Case Study: How PeoplesChoice CU used marketing to re-energize its card program

Case Study: How PeoplesChoice CU used marketing to re-energize its card program
Posted: Mar 7, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Kristen Feazell

A significant 16% year-over-year increase in interest income on balances.

[Editor's Note: This article was updated to reflect our current company name, Trellance.]

As competition increases in the financial industry, more credit unions are embracing new marketing strategies to drive revenue and grow their business portfolios. Marketing support has become one of the most sought after business resource among credit unions who wouldn’t normally employ special marketing campaigns. Some have found it more beneficial and cost-effective to outsource this function or seek assistance from external providers to execute campaigns. President of PeoplesChoice Credit Union, Luke Labbe shares his experience in using Trellance’s 12 month marketing program, Optimize Portfolio Growth Solutions, to re-energize their 25 year old card program.

From slow to grow

PeoplesChoice has always understood the importance of their Visa card portfolio and over the last 13 years or so they have made a lot of effort to grow the program but it has been very slow. “The growth has been slow particularly over the last four years based on a lot of competition in the market,” said Labbe. So, when their processing partner, Trellance, launched the Optimize Program and told them about its built-in marketing strategies at their annual review meeting, they decided to give it a try. “We decided we had to give it a shot to see what it could do for us,” Labbe added.

Implementing the program meant that their Visa Manager had to work with their Trellance Portfolio Consultant to provide all the information needed to update credit scores and credit limits and coordinate activities to target new members. “The great thing is that Trellance did all the work. So our involvement has been very easy,” said Labbe.

However, what has made Labbe and his team even more pleased, are the results they have accomplished in 2016, which Labbe describes as one of their best years in 25 years of running the program. The interest income on balances are up 16%; interchange income is also up 16% because they have more active cards; they have more engaged and happier members because they have been reaching out to them frequently and even stronger results as seen in the table below. “We are trying to get top of wallet and we are finally getting there and charge offs have not gone up!” remarked Labbe.  


PeoplesChoice CU

Total Accounts


Billed Accounts

Total Outstandings

Total Credit Lines

Total Volume

Total Revenue

Year-over-year growth 2015 - 2016








Important lessons to share

PeoplesChoice found the process of re-scoring their members very helpful. Many of their members have been with them for over 20 years and they have never been re-scored. Also, they rarely ever looked at credit line increases. “We now know that actively scoring your members on a regular basis and reviewing their credit limits is very important,” Labbe said.

He also added that all consumers want platinum or rewards cards so if credit unions don’t have a rewards program they have to get involved in order to compete in this challenging market. And last but by no means least, Labbe encourages credit unions to seek help if there card programs are not performing at the levels they would like. “Get good partners or vendors to support you in enhancing your card program,” Labbe commented.

PeoplesChoice intends on continuing its relationship with Trellance based on the growth they have experienced and how happy and engaged their members are. They plan on promoting a 3-2-1 rewards program in 2017 that they are confident will add value to their card program and benefit members.

 To re-energize your card program with Trellance's Optimize Portfolio Growth Solutions e-mail us at!

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