How 1 Small CU Is Offering A Full (And Online) Menu
Allen Selden gives God all the credit for his CU's successes.
Considering his place of employment, that's understandable.
As manager/CEO of WGM (World Gospel Mission) FCU, Selden oversees $4.5 million in assets for about 1,150
Modesty and religion aside, Selden and his staff of three have to praise themselves at least for the physical tasks that
That includes managing the basic credit union services such as checking and savings accounts, VISA cards and risk-
"We are doing an awful lot that credit unions 10 or 20 times our size aren't doing," Selden said. "I give the Lord
Selden said the biggest challenge, not surprisingly, is lack of financial resources to provide adequate staff and
"Our membership based dictated that it was a no-brainer to go into online banking," Selden said.
Online Services At Low Cost
With the help of Electronic Record Keeping Service of Indianapolis, Ind., WGM was able to get the computer
"I know that other people thinking of going into online services have been quoted four to five times that," he said.
Selden said he thinks open communication is vital. "I guess we really focus on one-to-one communication," he said.
Selden said a recent survey showed that the volume of foot traffic from members who work at World Gospel
Perhaps the biggest change-and the most successful, Selden said-was the addition two years ago of risk-based
"It changed our credit union dramatically," he said. "Prior to having it, we were not a viable player in the loan
While WGM FCU also offers mortgage loans, there isn't much call for it, considering the membership base.
"Missionaries have to raise their own funding, which they do by traveling throughout the United States for about a
He said the credit union is a big player in the five-year cycle. In addition to holding their money, the CU handles
In addition, the credit union provides them with VISA cards, a product many members would otherwise not be able
"What we found was when the missionaries would go into a bank and ask for a line of credit or a VISA card, that
Why? "They've been living outside the United States and in a year, expect to leave again," he said of what are
Difficulty In Delinquencies
Admittedly, when delinquencies do arise, collection is difficult, Selden said.
"Delinquencies and repossessions are next to nothing," he said, but when they do happen, Selden has to find
"That's where cooperating with other credit unions comes in handy," he said.
On the home front, Selden doesn't hesitate to reach out to the other CUs in the area for help. In fact, he is the VP of
"We are dealing with things in like circumstances," he said. "We struggle with the same things. Like what do you do
Selden said the Indiana league is also a big source of help for his CU. "One of the things that really attracted me to
Prior to WGM, Selden said he wore many different hats over a 20-year period with the World Gospel Mission.
"I worked in the media center and helped missionaries put together presentations, I was a purchasing agent and in
Assets Not The Priority
While Selden would like to see the credit union grow, asset size is not a priority. "We would rather go slow and
Among the tools being used to help in that steady growth are quarterly newsletters created by an outside writer for
"We have developed a data base of e-mail addresses and to those members who have given us permission, we send
Selden said the product he hopes to add next and the one members are most asking for is debit cards. "I'm hoping to
If he could make any immediate changes, they would include making seminars more cost-effective for small credit
That said, Selden said he couldn't think of anything about the industry to complain about.
"I am very happy right where I am at," he said. "I love the work. It's a joy to come in and help people save money