Fingers typing with data analytics bar graphs rising from keyboard

Integrating Data Science and Analytics to Drive Member Insights and Credit Union Growth

By: Tom Gandre, EVP, Chief Operating Officer, PSCU

Credit unions are challenged more than ever with increased competition and changing market dynamics. To remain competitive and meet member expectations, they need powerful tools to understand and anticipate the motivations of their cardholders. As consumers continue to receive greater personalized experiences from fintechs, Amazon and other big technology players, their expectations have shifted for the future.

Knowing that credit unions are looking for real-time, up-to-date information to manage their portfolios and drive operational efficiencies, PSCU realized the need to develop stronger capabilities around reporting and data delivery – even prior to the pandemic. We have placed a greater focus on predictive analytics so that our credit unions can proactively connect with members on a personalized basis and better understand their behaviors and preferences.

Over the next few years, we’ll continue to accelerate our efforts to leverage the vast amount of data we collect, including payments data, household information and data from our various channels such as digital banking, mobile apps and contact centers, to create an omni-channel marketing and service experience. In fact, we launched two services around growth and attrition using our predictive analytics technology to help credit unions identify members that may be attriting from their services, enabling them to leverage offers and incentives to bring them back to the credit union credit card.

Leveraging Data to Create a More Personalized Member Experience
In thinking about the evolution of your credit union’s member journey and overall service experience, consider the following questions:

  • When a member calls in to your contact center, wouldn’t you like the contact center representative to proactively know whether the member hasn’t activated their card – and to offer that assistance to the member while they’re on the phone?
  • Via predictive analytics, wouldn’t you like to determine if a member may attrite from your credit card – and have your contact center representative offer them a promotion to reengage with your payments offering?
  • Wouldn’t you like to send a personalized message to a member’s mobile app whey they purchase an airline ticket, proactively asking them if they would like you to put a travel notification in their file?

Personalized experiences, combined with proactive communication, are what members will be expecting from their credit union going forward.

Delivering a Multi-layered Approach to Fraud Prevention
In an increasingly cashless society, digital fraud is on the rise and members want assurance that their transactions are secure. At PSCU, we use leading technologies and a multi-layered approach to protect members from fraud and credit unions from fraud losses.

About four years ago, we identified a shift in fraud behavior, with many major compromises in the marketplace involving fraudsters gaining access to very sensitive consumer information. We saw them target credit union channels like the contact center, rewards platforms and digital tools, attempting to perpetrate fraud across those channels. The threat was expanding to more than just card fraud, so we developed our proprietary Linked Analysis, a fraud-fighting solution which searches for fraud throughout all of our digital experiences, rewards platforms and our contact center.

Over the past year, Linked Analysis has enabled us to stop approximately $60 million of fraud that was perpetrated in those channels. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fraud has shifted even more from physical purchases to Card Not Present (CNP), including in-app purchases and online orders. As a result, we’ve seen more disputes and chargebacks tied to CNP purchases. We recently partnered with merchants to increase our ability to help recover losses based on those disputes and chargebacks, and in 2020 we were able to recover about $6 million more than we would have if we didn’t leverage those partnerships.

Creating a Seamless Member Experience in the New World
Overall, it’s really about enabling the member to make a purchase – and providing an unparalleled member experience while doing so. Whether members purchase something online or in person, they want to know that their card will work, their transaction is secure and they can get the immediate service they need. Solutions targeted to maximize approval rates within the network are an essential part of the member experience.

Tom Gandre has served as PSCU’s chief operating officer since 2008. In this role, he leads the strategic direction of PSCU’s operations, including oversight of the company’s Information Technology, Product Development, Innovation, Fraud, Collections and Contact Center functions.

With over 25 years in the payments industry, Gandre has built a solid reputation for results-driven leadership and a commitment to integrity and talent development. He has a keen ability to recognize market trends and opportunities in service delivery and technology, creating a shared vision that delivers success for both PSCU and our credit union Owners.