Financial Wellness Are You Missing a Growth Opportunity?



Barbara Sanfilippo, CSP, CPAE and Co-Founder, High Definition Banking®

Imagine this scene: As members walk into your branch or call in for help, your staff has been trained to think, “I wonder what pain, dream or goal this person has today and for the future? My job as a financial coach is to find out.” Imagine how this would radically change the conversation, create loyalty and impact share of wallet.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a growing movement in the financial services industry to improve members’ financial health—not just sell them something. Not only is this a higher level of service but in the digital age, we predict improving consumers’ financial well-being will be essential to differentiate your credit union and create a competitive advantage.

Doctors Improve Physical Health – We Must Improve Financial Health

I had an “aha moment” while sitting in the waiting area for a doctor appointment. My doctor’s job is to ask really good questions, diagnose my ailment and offer the best remedy to restore my health. She’s a health partner in my life journey and I take her advice most of the time. It’s really that simple. Then I thought, “So why is there a scarcity of credit unions that place a priority on the simple concept of helping members improve their financial health?”

You may be thinking, “But we give financial advice all day every day.” To that we quote Ron Shevlin from Cornerstone Advisors: “Too often, what we try to pass off as advice is nothing more than marketing offers. In other words, the ‘advice’ is what’s good for the bank, and not necessarily the member. Are we really helping our struggling members by giving them pay day loans, credit cards, and consolidating debt without also providing a plan to achieve financial stability?”

Consumers Want You to Help Them Improve Their Financial Health

A Gallup survey of 11,809 adults clearly demonstrated that. “consumers want their bank or credit union to improve their financial well-being, not just sell them products.” Some other key findings include:

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