In Member Spotlight

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

CO-OP FINANCIAL SERVICES
co-op

Headquarters: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Founded: 1981
Category: Credit Union Service Organization
Industry: Payments and Financial Technology

How does your company fit into the card-linking or online-to-offline commerce ecosystems?

CO-OP is a provider of payment processing services to the credit union market and our card rewards offering includes a card-linked offer (CLO) solution.  Our primary clients to whom we deliver our merchant funded rewards solution are those for whom we process, but we have a few clients that come to us directly for rewards only.  Our ShopSPOT branded program includes both an online and in-store CLO component and can be purchased as a stand-alone product or coupled with our traditional rewards program.

Who are you trying to reach?

CO-OP targets credit unions with payment card programs.  Our aim is to provide solutions that put our credit unions on a level playing field with national banks and card issuers.  We accomplish this with our ShopSPOT solution for CLO.

How will your company approach online-to-offline commerce that is new or different?

Our goal is to support the credit unions objective of providing the best product and services to their member cardholders, encouraging card use and rewarding the CU member with a premier program.  We believe a broad-based CLO solution is part of an overall loyalty solution, with a focus on the member and supporting the local community alongside the credit union. To that end, we will be providing the ability for a credit union to easily sign up their local merchants (as an add on to the broad national and regional merchant offering we have today) that supports many credit unions goal to support their community.

What are some insights or challenges in implementing of your solution?

We received many positive responses from members such as “The service is easy to use.” or “It is nice that there is no need to bring coupon.” through member questionnaires. Therefore, we think that CLO features of “easy to use” and “no coupon required” are creating a virtuous cycle. On the other hand, there are also feedback such as “It is too much trouble to register.” or “There is no store that I want to use”, so we recognize that improvement of the user interface (UI) and expansion of merchants are important issues. We also received positive responses from merchants as well, saying “It is effective for acquiring new customers.” or “We can visualize the marketing outcome since the success of the program is substantiated with sales numbers”, however, some say it does not have enough of an effect to send customers to the store. We think that increasing recognition and awareness of this service is an urgent task.

What are some insights or challenges in implementing of your solution? 

Member awareness is always a challenge. Once they understand the benefits they will engage readily but we employ multiple outreach communication methods to begin that engagement.

What are some new projects for this year?

There is always room for improvement in areas like cardholder communications, targeting special offers, enhanced analytics/reporting. One of the exciting adjuncts to this closer relationship with merchants is the introduction of the ability to pay with those earned CLO points back at the merchant as a payment option. This will enhance the overall circular relationship between the member, the CU and the merchant.

How will the online-to-offline commerce industry develop over the next five years? 

As the various constituents (cardholders, merchants and CU’s) become more aware of the benefits of card-linking we expect the number and extent of offers to continue to increase. There will be an evolution towards more targeted offers, more real-time communication and movement of funds, more geo-targeting with mobile, and an expansion of the ability to pay with earned “currencies” (points, etc.) at the POS.

Is there anything else you would like CardLinx members to know? 

COOP has been very successful at providing first-rate, cost-efficient capabilities to CU’s and their members allowing them to be competitive in the market while maintaining the special relationship CU’’s have with their members and the local community. We believe that CLO and related services can be tailored to continue that mission.

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