with texting than phone calls as texting is the perfect collection tool.

Marketing – Most people care about their finances and want to be kept current on what the CU is offering. Delivering marketing messages via text is very efficient since people open text fast and pay more attention to a text.  Therefore, once people register to receive marketing texts, the credit union needs to be tactful in how and when such texts are delivered for maximum effectiveness.

Contact Center – The asynchronous characteristic can be leveraged in the contact center during 1-to-1 texting conversations.  Member service representatives can effectively have between 5-10 simultaneous texting discussions simultaneously vs. the single conversion done via a phone call.  The adoption of text conversations will also inherently reduce call volumes.

Emergencies / Alerts / Reminders and more – Since texts are, for the most part, attended to immediately, there is no better channel to deliver time-sensitive messages.

In summary, text messaging is a game-changer.  It is simple, ubiquitous, and every generation uses it.  However, to get the most out of texting as a financial institution, it is imperative that texting is done securely, within the regulations, and with etiquette to maintain this communication channel with members.

To learn more about how texting can impact your credit union, contact Senior Business Solutions Manager, Jose Ortiz. For the fastest response, text Jose at 614-581-2905.

Contact Jose Ortiz for questions or assistance.

Jose Ortiz
Jose Ortiz Sr. Business Solutions Manager E: jortiz@ohiocul.org
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