This message from our President and CEO Marc Schaefer appears in our printed April 2017 Quarterly Newsletter.
Since you are reading this newsletter, it is a fair assumption that you are a member-owner of Truliant. Uppermost in our minds is what that means to you. Does it matter to you that we understand that you are our owner — and that Truliant’s primary purpose is to use all means available to improve your and your family’s lives?
Or is Truliant simply a place to get a car loan at a favorable rate, a very low-cost checking account1 or an attractive certificate return? Your opinion of our credit union and its services matters to us, because our mission dictates that we have an obligation to understand and meet our members’ expectations as we provide tools to improve your life.
I pose these questions because, as exciting, new services become available in the world of financial technology (Fintech), they will attempt to provide more convenient functionality through online and mobile applications to try to replace some services Truliant provides. It could be smartypig for savings, robotic advisors like Betterment investment management, Mint for personal financial management services, or Prosper or Lending Club for loans.
Some of these “one-off” applications can be appealing, if only because they are readily available and convenient. Your family, friends and colleagues may already be using and recommending them. By embracing them, you could eventually wind up with a smartphone or tablet full of app icons covering different aspects of your financial life.
Truliant recognizes and appreciates the value of convenience and functionality. You live a busy life. You want true value from those you choose to do business with, without expending unnecessary or extra effort. At Truliant, we pride ourselves on not getting bogged down with yesterday’s technology. We adapt quickly and seamlessly to new government regulations and avoid excessive internal bureaucracy to provide the new services you need when you need them.
Because we’re driven by our mission to improve member lives, we have to stay relevant to you by staying up-to-date. Our Tru2Go applications are some of the most advanced in the field of financial services, with the added value that they are tied to your federally-insured, full service, mission-driven credit union.
Our feature-rich Tru2Go mobile banking apps — and online account opening and lending — may take a few extra clicks over the most efficient Fintech alternatives, but our rates, terms and guidance make up for it.
For example, public surveys show that Prosper and Lending Club charge rates ranging from 6% to 28% and even as high as 34% APR. Truliant, by credit union regulation, cannot charge more than 18%, but our rates are much lower than the cap. If you compare their products to ours, (for example, Truliant’s new auto loan rates start at 2.24% APR2), you’ll likely find a far better value with us.
How much are a few less clicks really worth? Looking at the road map for many of the Fintech companies, it’s clear that their aim is often to build a user base, monetize the investment for venture capital investors, and then sell to the highest bidder; perhaps even to a bank. They may also be a bit cavalier with user data, selling user information to others if not explicitly restricted by the privacy agreement – which everyone reads, of course?
Truliant will continue to develop and offer online and mobile applications that meet your needs. They will be under the umbrella of Truliant’s historic quality, security, privacy, safety and, most importantly, considering your best interests as a member.
Fintech done well should make all of our lives better and a bit less stressful. Rest assured that Truliant, true to our mission, will be there to do the same for you while providing guidance with your best interests at heart.
(1) Must meet Credit Bureau and ChexSystems qualifications. (2) APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Rate/terms subject to change. Auto loans subject to credit approval.