How often do you use payment applications like Venmo or Cash App? If you thought to yourself “all the time,” you certainly aren’t alone. With payments becoming increasingly digital in the age of technology these payment methods provide a more convenient way to pay your friend for lunch or your babysitter on Friday night. Many consumers do not even carry cash on their person anymore.
But these third-party systems can open your members to increased risk of fraud. It means they are taking their financial needs outside the credit union. So how can credit unions avoid this? Did you know there is an alternative to these payment applications that credit unions can provide their members? The solution is to offer a P2P (or person-to-person) payment system that is integrated with your credit union core.
Most consumers have used payment applications to make a payment at one time or another, using P2P without realizing it. With an integrated P2P product, credit unions can offer this same ease of payment directly through their online banking or mobile app platform. Members can set up electronic payments to anyone on their phone or computer through email or text.
Credit unions have been considered in the mainstream as behind the curve in the adaptation of new technologies. I do not believe credit unions have a technology problem, but more of a marketing problem. Many credit unions and their members are not aware a product like this exists, so let’s talk about it!
Why integration matters
Integration is a huge advantage to both members and credit unions alike. A member of a credit union likely already uses online banking or a mobile app for banking purposes, meaning they are familiar with the flow of the appd. Rather than downloading all the third-party payment apps, they can use the one they already have!
Members have a relationship with their credit union that they do not have with these third-party apps, which creates a sense of security that if an issue arises they can call their credit union and work with the people they trust to get the issue resolved, rather than be turned to a third-party customer service team that may not provide the level of support the member has become accustomed to with their credit union.
The member can simply click on the mobile app, navigate to the P2P feature, and the rest is almost identical to other payment applications. Members might see a “Set Up Payment” feature that will allow them to set up a payment and send it to any person with an eligible address directly off their phone or computer. Payment history is available where members can review past payments and cancel certain payments. These platforms are very user-friendly and help the member clean up their device and limit the exposure of their personal information by reducing the need for other applications.
Here is a situation I am sure we have all been through: you try to pay your friend for lunch via a P2P app, but you have Venmo while they have Cash App or vice versa. Now you must download yet another payment application and put your information on their platform just to give yourself the ability to send your friend ten dollars for lunch. With credit-union integrated P2P, we have eliminated that extra step for the member sending the payment, but what about the recipient?
Ease of receiving payment is another huge advantage of an integrated P2P product. Recipients will simply receive a text link to their mobile device (or an emailed link depending on preference) that they can click. After answering a security question set up by the member sending the payment, the recipient can enter their account information and the payment is sent directly to their bank account within one to two business days! Gone are the days of having the money transferred to a third-party account for you to forget about until you need it, only to incur a fee for transferring instantly to your account.
Helping credit unions assist their members
The advantages of this product are not just limited to the members, but the credit unions are awarded some wonderful opportunities as well. We have already discussed how members prefer to call their financial institution when experiencing an issue and an integrated P2P product gives the credit union access to much more back-end data to help assist those members.
For instance, if a member calls and has a question about the delivery of a payment, the credit union will have access to the bill pay provider’s support platform to search payments and find the exact date and timestamp of when the payment was delivered to the receiving financial institution.
Plenty of times members call their credit unions when they have an issue with a payment application payment, unfortunately, the credit union’s hands are tied with how much they can assist their members as this information is not available to them. With an integrated P2P, members can call the people they trust, which leads to building better relationships with credit unions and their members.
How can I get more information?
Digital payments are not going away. Members want products that make their lives easier and hopefully, after reading this article, you can see the advantages that an integrated P2P product provides both the members and the credit union.