A Loan Recapture Opportunity
In our last blog, we noted how Americans paid off a record $83 billion in credit card debt in 2020. However, 42% of them have gone right back and racked up more credit card debt in 2021. In 2021, the average credit card rate was 14.58% and the typical late fee was $28-$39. The Federal Reserve has hinted that it may raise interest rates three times in 2022. Since credit cards are variable rate loans, as the Fed rate rises, so does the rate on the credit card. That means balances carried from month to month will be more expensive to pay off.
And it’s not just credit card debt. An article by The Ascent details how buy now, pay later (BNPL) programs have grown significantly in the past few years, with 56% of American adults having used a BNPL loan. Some consumers now have five or more separate BNPL loan payments each month, and 45% of BNPL users say they use the service to make purchases that are not within their budget. While BNPL loans typically advertise 0% interest rates, many have late fees if a payment is missed. The typical late fee for a BNPL loan is $20-$30. For those consumers who have credit cards and BNPL loans, late fees can be really significant on top of the monthly payment.
Additionally, let’s factor in how late payments can affect a credit score and how a lower credit score typically means higher interest rates on loans. Once a consumer is caught in a late payment cycle, it can be difficult to get out. Debt consolidation loans can help consumers better manage their debt, but those loan offers have to make it through the noise to get attention.
Cut Through the Noise
Today’s consumers are bombarded with messages and content. As noted in an article by PCC Protect, the average consumer in the 1970s saw between 500 to 1,600 ads per day from billboards, newspapers, and television. By 2007, that figure had increased to 5,000 ads per day, with half of those surveyed saying that advertising “was out of control.” In 2021, it was estimated that the average person was exposed to up to 10,000 advertisements a day! If 5,000 ads were considered “out of control,” then 10,000 ads are absolutely mind-numbing.
How has the number of ads increased exponentially over 15 years? Technology. The internet and social media have pushed new forms of advertising. Paid search placement, advertorials, banner ads, text ads, and social media advertising have created an always-on marketing stream of content. With all of the noise, what brands get the attention? The brands that win the consumers’ trust.
In a global survey conducted by Edelman, the top reasons consumers trust brands are: the delivery of good quality products and services, consistent and positive treatment, and the quick resolution of service problems. Specifically, 33% of Americans say trusting a brand is important because they are struggling financially and cannot afford to waste money. Trust and advocacy are foundational pillars that the credit union industry is built upon. Because of that special bond, members are more likely to pay attention when presented with an offer from their credit union.
Of course, we have to realize that consumer attention span is another factor that complicates cutting through the noise. Consider that the average attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds, and that attention span was reduced to 8.25 seconds in 2015. While trust is a critical factor, the offer must be concise and efficient to quickly make an impression. This is where loan pre-approvals come in. A loan pre-approval offer says to a member: “click here to expedite your loan.” Members don’t have to waste time scouring the internet looking at loan offers, filling out lengthy applications, providing documentation, waiting for approval, then waiting for the funds to be disbursed. The credit union already has the necessary information, which means the application and funding time is fast.
Time and Placement is Everything
Studies show that 86.5% of Americans use their mobile device to check balances. Presenting a loan pre-approval offer within mobile is the right place in the right amount of time to catch the member’s attention (8.25 seconds, remember?). Connect can deliver your loan pre-approval offers through online and mobile banking. When the member logs in to check their balance, your pre-approval offer can be waiting. Connect can place these offers on the login screen, the account summary screen, and the transaction history screen. There is also the ability to build an expedited loan and underwriting process.
These pre-approval solutions have a dashboard where multiple loan offers can be displayed so the member can take consider several offers simultaneously. You can even offer both loan pre-approvals and invitations to apply in that same dashboard. The Connect pre-approval platform is a one-stop-shop for your credit union’s digital loan pre-approval campaigns. But wait. There’s more. As an added bonus, your branch and contact center staff can also see the campaigns targeted to each member, ensuring that offers can be presented to the member regardless of the channel used.
Consumers who have outstanding debt are looking for ways to reduce monthly payments. With consumers being bombarded with up to 10,000 messages a day and possessing short attention spans, marketing offers need to be presented in the channels where consumers spend the most time. By using Connect’s loan pre-approval product, you can be assured that your offers are presented at the right place and at the right time with every login. Why make your members go anywhere else?