Posted: Aug 28, 2018
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[Editor’s Note: Content from this article was previously published on CUToday, and has been modified]

For as long as payments have been around, there has been constant opportunities to invest in card programs to remain relevant by increasing member engagement and attracting new members. Given the continuous rise in the costs of running a successful card program, it is essential to make the time to complete an in-depth review periodically to ensure a smooth running and profitable program.

Increases in the expense of maintaining a card portfolio come in many forms and can be attributed to any number of things. While it is difficult to control certain aspects, such as interchange earnings, there are always opportunities that oftentimes come with additional costs that allow you to enhance and develop your card offerings. For example, the latest technology advancements of chip cards, tokenization, mobile wallets and many others.

To take advantage of these opportunities, you may need to look for potential cost savings within your current program, without jeopardizing the functionality of the card and most importantly, remaining top of wallet given all the competition in the payments space.

These are some of the questions to ask as you review your current program to ensure that costs and processes are lined up:

· How do solutions that help combat fraud, reissue compromised cards and complete disputes work together, or do they cause additional steps in your process?

· Are any of these areas or services over lapping one another or working at optimal levels for your credit union?

· Are steps being taken to track a campaign after deployment to evaluate benefits over costs?

· There are times when a service was established during a change in the industry or during a contractual discussion and they are no longer relevant given all the advancements in the payments space. Should these items be removed?

· How often are total program costs completely reviewed, including current or aged contracts for the most competitive pricing? There is certainly a need to review all the program costs and look for anomalies.

Oftentimes, services or internal processes remain unchanged as they are working fine and there is no immediate need to make changes. Also, given the many hats that credit union employees tend to wear it is essential to gain assistance from experts who are abreast of the changes in the payments industry and understand the credit union model to complete periodic reviews ensuring that systems are running optimally.

Not reviewing your card portfolio on an ongoing basis can be costly to a credit union. While it is difficult to state a specific amount as it varies on a case by case basis, it is safe to suggest in some instances the potential can be just a few extra dollars up to and, in most cases, hundreds or thousands of dollars year over year. What if you could apply proactive measures to head potential issues off before they become problems?

To get more information on strategies that can create more efficiencies in your credit union, contact us at and ask about our operational consulting services. See how Neighbors Credit Union benefited from our services here.

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Dave Chojnacki

Dave ChojnackiDave Chojnacki

Dave has more than 10 years of relationship management experience and holds a Credit Union Compliance Expert (CUCE) Designation from CUNA. He currently serves as Director of Consulting Services at Trellance.

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