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Optimizing Legacy Payment Programs for the Future

woman using smartphone with credit card to make a payment
By Tom Pierce

2 minutes

Members want all their options available and fully functional.

Sponsored by PSCU 

Every day, consumers are faced with a myriad of questions: What goods or services will I purchase or pay for today? Where will I go to buy them, or through what channel? What payment method will I use to conduct transactions? The options to satisfy these choices are nearly endless as the retail and payments landscapes continue to rapidly evolve and expand. 

While trends like digital currency or real-time payments are important to watch, credit unions should also ensure their legacy programs continue to be optimized and positioned for success. In fact, in PSCU’s recently released 2019 Eye on Payments study, consumers across all generations reported debit cards were their preferred way to pay at the majority of purchase locations and in most retail situations. Notably, this included purchases online, through order-ahead food apps and for streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. 

With more and more types of goods and services now available online, purchasing something on the Internet or through an app has become second-nature to most consumers. Nearly 96% of all survey respondents reported making online purchases at least a few times per year, with 57% of credit union members and other financial institution customers making an online purchase at least a few times a month. A majority of Gen Z and Millennials agreed they are comfortable using a debit card to make online purchases. Additionally, over one-fourth of credit union members reported using a mobile app for order-ahead food purchases at least a few times a month, and two-thirds use a streaming service. The majority of consumers chose to use debit cards to conduct transactions on each of these channels as well, illustrating that convenience has trumped security.

For credit unions, it is more important than ever to earn top-of-digital-wallet positions across online and digital channels like Amazon, Netflix, PayPal and various app stores. Once a user stores a card as the preferred payment method in these channels, it is highly unlikely he or she will take the time to change it, resulting in interchange income for the issuing institution every time a purchase is made through that channel. 

It is also crucial for credit unions to not lose sight of legacy programs—like debit cards—as new payments methods such as contactless cards and mobile wallets emerge. Ensuring debit card programs and offerings are consistently optimized and marketed to members will not only help your credit union gain the coveted top-of-wallet spot and achieve success, but it will also provide members with the payment option they prefer to use for daily purchases of goods, services and more.

In his role as SVP/chief marketing officer, Tom Pierce is responsible for leading and executing the marketing and communications strategy for CUES Supplier member PSCU, St. Petersburg, Florida. Pierce has successfully led marketing teams for more than 30 years, with the latter half of his career spent in the payments industry. Before joining PSCU, Pierce served as CMO for Cardtronics, a global ATM organization serving the retail and financial services industries, where he directed a global marketing team in the development and execution of strategic marketing and communications initiatives.

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