GFCU’s New Text Messaging Solution: Rapid Responses, Happy Members

From farmers to financiers, everyone needs quick, accurate answers to questions about their credit union deposits. Text Messaging is invaluable for two-way communication between members and associates regarding financial products such as mortgages and loans, as well as other account activity. Here’s how Grasslands Federal Credit Union (GFCU) is using Eltropy’s Text Messaging solution to improve member experience and increase deposits. 

Opening Another Communication Channel

GFCU has a deep commitment to its members who live and work in the Montana Plains. A credit union with $81.4M AUM, GFCU recognized it needed a new, faster method for members to reach out to associates with financial questions as well as a quick, efficient and secure way for associates to provide members with reminders and important account information. Last spring, it selected Eltropy’s Text Messaging solution to communicate with its more than 3,500 members.

“We are in a small community, and everyone knows everyone,” said Emily Guldborg, manager and CEO of GFCU. Before the Text Messaging solution was put into place, members and associates would call or email each other. With texting now offered as a communication option, response time is quicker, which makes CU employees more efficient. 

Of course, it’s crucial for Credit Unions to know its members’ communication preferences, Guldborg said. For example, Guldborg noted that older members tended to be initially suspicious of using Text Messaging, as they had fraud concerns. With so many scams targeting senior citizens, it is not surprising this demographic was hesitant at first to entrust the technology with their financial information. By working with those members to show them the benefits of Text Messaging as well as how to ensure the messages were legitimate, associates were able to earn the trust of their older members, many of whom are now using the technology, Guldborg said.

Younger members, particularly millennials, see Text Messaging as a way to save time. In addition, according to a recent survey by OpenMarket, 76 percent of millennials said texting is more convenient than calling, and that it allows them to communicate on their own schedules. And leaving a voicemail for a millennial may or may not be heard: 19 percent of those surveyed said they don’t listen to voicemails, period.

For associates, learning the Eltropy tool was “super easy,” and the associates welcomed the new technology, said Guldborg. Currently, GFCU is building an opt-in campaign for members. The messaging will start with mostly 1:1 texting, such as loan payment reminders and closing documents. 

Currently, roughly 10 percent of GFCU members are Text Messaging with GFCU, but Guldborg expects that number will continue to grow. As the CU expands, so will its members’ technology demands. GFCU is positioning itself to not only meet but exceed those expectations by quickly providing information through various communication channels of their members’ choosing. 

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by Team Eltropy

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