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One More Way to Keep Your Card Top-of-Wallet
Monday, November 16, 2015 6:35 AM

CO-OP Financial Services

To keep credit union cards top-of-wallet, card activation and PIN change processes should be easy and instant for your members. This becomes especially relevant as credit unions issue new cards to comply with the mandated transition to EMV chip-card technology, which was discussed in CO-OP’s EMV Common AID white paper.

CO-OP Financial Services offers IVR Card Activation and PIN Change as an add-on feature to CO-OP debit and in-house credit transaction processing. This solution enables credit unions to simplify the process by allowing members to activate their cards and select their PINs with one quick phone call. They do not have to be kept waiting for a separate PIN mailer after their card has been issued.

IVR Card Activation and PIN Change is offered with a Spanish-language option. The solution package includes a generic script, though the credit union’s authentication criteria are configurable.

Financial Partners Credit Union Sees Value

The value of IVR Card Activation and PIN Change became apparent to Financial Partners Credit Union in Downey, California, after a series of mergers greatly expanded its member population and geographic service area.

Lori Reeves, SVP of operations and electronic services, says that about 15 percent of Financial Partners CU’s members live outside of California, and due to the credit union’s wide service area, the majority of members in Southern California live outside of branch convenience.

Serving the widely dispersed membership is an ongoing challenge, but allowing members to personalize their PINs helps make it more likely they will actively use their cards sooner. And, allowing them to personalize their PINs with a simple phone call increases the odds that the credit union’s card will be top of wallet.

“Giving members the ability to personalize their PIN at activation, when and where it is convenient for them, has been a huge improvement in member service,” says Reeves. “We have experienced a measurable uptick in active debit usage with new members.”

The solution has also helped Financial Partners CU meet the service obligations that come with rapid growth through merger.

“Through one merger we began to serve Tenet Healthcare, and many of its hospitals are located out of state,” says Reeves. “This group tends to be younger than our traditional aerospace membership and they are extremely convenience-driven because it is common for them to work at two or more hospitals concurrently and at various shifts. IVR Card Activation & PIN Change is a real plus for this member segment. It allows us to provide the type of convenience, ease-of-use and self-service these members in particular value.”

In addition to member service, Reeves and her team were looking for ways to reduce costs, one of which was the PIN mailer. Eliminating the printing and mailing of the PIN mailer, while also improving the member experience, was seen as a clear win-win.

Before adopting IVR Card Activation & PIN Change, members who wanted to change their PIN would have to come into a branch and use the branch’s MAGTEK card reader or contact the call center, which would then arrange to have a new PIN mailed to the member. The credit union’s average monthly cost was about $1,000 for production and mailing of the PIN mailers.

With the CO-OP solution, both the cost of PIN mailing and the $1,500 per unit/per branch cost of the MAGTEK card reader have been reduced. More importantly, the ability of members to pick up the phone and make a single call to both activate their new card and select their PIN, or change their PIN by phone without having to visit a branch, has greatly improved overall member service.

To download the full case study, click here.

CO-OP Financial Services is an endorsed business partner of Credit Union Resources, Inc., and an industry leader in access and convenience products for credit unions. With over 30 years of credit union service, CO-OP connects credit union members to their accounts through network services, payment processing, e-commerce, CO-OP shared branching, and call center services. A total of 3,500 member credit unions, 30 million cardholders, nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs, more than 5,000 shared branch locations, and 200 million-plus monthly transactions make CO-OP Financial Services the nation's largest credit union service organization offering resources that enable deeper member engagement to help credit unions prosper. To learn more visit