CFSI Shows ‘Compass Principles’ in Action with NetSpend, Banking Up (March 25, 2014)
The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) shared proof last week that its Compass Principles for improving the quality of prepaid cards work. Executives from NetSpend and Banking Up explained in a Webinar the positive effects of their 2012 commitments to apply CFSI’s principles to their products and measure the outcomes. The results were published this month in a note, “Pursuing Quality Innovation in the Prepaid Card Industry,” closely following the organization’s unveiling of the Prepaid Industry Scorecard, which gave the industry an overall A-. With its latest advisory note, CFSI wants to show how pursuing excellence in serving customers “can also be incredibly beneficial to extend the longevity and usage of prepaid cards,” said Thea Garon, CFSI research analyst.
NetSpend focused on giving cardholders the tools to choose the right card and fee plan. In addition to clear, detailed information on the Web and in marketing materials on how to minimize fees, NetSpend got proactive, requiring its customer service agents to quickly evaluate cardholders’ usage patterns on routine calls; recommend a less-expensive plan where appropriate; then make the switch immediately, free of charge. Customer service agents also proactively began telling callers about alerts, budgeting tools and rewards. An 18 percent increase in customer satisfaction resulted from these efforts, with a surge in customers recommending NetSpend to a friend or family member, said Lisa Henken-Ramirez, NetSpend’s vice president of customer service.
A 2014 Paybefore Awards Consumer Champion winner, Banking Up vowed to make its accounts more accessible to consumers by streamlining the customer signup process, adding a tool that automatically detects mismatches in registrants’ information and triggers additional questions to verify details. The change helped Banking Up boost its percentage of successful activations between November 2013 to February 2014 from 35 percent to 55 percent, while maintaining strong fraud protections, according to Patrice Peyret, Banking Up’s founder and CEO. “With the new process we are able to ‘rescue’ 20 to 25 percent of applicants that might be missing something from documentation,” he says. Banking Up also switched its customer service operations to the U.S. from an offshore provider, which resulted in shorter customer service calls and improved customer feedback, Peyret said.