Eltropy Offers Credit Unions a Guide to Text Messaging Compliance

The Strategic Link partner breaks down best practices to obtaining member consent for text messaging.

4/23/2019

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Credit unions need to convey a wide variety of messages to their members. One day, blizzard conditions could force immediate branch closings. On another, rates on 30-year mortgages could fall to record levels. Or on any given day, new fraud alert could require immediate attention.  

Whatever the reason, when your credit union needs to convey vital information to members, how can it be sure the message is received?  

No communications method beats the speed or the 98 percent open rate of text messaging available through Strategic Link partner Eltropy. However, credit unions must receive permission before they can text members or prospects. 

Eltropy’s platform is a high-tech solution to messaging that credit unions can leverage for multiple uses,” said Northwest Credit Union Association Vice President of Strategic Resources, Jason Smith. “Compliance requirementmust be followed, but they shouldn’t stop any credit unions from realizing the advantages Eltropy’s text messaging provides.” 

The standard for consent varies, depending on how a message will be sent. For example, a member can grant permission at a tabling event simply by reciting a phone number. In general, one-to-one texts (sales use) require only verbal consent, but one-to-many texts (marketing use) require express written consent. 

Obtaining written consent sounds tricky, but following the best practices below make it easier. Regardless of the method, remember these two things: open communication encourages signups, and enrollment is a process. Credit unions can remain compliant with Federal Communications Commission and Telephone Consumer Protection Act rules by following these seven steps: 

  1. Ask members to text a “keyword” to a short code. Assure them that they are not obligated in any way and are free to opt out at any time. 
  2. Members typically opt in for a specific program (e.g., to receive special offers). Provide a brief description of the program, including a reminder that message and data rates may apply, as well as the termsand privacy policy. Example: Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to XXXXX to cancel. Text HELP to XXXXX for help. T&C: INSERT URL. 
  3. Send messages ONLY from the program opted into. Do not send texts for other purposes or use cases.
  4. Clearly communicate methods for opt-out (STOP) during the opt-in process. Include opt-out instructions at the end of each text you send to subscribers.
  5. Honor all opt-out requests promptly. If someone replies “STOP,” that person should not receive additional text messages except the one that acknowledges the opt-out.
  6. Specify the frequency of the text message when you send it.Example: Receive weekly updates on our loan rates.
  7. Structure your texts to follow the recommendations of the Mobile Marketing Association:
    a) Name of credit union
    b) Service description
    c) Frequency of text messages
    d) Customer support info (Text HELP for help)
    e) Opt-out info (To stop, text STOP)
    f) Additional carrier costs (MSG DATA rates may apply) 
    g) Terms & Conditions (hyperlink)

By following the compliance process and mobile marketing recommendationscredit unions will capitalize on their members’ desire to text businesses. Multiple teams at your credit union can leverage the popularity of text messaging to better connect with members.  

For more information about Eltropy, contact Strategic Partnerships Manager, Corina Ruiz. To learn about Strategic Link’s partnership with Eltropy, visit its webpage.