FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — One small credit union has shared its strategy for boosting lending by more than a third.

The $82-million Washington Gas Light FCU, which serves employees of WGL Holdings and the American Gas Association, has 7,000 members and 17 employees. The winner of NAFCU's Best Lending Promotion Award, Washington Gas Light, was recognized for increasing lending by 36% over a prior year's effort.

According to VP-Marketing Scott Benson, the Springfield, Va.-based Washington Gas Light boosted lending in a promotion tied to its 70th anniversary that offered a $7,000 loan for 7%. While acknowledging the graphics and marketing surrounding the effort were "not great," he said the results show that "It's still the message that matters."

WGLFCU booked $582,000 in new loans as a result.

Separately, Benson also shared the CU's success is moving members through a bill pay vendor change.

"Our bill pay product prior to the one we had now was not very good," said Benson. "We had an opportunity to go with a vendor that interfaces with our core system. But none of the payees were going to transfer. We wondered how we going to do this without running off our sticky people."

Washington Gas Light's strategy was to offer $50 to every member who migrated to the new system. For members who weren't enrolled in the previous bill pay system, it offered $25 to sign up (which it didn't pay until after the first bill was paid). "Ninety-six percent of of existing users enrolled in first month," said Benson, "and we had a 300% increase in enrollees in the first year."

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the credit union industry

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.