State National's Retreat Where Female Finance Executives Go to Network and Learn A 2021 report from CUNA indicated that 51% of CEOs at credit unions and 33% of credit union board members are female. Many organizations speak at length about the value of empowering and providing opportunities to women — yet this recognition must be met with action. For example, Kim Sponem, CEO of Summit Credit Union, took action by starting The Red Shoes initiative. Filene Research Institute actively creates research reports about women in credit union leadership. These are just two of many examples across the credit union industry. Missions like these are an important part of transforming the narrative of women and finance. State National Companies also recognizes the unique leadership traits and skillsets that female leaders bring to the financial services industry. To celebrate those traits and provide women leaders from across the country the opportunity to build relationships with their peers, we created our own initiative — an annual event called the Female Executive Networking (FEN) Retreat. Why a Retreat Specifically for Female Executives? The goal of this annual retreat is multifold: Provide valuable, meaningful, and actionable education, information, and resources to senior credit unions and financial institutions executives that they can use to move their organizations forward. Create a forum for financial institution leaders from across the country to share best practices regarding leadership, retention, business growth, and operational excellence. Provide a rich and rewarding experience that organically allows connections and relationships to grow. Empower and inspire attendees to return to their financial institutions re-energized, with new ideas for accelerating the growth of their organizations. With these goals in mind, we launched our first FEN retreat in early 2020. And, oh, how critical it was for the female leaders who participated in this first event to achieve these goals — because at the time we didn’t realize were heading home to nearly two years of quarantine and isolation! A Most Welcome Return In 2021, after waiting 18 months from our launch date, we were more than eager to resume some sense of normalcy and held our second FEN Retreat. That year’s event featured Terri Trespicio, speaker, coach, and best-selling author of Unfollow Your Passion, as our keynote speaker and workshop leader. This year, our 2022 keynote workshop, titled How Macroeconomic Conditions Will Affect Your Financial Institution, Your Customers, and Your Household, was led by Marlena Lee, Ph.D., Global Head of Investment Solutions at Dimensional Fund Advisors, and Mary Ellen Krueger, Director, Wealth Management and Partner at Aspiriant. Not only are these FEN retreats educational, inspirational, and just plain fun, we at State National are also proud of being a part of the movement to empower even more women to lead in moving the credit union mission forward. After all, studies show that more female executives in a C-suite role can improve both customer orientation and financial performance. That’s a win-win-win — for credit unions, for their members, and for women in financial leadership. If you are interested in learning more about State National’s Female Executive Networking retreat, please contact your State National Client Executive or Regional Vice President. Comments from FEN attendees:
State National brings back QR codes — now new and improved! When was the last time you scanned a Quick Response (QR) code? Was it on a restaurant menu, on a real-estate sign, or maybe to access a form? The reliable QR code has now become a part of our daily life. In our mobile-first technology era, QR codes are back, giving consumers instant access anywhere to the targeted information you want to provide them. There is no need to keep pamphlets in stock or worry about your customers going to the wrong website when scrolling past noisy ads on search engines. While State National has offered our clients the ability to have QR codes on their borrower notices before, there was not a real demand for them until the recent increase in use sparked by the pandemic. With increased consumer receptiveness to these abstract squares and State National’s dedication to constant improvement, we are harnessing the power of QR codes again — adding on improved customizations that make it even easier for borrowers to submit their insurance when they take out a new loan or have a lapse in coverage. "We appreciate having a good vendor partner that understands your needs sometimes before you even know you have a need. State National is always looking for ways to make things better for your staff as well as your leadership.” – JAX Federal Credit Union QR Codes for Borrower Notices Borrowers can scan their personalized QR code on their mailed paper notice and be directed straight to their personal account on MyLoanInsurance.com. On this borrower-friendly site they can view their insurance status and easily provide updated proof of insurance. Since the QR code on each borrower’s notice is specific to them, no reference ID or PIN is needed, and the webpage will automatically populate with their name and vehicle type. A helpful short video applicable to their particular situation will instruct them on exactly what they need to provide to resolve their specific impairment. And finally, the site will also show them how to easily upload and submit their information. Our borrower-specific QR codes personalize the website borrowers are directed to, including details such as informing them if the lien holder is missing or if their deductible is too high. QR Codes for Lenders Lender custom QR codes are another way we provide total access and empower your borrowers to easily update their insurance with us before they even enter our notice cycle. These institution-specific lender QR codes can be used anywhere you choose, including your website, lender agreement, and loan closing documents. Borrowers who scan your custom lender code are directed to a MyLoanInsurance.com page branded with your financial institution’s name and logo. From here, borrowers can upload insurance even if they do not know their access PIN. Pro Tip: Add Your Lender QR Code to Your Lender Agreement to Prompt New Borrowers to Submit Their Insurance We encourage you to add your custom QR code in your new loan packet and actively point it out to borrowers when they take out a vehicle or home loan. Let your borrowers know they can scan that QR code to quickly and easily provide their insurance details. The visual effect of having the QR code on the agreement packet reminds the borrower to take action, and as soon as the website pops up, it tells them exactly what they need to do to update their insurance. MyLoanInsurance.com is accessible 24/7, so borrowers with missing information or a lapse in coverage can update their insurance at any time, at their convenience. Scan Here for an Example of a Lender QR Code Leading by Always Improving Since 1973, State National has been dedicated to a culture of continuous improvement. We are proud to be the technology leader in our industry, and are consistently evolving to make portfolio protection easier, faster, and more user-friendly for your borrowers and your staff. We are glad to provide our lenders with these customized QR codes as the latest feature to make the process even more seamless and convenient. Borrower QR codes are already actively employed on all mailed notifications. To find out more about getting your own customized lender QR code, contact your Client Executive today!
State National’s Partnership With Solutions by Text Is a Secure Way To Reduce Borrower Noise When was the last time you wrote or received an office memo? Or had stamps handy to mail a letter? Have you dialed the operator to make a phone call lately? Or eavesdropped on a party line? Some of you may have never experienced these “old school” methods of communication — and although each of these had their charms (eavesdropping on your neighbors over a party line was sometimes just as entertaining as watching drama unfold on General Hospital!) you should probably consider yourself lucky that those days are mostly behind us. Communication has evolved to become faster, easier, and far more convenient over the years, and here at State National we are no stranger to the incredible efficiencies technology has gifted us. Whether business or personal, emails and texting have drastically altered how we connect with each other and share information. 89% of adults check emails daily and 98% of all text messages are read within three minutes! (When was the last time you checked yours?) Both are instant and can be read and responded to at the convenience of the recipient as opposed to interrupting them with a phone call, which many people report causes them a certain amount of anxiety nowadays. Both email and texting is where it’s at these days, and each have their particular strengths. While emails can provide a little more space to respond at leisure, texts create a sense of urgency. Receiving a communication from another channel also helps reassure borrowers of the authenticity and validity of the message by adding another touchpoint communicating what is needed. Adding Email Notifications In 2016, State National implemented email notifications to borrowers as part of the notice cycle. This provided a quick and efficient way for borrowers to respond with their insurance information through the MyLoanInsurance.com website or by replying to the email with their insurance information. On average, we saw 23% of borrowers log into MyLoanInsurance.com from the email. Considering that 2% to 5% is considered a good click-through rate for email, this result was an immediate success. Next, Text Messages Then, in 2019, State National added text messaging to the notice cadence to further increase ease and convenience for borrowers while also instilling an urgency to submit their insurance. Like our email notifications, these text messages have a secure link into the MyLoanInsurance.com website a recipient can effortlessly access from their smartphone — which, let’s be honest, is always inches from their fingertips at any given moment. So far, we are seeing an average of 18% of borrowers log into MyLoanInsurance.com from a text they’ve received and we expect that number to continue to climb. Overall, of those who log into MyLoanInsurance.com from the email or text, over 70% are submitting their insurance! But Is it Secure? Of course, scams and phishing are unfortunately a reality and very prevalent in the world of emails and texting and, rightly so, have everyone on high alert. Let’s face it, receiving a text asking you to provide your insurance information may cause some hesitation, but then when you receive an email a few days later, you start to think it may be legit. Then you receive the notice in the mail. OK, the recipient thinks, now I know this is my financial institution trying to get ahold of me to get this information. We want your borrowers to feel at ease that their information is protected. That’s why we include your financial institution’s logos on the emails and on the secure MyLoanInsurance.com website. If you’re a client of State National or thinking of becoming one, putting the MyLoanInsurance.com website on your loan documents or even on your website can help reinforce the authenticity with your borrowers. The Proof Is in the Results So how does all this translate to your CPI program? Well, we have found that clients who utilize our email and texting programs are experiencing an average penetration that is 34% less than before they added these enhancements to their program. In addition, the "flat cancel" rate (the percentage of certificate placements resulting in a full refund) has decreased as much as 11%. That means fewer unnecessary certificates placed and refunds processed — which translates to less work for your staff. The Difference Is in the Details State National’s texting and email programs are completely free of charge and State National does all the heavy lifting for you. You simply provide us the email addresses and phone numbers associated with the loans and we’ll take it from there — only reaching out to borrowers we haven’t yet received insurance information from. Before the first text ever goes out, an "OPT OUT" option text is sent, giving recipients the choice whether they would like to receive texts or not. And should one of your borrowers decide later that they no longer want texts, they can easily reply STOP and they’ll immediately be opted out, with their opt-out immediately reported back to your financial institution. We’ve worked diligently with outside legal counsel and partnered with Solutions by Text, a compliance-first provider of enterprise texting solutions with a proven track record with the FCC, TCPA, FDCPA, CFPB, CTIA, and MMA to ensure that our program is fully compliant. And since there is no advertising of a product or service, our emails are exempt from the CAN-SPAM Act. We continue to closely monitor any and all regulations surrounding these programs so you can keep peace of mind. See what our partner Solutions by Text has to say about financial services users and texting! There’s no doubt that the borrowers we serve are enjoying the convenience — and responding to these more modern ways of both receiving and sharing information. Who knows what the future holds for even better communication techniques? Whatever it is, you can count on State National to be ahead of the pack in offering it to our clients!
Innovative Research From Renowned “Think and Do” Tank Drives Real-World Results for Credit Unions With service as a core value, State National not only puts maximum effort into providing the best portfolio protection anywhere, but we also actively look for ways to help move the industry needle and be a part of a larger mission. This includes actively seeking to expose our clients to opportunities with leading organizations that explore innovative, growth-oriented ideas. What Matters to You Matters to Us The renowned research firm Filene is a credit union and consumer finance think tank headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. As an Inner Circle member and research sponsor, we provide support for their mission to connect credit unions with insights and innovations to change people’s lives. Their research ventures connect credit unions with the most impactful technology and drive forward-thinking business decisions. Through investing in organizations like Filene, State National further supports the credit union mission and helps our partners benefit from the latest insights into solutions to their industry's unique challenges. This partnership also gives us access to original research to better focus future advancements and technology innovations on collateral protection insurance (CPI) program improvements for our credit union partners. Keep Good Company At the start of 2020, State National joined forces with Filene by sponsoring their Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology, working with their industry experts to explore the future of digital financial services. This year, we are proud to also provide support for Filene’s new CoE, the Center of Excellence for Innovation & Incubation, which helps credit unions explore solutions to assist them in remaining adaptive and nimble as member and community needs continue to shift. Filene’s Centers of Excellence are identified based on the needs shared by hundreds of credit unions and created to empower them with the data they need to make decisions that will best serve their missions now and in the future. Filene's Center of Excellence of Innovation & Incubation — A Milestone Worth Celebrating All of Filene's Centers of Excellence are doing life-changing work to help credit unions — and their members — thrive. As a sponsor of the Center of Excellence for Innovation & Incubation and the Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology, we could not be prouder to support the amazing work Filene is doing to help credit unions succeed and to advance the credit union mission. We look forward to seeing these dedicated scholars and credit union advocates as they move into their second year of investigating ways to create, implement, and measure innovation in credit unions, identifying opportunities for credit unions to differentiate with innovation, and building a playbook of effective and consumer-friendly social innovation approaches for the future of all financial services! Check Out These Guest Posts From Filene Experts: Relationship Banking in a Digital Age Credit Union Digital Transformation in the Age of COVID – 19