By: Robert O'Hara, VP Strategic Alliances, GrooveCar & CU Xpress Lease
A great week of information gathering and doing business came to end last week in Washington. On the heels of the Olympics, I think many of us felt the week went past as fast a luge run! The festivities kicked off with the opening message delivered by President George W. Bush, discussing the political, cultural and financial climate with CUNA’s CEO Jim Nussle. The message was a well thought out discussion on such topics as current relationships with China, Mexico and North Korea, a look back at the President’s two terms in office, the importance of public service and meeting the needs of our citizen’s here in the U.S. Nussle served as President Bush’s director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2007-2009.
The GrooveCar team enjoyed meeting with the credit unions and reviewing their needs. Our booth is expansive enough to have meetings to delve into how the auto buying platform works and ways we can tackle issues together. A common thread among the credit unions was the aging out of the member. As members get older, what are some of the strategies CUs can take advantage of to engage the younger member ranks? As the average age of the member hoovers around 48, many felt that number is going to get higher unless credit unions understand what the younger member needs. Robert O’Hara, VP of Strategic Alliances, and Frank Rinaudo, SVP, were quick to point out that younger generations are enticed by technology and content. These touch points are found in the GrooveCar platform for serving the vehicle buying needs of all age groups, especially emerging member groups. We understand this, and we had great discussions with CUs looking for assistance. New members will need the same financial services of older members, it will take a different skill set of communications, but it is very attainable.
There was a lot of learning going on at the GrooveCar booth. Credit unions are eager to have the information in their hands so they can get down to business when they get back. On the agenda during an in-booth presentation was the topic of dispelling myths. The antiquated approach to engagement of members in the loan process: Is to promote rate alone. Offering a different approach, rather than just a loan solution, was analyzed. GrooveCar has a fresh approach to just relying on what happens at the end of the process, instead encourages CUs to jump in at the beginning of the process. It’s not enough to just offer rates and loans as a strategy for auto loan growth. Instead, take a page from the banks; credit unions will have to work harder to capture loan growth in 2018.
As we look back on this conference, it is always a whirlwind of activity with CUs taking what they have learned back home, to put into motion. At GrooveCar we look forward to our continued discussions with our new credit unions who reached out to us for solid solutions. The mood at the conference was one of excitement and I am sure this will continue as CUs were well-armed with more knowledge, ready to use it.