Modernizing Auto Lending for Credit Unions

Credit unions need to be able to reach consumers as they are in the market for an auto loan, but not overload them with messaging. Intuvo, a marketing-automation platform built for credit unions, is designed just for that, and Jeff Shood, the company’s founder, told CU Journal it aims to understand members and send them the right offer at the right time.

“The goal is to only reach out to members when the credit union actually has something to help them,” he explained. “We want to reduce the number of messages, because people are so inundated with marketing messages today.”

While much of Intuvo’s work up until recently was in the mortgage space, but in April 2015 Intuvo was acquired by CU Direct to become a credit union industry resource. In addition to mortgage messaging, the company handles all aspects of indirect lending marketing: onboarding, educating what a credit union is via e-mail or text, and cross-selling. After the auto loan goes through, Intuvo offers a credit card with cash back on gasoline purchases, then other deposit products.

Shood pointed to a number of trends CUs should keep an eye on, starting with the channels they use to communicate with members. Text and mobile chat, he observed, are trending upward as fewer consumers want to receive phone calls.

“The technology is relatively easy, but the culture at credit unions is the issue,” he said. “Credit unions need to know they are competing with a broker who will text back at 11 p.m. on a Saturday. Credit unions can use chat bots and after-hours phone centers.”

In the case of someone buying his or her first car or house, said Shood, that person wants to speak with an “actual human,” but if he or she is experienced, then the system does all digital communications. “It is a hybrid experience. To compete with banks credit unions need to leverage technology, but this allows them to keep a personal connection.”

A second trend to watch is CUs wanting to be consistent in their marketing messages. Shood noted e-mail, text, social media, home banking and mobile banking are all different touch points. Credit unions, he asserted, have moved from being “architecture firms” that announce their presence to consumers with an impressive-looking branch, to technology companies.

“Digital banking needs to link with other platforms,” he advised. “The challenge is to have that level of sophistication, so credit unions are hiring technology people.”

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