Zipwhip for credit unions
Baylor Health Care System Credit Union
Baylor Health Care System Credit Union has grown into a full-service financial institution with over 5,400 members and $82 million in assets. The credit union’s collection staff uses Zipwhip’s two-way business texting to communicate with members who have missed loan payments to help reduce existing delinquencies and prevent new delinquencies before the loans are considered impaired.
number of users
In January 2020, prior to the major financial impact of COVID-19, Baylor Health Care System Credit Union was experiencing a delinquency ratio of 1.72% which was double that of their peers. This high delinquency rate also risked impacting their asset quality ratings with examiners. The examiners specifically called out concerns with collections and cited the need for significant process improvements. With newly appointed CEO Andy Reed at the helm, Baylor took on preliminary efforts which drove the delinquency ratio down to 1.4%. This was a substantial decrease in a short amount of time although there was still a long way to go.
By early February, the impact of COVID-19 on the financial situations of members began to become clearer. Delinquencies sustained and communication with past-due loan customers became more difficult.
Additionally, Baylor Health Care System Credit Union is a technically advanced organization which allows it to operate with a reduced staff—roughly half the size of a peer credit union. But having fewer workers exacerbated the need for better tools to reach customers without hindering their existing workflows or inundating their small team.
“Within the first 24 hours of using Zipwhip, we attained enough in delinquent payments to cover our annual cost of the tool. And as a credit union, if you don’t text, then you’re cutting yourself off from communicating with 85% of the largest growing consumer base”
In mid-February, Baylor Health Care System Credit Union took swift action with Zipwhip to address their challenges. They benefited from a simple contract and straight-forward pricing. Then, Zipwhip’s Customer Success team provided onboarding support and live training to ensure Baylor’s staff could use the business texting service immediately and in the most effective manner.
Baylor’s collections staff began using Zipwhip to text members within days of training. The initial, simple messaging stated, “Hi, this is Amy from Baylor Health Care System Credit Union. We noticed you recently missed your loan payment. If you’ve been affected by the pandemic, we can help.”
When telling the story, CEO Andy Reed often explains how Baylor secured enough delinquent payments in the first 24 hours of using Zipwhip to cover their annual cost of the texting tool.
The quick implementation of a texting communication strategy could not have been more important. COVID-19 was quickly impacting member financials and loan deferrals began to ramp up.
For total delinquencies, Baylor saw a spike after only one week, from $926k on March 1 to $1.7M on March 7. But by April 1, 2020, Baylor had succeeded in lowering total delinquencies to $847k—a 50% drop in less than a month. By September 30, 2020, Baylor had reduced delinquency to 1.05%, continuing to drive down the key measure through the pandemic.
Baylor takes pride in the success they’ve experienced in minimizing delinquencies, in all categories. For example, they also drove down their over-60-day delinquency numbers by 25% across 60 days.
In another instance, Baylor had a credit card member who was 120 days behind in payment. The loan officer had previously called, emailed, and mailed a letter without a response. Remarkably, after sending only one text, Baylor received a payment within 30 minutes. The member actually paid off the entire balance!
For many members in difficult financial situations, texting enables them to feel comfortable communicating with their credit union. It opens the door to working towards mutually beneficial resolutions.
As Michelle Stanley, Operations Manager at Baylor, states, “When you email them, they ignore it. When you mail them, they ignore it. They are more receptive to text messages than they are to phone calls. No one says, ‘Don’t text me.’ It’s one of the best software programs I have ever seen.”