Is your customer experience at risk with Reg E?
Implementation of the amended Regulation E Section 205 is almost upon us. Is your financial institution ready to comply? Or, more specifically, does your front-line staff know exactly how your organization wants to communicate the new changes with customers?
Changes to Regulation E are relatively straightforward, but they do bear great consequences if not adhered to properly. The most significant changes will require affirmative consent (opt-in) on all accounts assessed overdraft (OD) fees for ATM and one-time (point of sale, or POS) debit transactions. It will also require financial institutions to provide consumers with confirmation of affirmative consent. Furthermore, account terms and conditions must remain the same for both opt-in and non-opt-in accounts. These changes must be implemented by July 1st for new accounts and August 15th for existing accounts.
While the most obvious negative impacts of Reg E are the cost of compliance (i.e. new system upgrades and changes, additional staff to handle customer complaints and education, etc.) as well as the likelihood of lost fee income, the potential for decreased customer loyalty and even customer loss are also on the minds of many institutions.
But what if you were to take this rare opportunity to truly stand out from your competition? Let’s face it; there are thousands of financial institutions across the nation. Why do customers choose one over the other? Is it because of “rates and fees”? Are they really offering better products? The simple answer is, “no.” Based on several ath Power studies conducted over the past few years, the majority of banking customers — in both retail and small business — claimed that customer service was the key differentiator. So although Reg E compliance responsibilities initially seem to carry only negative impacts for a financial institution, these changes can be turned into opportunities to build trust with your customers, and turn them into advocates of your service. By taking advantage of this time of change, you could ultimately replace lost revenue and build even more brand loyalty.
So how should an institution prepare for the changes and follow through to ensure that they are complying with the changes while also providing a superior customer experience? My keys to success with Reg E compliance are to:
1. Determine how best to disclose your policy and permit opt-ins,
2. Ensure that your team is knowledgeable and comfortable with discussing the changes with customers,
3. Communicate the new policy to all customers,
4. Upgrade your systems as necessary to handle the changes, and
5. Implement a program to measure the success of your efforts and adjust them as needed.
As we draw closer to the regulatory deadlines, it will be vital for you to ensure that your customers, too, are being educated and that their Customer Experience throughout this time is positive and productive. Specifically, you should be able to answer these critical questions:
Do your employees know what they should about Reg E changes?
What are they saying to your customers?
Can you be sure everyone is getting an accurate message?
Is your Customer Experience at risk?
With a program such as ath Power’s Reg E Shop Audit you can assess the answers to these questions and determine how to fine tune your compliance strategy. It’s only then that you can be sure that you are aligning what customers hear with your brand promise. The ultimate goal is to achieve a seamless transition for your customers, and to provide a continuous positive Customer Experience.
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