The Member That Pays With You Stays With You

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DALLAS-Members spend a lot of time setting up bill pay, so pundits argue that members won't leave the institution once they've settled into bill pay: bill pay is "sticky."

Bill pay has kept members from leaving Employees CU in Dallas, according to Vonda Burkhart, VP, CFO at the $50-million CU. "We've lost less than 25 of those accounts actively using bill pay." More than 15% of the membership uses bill pay, she said.

At $25-million Generations CU in Olympia, Wash., 15% of checking account holders are now paying bills online after the CU launched the service five years ago, said Marylin Ball-Brown, CEO. "It's much more expensive than homebanking and doesn't pay for itself, like homebanking. But the members who use bill pay want it-and use it a lot." Generations pays $4 monthly per bill pay user.

The Family CU in Davenport, Iowa, thinks the price of bill pay is worth it, said Kris Lundquist, VP-marketing at the $102-million CU. "If a member actively uses bill pay, they are most likely to have all or most of their other products here." The cost for bill pay to The Family is $6 monthly per user, whereas online banking costs 58 cents monthly per user, she said. About 8% of checking accounts actively used bill pay.

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