How Banks Can Overcome Hurdles and Drive More Referrals

Banks exist to serve customers. Your financial products are designed to help your customers achieve their goals – saving money, earning interest, getting into a home of their own – while also compensating the bank. It should be a win-win.

If that’s the case, why are so many banks struggling to maintain membership numbers? It’s because members often aren’t all that loyal. They’re focused on their own financial health, and when a competitor can offer something at a lower rate or with a higher return, there’s a chance they will leave for greener pastures.

It’s natural. Although that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to deal with. Banks must find a way to combat this cyclical influx and outflow of customers.

You can search for new customers in a wide range of ways – traditional marketing in newspapers, magazines, and on the radio. Or you can go the digital route with social media and email marketing. The problem here is that your return is often lacking. Not to mention the fact that you’re attracting customers with the same issues as the previous ones – they’re likely to go elsewhere if they can find a better deal.

The solution? It could be creating a referral program, but you’ll need to learn how to overcome the most common hurdles banks face in this area. You might also be wondering why referrals, though?


The Truth about Referred Customers

Before we dive into how to overcome hurdles and create a successful referral program, let’s delve into the question of why you should focus on referrals in the first place. What makes this form of outreach a better choice than, say, email marketing or running a series of radio ads?

Here are some eye-opening statistics to help drive home why this is your bank’s best course of action:

  • According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust the recommendations of friends and family over any form of advertising.



  • 78% of people rave about their most recent stand-out experiences with brands in their lives.

Why the focus on word of mouth? What is a referral if not precisely that? When a current customer recommends your bank to a friend, family member, or coworker, that carries immense weight.

Of course, it’s not just about the value placed on the referral. It’s also the value of the person referred to your bank. Referred customers are more loyal than those who find your bank through other methods. They’re also worth more to you both immediately and over time.

So, how do you go about getting those referrals through the door (or in the email, on the website, or whatever other channel you prefer)? It all comes down to your referral program. Here’s where a lot of banks begin to encounter hurdles. Some of the most common include:

  • Members referring anyone and everyone to earn money
  • A lack of focus derails your efforts
  • Few or no eligibility criteria set
  • Not tied to the right marketing goals
  • Failure to measure campaign results
  • Not enough thought put into incentives
  • The wrong reward structure was chosen
  • Not timing it with the customer lifecycle

How do you get around these hurdles? We’ll explore that below.

Overcoming the Hurdles and Creating a Powerful Referral Program for Your Bank

With a better understanding of the challenges your bank faces when it comes to creating, implementing, and running a referral program, let’s tackle the solution to those issues.

Your Incentive

We’ll begin our discussion with what is arguably the most important part of your referral program, or at least the most visible: the incentive. What are you offering to get your banking customers to refer their friends, family members, and others to the bank? It must be powerful, valuable, and something that isn’t already glutting the market (that means you can say goodbye to the toasters, coffeemakers, and other gimmicky-giveaway items).

What has that kind of staying power? Cash is a good option. However, don’t overlook other giveaways – skip the toaster and give your referring customers access to elite checking or a year’s worth of expert financial advice to help them grow their net worth with less risk. You could even consider reward points, rebates, credit card miles, and other choices here.

Take a look at what other banks are doing, and then find something else. It doesn’t have to be money. It just has to have value to your customers.

Now, you also have to make sure that you’re incentivizing those your customers are referring. They may or may not desire the same thing you provide your current customers – do they really want a year of financial advice? Or would they appreciate an upgrade to a high interest savings account?

This is where a lot of banks get it wrong. They fail to understand their audience and what they want and value. Again, ditch the gimmicks and find offerings that really matter to your customers and that address a pain point in their life.

The Importance of Tangibility

Humans are tactile and visual creatures. We place more value on things that we can see and touch. That’s an important thing to understand when it comes to your incentives, particularly since they’re likely to be pretty intangible.

How do you get around it? Feel free to get a little creative. Almost any token can become a tangible symbol of their success – a card signed by the CEO, a bobblehead, or something similar might work. There are thousands of affordable giveaway items that you can customize with your brand and message that will provide the tactility necessary to connect your customers with their incentives.

Your Customers

If you’re concerned that your customers will start trying to refer all and sundry, you’re not alone. It’s a common fear among decision-makers and leaders in today’s banks. The good news is that this fear is probably not all that likely to pan out, at least if you take a few steps to prevent it.

First, consider not offering cash as an incentive. That ensures that anyone referring someone else is doing it because they love your bank, they know you’re a good fit for the person being referred, and they value what you have to offer in terms of an incentive, in that order. That doesn’t mean cash isn’t a worthwhile incentive, though. You just need to have some eligibility requirements in place, which we’ll address below.

Eligibility and Account Requirements

With the right eligibility requirements, you can take care of two challenges at one time. That is, you can ensure that your members aren’t referring low-value customers just to rack up on cash rewards and you help ensure that you get new customers who will be of the highest value to the bank. What sort of eligibility requirements might you set, though? Here are a few examples:

  • Referred customers cannot have closed an account with your bank in the previous six months.
  • Referring individuals must have had their account open and in good standing for at least 30 days before referring anyone else.
  • Accounts opened must meet minimum requirements (account type, debit card attached, direct deposit, etc.)
  • Both referrer and referred must have accounts open and in good standing when the incentive is due.
  • The referred individual must deposit at least $X within 30/60/90 days of opening the new account.

Customer Lifecycle

One huge hurdle that many banks fail to clear is understanding their customer lifecycle and the referral program’s place within it. Every bank has a customer lifecycle – customers discover the bank, learn about its offerings, use them, and sometimes leave for greener pastures. Customers’ needs also change over time, which means that a very valuable client now might be less valuable (or even more valuable) in the future.

The point is that churn (the constant ebb and flow of customers within the bank) means that your customer base is never stable. The influx and outflow of customers may be seasonal, too. Implementing your referral program correctly within that lifecycle is important.

When correctly implemented, your referral program should provide a steady stream of new customers. This should augment the flow of customers from your other channels, and ideally will more than offset those you lose over time. Some banks choose to run their referral program only during peak churn periods. However, it might be a savvier decision to create an ongoing program, instead.

Why is that? It’s due to a couple of different reasons. First, it takes new customers time to learn how your tools work and the value they offer. Only when they do that can they connect the dots to people in their lives who will benefit from your bank. Switching your program on and off can stymie that organic rhythm.

With an ongoing program, on the other hand, the natural process is supported. You also make it more likely that your customers will refer multiple people over time while being able to track data related to word of mouth and its value to your bank.

Finally, it’s important to understand (and follow) individual customers and their journey with the bank. When is someone most likely to recommend your bank? When they’ve just had a good experience involving a major financial transaction or process.

Maybe they closed on a home mortgage with you. Perhaps they were able to easily take out a loan to pay for their child’s college education. Whatever the case, have your referral program ready to go when your customers are ready to recommend you.

Make It Digital

There’s a tendency to handle referrals via physical business cards, pamphlets, or flyers. That’s understandable and should certainly play a role in your strategy. However, don’t neglect the digital aspect of it all.

Today’s consumers expect your bank to both be online and provide them with digital interactivity. In a time when you can buy things all day long over the Internet without ever picking up the phone, much less seeing someone face-to-face, they’re conditioned to expect digital connectivity from you.
That’s actually good news. The digital world makes tracking your referral efforts much simpler. Tagging a browser with a string of code based on a referrer’s unique identifier can tell you exactly who sent someone to your site to sign up for that new account without hassles or challenges.

Digital tools also make it easier to connect the dots and even entire campaigns. Imagine the possibilities when you connect the information from your referral campaign with your digital marketing campaigns! What could you do with access to that much real-time data?

Don’t Assume People Know about It

Let’s be clear about one thing. Your referral program is not a “set it and forget it” process. Yes, once in place, it will run well with minimal supervision. However, that doesn’t mean that your customers are aware it exists. For that to occur, you have to promote it.

How can you build awareness and focus for your program? There are so many ways! Physical signage in your building is a great start. Regular posts on social media and email reminders to your members can also help. Highlight it on your website, add links to your footer menu, create a landing page specifically for it, add it to your customer portal, mention it regularly in your newsletter, and make it part of your customer surveys.

You get the idea. This isn’t Field of Dreams. Just because you build a referral program, it doesn’t automatically mean that your customers will flock to it. Make them aware of the program and its value to them.

With Persistence, You Can Overcome

Building a strong referral program requires understanding the challenges your bank will face and finding ways to work around or get over them. We’ve covered many of the most common here, and you should be well-positioned to move forward. Make your referral program a central part of your business and you might be surprised at how much traction you gain.

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Designing a Referral Program for Credit Unions That Works

“We’re stronger together”. That’s the entire concept on which credit unions are predicated. However, that in itself implies a challenge – getting more members to help strengthen the organization and create greater engagement. A wealth of recruiting tools can be used today, but new members are not all cut from the same cloth.

Increasingly, referrals are the ideal source for credit unions seeking new members, and referral programs are the funnels through which those members join. Why are referrals preferable to other types of members, though? And what goes into creating a robust referral program for credit unions that actually works?

Why Choose Referrals?

Members can join your credit union in many different ways. They might be exposed to your marketing materials. They could be familiar with the benefits of credit unions and intentionally seek yours out (particularly if yours is the only credit union serving a specific geographic area). Word of mouth and indirect loans are other channels through which members may find their way to your organization.

However, when it comes to economic participation and engagement, referrals tend to be more active. Individuals referred to your organization often much more active than those who find you via other channels. There’s also the fact that you’re in control of the criteria required for referrals, meaning that you know off the bat what they bring to the table in terms of accounts, debit card usage, and more.

Finally, referrals are often more loyal than members who come through other channels. A member who finds you looking for the best rate on a particular financial product is likely to jump ship when another credit union or bank can offer something more competitive, for instance. Referrals, on the other hand, value strong relationships with a known entity and the benefits that come from those types of relationships.

The Benefits of a Referral Program for Your Credit Union

We’ve touched on some of the benefits of referrals – greater loyalty, more engagement, higher participation levels – but what about the benefits of a referral program? Why go this route rather than embarking on a slick marketing campaign or something similar? Here are a few of the most important benefits to starting a credit union referral program:

  • Cost of Acquisition: How much does it cost you to acquire a new member through social media marketing? What about through print marketing? Many credit unions have little more than a nebulous idea of what each new member costs through any channel, but most of them are very expensive. With traditional methods, you might be paying $400 per member. With referrals, you can reduce that cost by an incredible amount (hint: you set the amount you pay for each successful referral, so it could be as little as $75).
  • Lead Quality: We hinted at this already, but let’s spell it out for you. Leads generated through traditional marketing and digital marketing methods are pretty low-quality. Referral leads are high-quality. They’re vetted, already interested in what you have to offer, and even know about your credit union thanks to the referrer.
  • Revenue and Retention: Again, we’ve touched on this but let’s explore it a bit further. Referrals generate more revenue than members who come to your credit union through other methods, retain a higher lifetime value through improved engagement and more activity, and have a higher retention rate (referrals are 20% more likely to stay), which drives lifetime value even higher.

Creating a Credit Union Referral Program That Works

Now that we’ve established that referrals are to be sought out and the value they can offer your credit union over time, we need to explore how to create a referral program that actually works for you.

Create a Refer-A-Friend Policy

Where do referrals come from? Your existing members. It follows that those members are the single best way to find and attract new members. A refer-a-friend policy allows you to incentivize your members and encourage them to recommend your credit union to friends, family members, and coworkers who might be looking for a new financial home.

Of course, creating such a policy is harder than it sounds. It requires knowing what offers value to your current members and then finding ways to offer similar value to those who are referred to your credit union.

For instance, suppose you offer $50 for each person referred who opens a checking account with an attached debit card and then stays for six months. Is that enough to make your current members want to evangelize on your behalf? Would $75 be a better option? What about other perks – an upgrade to a designer debit card, perhaps?

Now, what would be an equitable reward for referrals? For most credit unions, an equal financial incentive and non-financial reward for those referred to the organization makes the sense and offers the most traction. So, in this situation, each referral would cost you $150 plus the costs of the designer debit card. That’s far less than what you would be spending on traditional marketing with a much higher ROI.

Make It Easy to Refer Others

In addition to your official referral policy, you need to take the pain out of referring people to your credit union. You also need to remind your members that they can (and should) share how satisfied they are with your organization with others. How can you do that? There’s a host of different ways, including:

  • Encourage your followers on social media to refer friends, family, and coworkers. Share details about your refer-a-friend policy and the rewards offered.
  • Allow members to share referral links from your website.
  • Encourage members to share links/referral pages through your mobile application.
  • Encourage parents to open accounts for their children (more on this below).
  • Encourage family members to refer other family members – siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. who would benefit from saving money with your credit union.

Have a Welcome Package Created

The refer-a-friend policy is just one part of a multi-pronged referral strategy for your credit union. You also need to be prepared to offer new members (referrals) the right experience from the very beginning. The cash bonus and upgraded debit card are nice, but they don’t necessarily engender loyalty in and of themselves. A welcome package can do the trick here.

Of course, chances are good that you already have a new member package, but you should go above and beyond that. For instance, in addition to the how-to information and glossy pamphlets, why not include a gift card to a local restaurant in your welcome package? It may even be possible to obtain these cards free of charge or at a discount if you can work with local restaurants to create a joint program (and they might be able to refer others to you, as well).

Don’t limit yourself to restaurants, either. Movie tickets, tickets to local festivals and fairs, attraction tickets – the sky’s the limit. Not only does this help you attract and retain referrals, but it helps you support local businesses (and reinforce your brand as another local business, of course, which can further drive both increased loyalty for current members and attract new members).

Parents Count

We mentioned parents and children in the previous section, but now it’s time to explore that a bit more. As a credit union, you are uniquely positioned to work with parents and help them instill financial savvy in their children. You can do this in several different ways. For instance, offer a fee-free teen checking account to help them learn how to balance a checkbook and work with a budget.

A low or no-fee student checking account can serve a similar purpose. Both can be paired with debit cards to help educate children on their use and how important it is to keep track of spending that doesn’t involve physical cash. Don’t forget to incentivize these plans – offer to match parents’ deposits into the account up to $100.

Tips to Ensure Your Program Is a Success

Creating a referral program is all well and good, and the structure discussed previously will help ensure that you at least have a strong foundation for success. However, there are other things that you can and should do to help maximize the program’s value to your credit union, as well as to your customers.

Ease of Use: Too often, good things become worse through complications. It’s natural, too. Different departments want their hand in the process, leaders want to put their personal stamp on projects, and so much more. The problem is that as the project grows, so does its complexity. Eventually, no one really understands how it works, much less your members and the people they want to refer. Make sure that you keep your program streamlined and easy to use.

Ensure Value: The referral program should offer value to your credit union, but don’t lose sight of the fact that it should also deliver value to your members and the people whom they refer. You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune, and you may be surprised at the non-monetary rewards that work well as incentives. However, delivering value to your audience should be the primary purpose of the program.

Have Multiple Referral Channels: Don’t rest your hopes of success on a single referral channel. Create multiple channels so that referrals can flow through naturally – through social media, in person, by phone, via your website, or by email. The more referral channels you have, the wider the net you can cast with a single, overarching program.

Keep Steps to a Minimum: How many hoops must members jump through to refer someone? What steps must those referrals go through to sign up? The more steps required, the greater the likelihood that your referrals will stop mid-process or that your members won’t bother referring anyone at all. Keep things simple.

Know Your Eligibility Requirements: Make sure you have your eligibility requirements figured out well ahead of time. Who can become a new member? Will you accept returning members as new? Are there requirements on what type(s) of account they can open or that they must open to qualify? How long must they remain a member in good standing to qualify for any incentives?

How the Incentive Will Be Paid: Ambiguity is a huge problem for referral programs. The more ambiguous your terms and conditions, the greater the chance for misunderstanding and hard feelings, as well as referrals opting out of the program completely. One of the most common sticking points is how your incentives will be paid. Do you offer a credit to their account? Will it be by pre-paid gift card? Does the incentive have to remain in the account for a specific amount of time beyond the date on which it’s deposited?

Integrate and Track: Don’t leave your referral program in the analog world. Connect it to your digital tools. Track members who refer you via social media, who click links to the referral program in emails, or tap referral buttons in mobile apps. Accurate tracking allows you to measure your success and see which members are doing the bulk of the referral work.

Set Timelines: Chances are good that you’ll only want to use referral programs at certain times. Define when those times are. Is there a member threshold that triggers your referral program? Do you want to run it during spring and fall or summer and winter? Is back to school a good time for a program focused on student accounts?

Connecting the Dots

By now, you should have the blueprint for putting together a referral program that will work for your credit union. Remember – every organization’s needs and goals are different. It makes sense then that your referral program will not look much like another credit union’s.

Take the time necessary to create a customized program that works for your local area, your members, and your organization. Use both analog and digital tools, keep the program as simple as possible, and, above all, make sure that your program delivers value to those who matter most – your members and the people they refer.

The Ultimate Referral Program Strategies for Banks and Credit Unions

If you are the individual tasked with brainstorming and implementing referral programs at your bank or credit union, you likely already know that this can be a time-consuming task. Every financial institution is different, and that means the approach toward referrals should also be unique. However, there are a few strategies that seem to work well in most situations. We will be sharing those with you in this article.

Check Your Headline

No matter what program you’re dropping, you need to pull people in quick. Having a unique and catchy headline is a great way to do this. People will read the headline, be intrigued, and continue to read on. Use your bank or credit unions personality to show who you are and why customers should read on. If you can get them to keep reading, you’re halfway there already.

Incorporate an FAQ

Your referral page needs to look professional and aesthetically pleasing. You don’t want to force your customer into reading tons of text on the landing page. However, you can incorporate an FAQ section where you go into things in a bit more depth. You can talk about how the program works and answer questions that are common among those who visit the page.

Implement a Cause

If you can’t offer a monetary reward, or you prefer to go with something different, a donation can be the trick. For instance, you can provide a donation of $20 for every referral that a customer brings in. This is especially useful if you can team up with a charity that makes sense for your bank and its values. Consider your options and what will have the most impact.

Invite Your Customers

If you begin by speaking with your best customers about your referral program, you can go farther than you might think. The people who already trust and enjoy your services will be your best promoters to others in the community. It can take some work to find the right way to ask for referrals, but once you do, this is an excellent strategy for nearly any credit union.

Advertise Yourself

We already talked about having a landing page with FAQ for your referral program, but there’s more to it than that. You also need to be sure that your customers can find that page. If they don’t know the page exists, it’s not likely to do much good. Consider adding a link to emails that go out. Explore it on your blog, if you have one. Post it on social media. Getting the word out is vital to ensure your referral program gets off the ground.

Mark the Date

Find a meaningful date that matters to you or your customers. You can choose a holiday, an anniversary of the bank opening, or any other date that makes sense. Then use this date as a time to run a special promotion for the program. You could make it where the reward for referring someone is higher than normal. Or you could incorporate a reward for the new customer coming in. This will make people excited to be a part of things.

Use Your Employees

Those who work in your bank are a considerable asset so use them. You could have a unique program for only employees, perhaps with a reward for the person who gets the most referrals in a certain amount of time. Make a leaderboard, so people get into competing and have fun with it.

Once you have started your referral program, you may find that it’s complicated to keep track of everything going on. A great option is trying FinancialRefer, a service that is just for bank and credit union referrals. You can try a free demo to get an idea of how it works.

Avoid These Common Bank Referral Mistakes

Getting referrals for your credit union or bank can be pretty difficult, even when you’re doing everything right. It can be even more overwhelming when you’re making mistakes but aren’t aware of it. If you are looking to build your own referral program, it’s important that you know what to do but even more important that you know what not to do. That’s what we are going to focus on in this article.

First things first, you need to understand that good referrals aren’t something you get by accident. It takes work. You need to be known for being trustworthy, good at what you do, and able to build relationships with those who may be able to provide you with great referrals.

Not Reciprocating Properly

In order to see the reward that you want, which in this case is a referral, you must be willing to offer something in return. Sometimes this means sending someone a referral yourself, other times it might mean offering advice, and still other times it might be something entirely different. You can ask someone for what you aren’t willing to give in return. Make sure you are providing something that makes people want to help you.

Prioritizing the Wrong Relationships

You can’t prioritize your relationship with every person you know, so it’s important to spend your business time focused on the right people. The people who are most likely to be assets when it comes to referrals are your bank customers, other owners in the industry, salespeople with similar customers but different services, and everyone else – in that same order. Spending too much time on that ‘everybody else’ can be detrimental. Instead, it’s a good idea to prioritize time with people closer to you and your bank or credit union.

Pushy Salesmanship

Customers want to come to you and get the best possible product or service for their needs. Some people are great at doing this, while others are not. A customer who respects you is much more likely to offer a beneficial relationship. As such, it’s important not to push too much or try to sell people on things they don’t need. Make sure that the people on your team know how to determine what will best suit someone, so they can be assets in generating referrals that help the whole company.

Only Looking When Needed

When it comes time where getting a referral is crucial, it can be the worst time to look for one. When you’re working from a place of extreme need, it can backfire. If a client sees that desperation, they may not feel comfortable offering a referral out of fear that the person being referred will be badgered upon contact. Instead, it’s important to look for referrals even when they may not be needed a great deal. In addition, referrals should be only part of your strategy for finding new prospects.

Not Asking

Of course, if you aren’t asking for referrals, you are very unlikely to get them. It’s surprising how many people don’t seem to take this under advisement. If the clerks and other staff at your credit union aren’t taking the time to ask for a referral, it shouldn’t be surprising when it doesn’t come. Asking is integral, and honestly, the worst you can hear is no.

We hope these tips on what to avoid when looking for referrals have been helpful. If you are looking for a system to help you implement a more complete referral program, think about trying the software at It offers tons of features and can make the process much simpler for everyone involved.

How to Use Referrals to Build Your Credit Union

As a credit union owner, you probably understand that new business often comes from business contacts and happy patrons. However, not every bank or credit union uses that knowledge to offer a robust referral program. We are going to explain some strategies for bringing in more referrals, who will be excited to use your services.

Ask for Referrals

Of course, you can’t just sit and wait for referrals to come around. You must be proactive and ask for those referrals. Many people find this overwhelming at the beginning, but after doing so a few times it can become second nature. As a bank owner, you should be looking for referrals in your own network. Everyone else working with the company should be doing the same thing. This is an easy strategy to start, just talk to people you already know, such as friends and family members. Then move on to clients and contacts.

Explain Exactly What You Do

Sure, most people assume they know what a bank does. However, they may not know all the professional services that you offer. This can be true of strangers as well as people who are more prominent in our lives. Of course, you don’t want to go off on a tangent that might be boring for the other party, but a short response that you have ready can be a very useful thing. Keep it simple but make sure you explain things in a way where it will be remembered.

Promotion Across Industries

It can be simple to network and discuss business with someone in the same or a similar industry. However, that should not be the end of the process. Another bank is not going to refer over customers that they want themselves. Instead, consider cross-promoting with other types of companies. Speak with companies that are loosely related, but that do not offer the same things you do. Then refer back to them to make it a long-lasting relationship.

Get Comfortable with Face to Face

While there are many digital ways to solicit referrals, nothing beats the old-fashioned face-to-face conversation. Check out Toastmasters, Chamber of Commerce, and other groups that are designed for this sort of thing. You can also keep abreast of any events that fall under this category. You’ll be promoting to other business owners, who will then promote you with the understanding that you’ll do the same. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Log into Social Media

LinkedIn is a great option for business to business marketing and can work well for your bank or credit union. The website is built for this kind of thing and has a great tool for triggering those referrals. Of course, you can also use other social media sites for this. Twitter and Facebook can both be excellent option for finding new contacts. Of course, you still need to spend time on face-to-face but social media can be a supplement to what you do offline.

Always Reciprocate

If you want something, giving it first is an excellent option. When someone receives some sort of gift, they often want to reciprocate that gift quickly. This is the same when it comes to referrals. Make it a point to contact someone you know and offer them a referral. They will almost certainly agree and then do the same for you and your own credit union or bank.

Whether you implement one of these options or a few of them, it can help you build your credit union more quickly. Another way to do that is by trying out the system at It makes managing a referral system a breeze. Try out the free demo on the website today.

Everything You Want to Know About the FinancialRefer

Are you in charge of the referral strategy at your bank or credit union? This can be a big job, which means having excellent tools to help can make it much less stressful. You want to make sure that everything is being done the way it should be so that your referrals lead to more business and a better outcome for your bank.

That’s where FinancialRefer comes in. This system, built by professionals who understand the financial industry, is built specifically for banks and credit unions. This system is billed as “referral tracking software for banks & credit unions” and it works to make the process of tracking referrals so simple that anyone could do it.

Referral Tracking

What FinancialRefer does is track referrals between departments and staffs located in your bank or credit union. However, it goes beyond simply tracking the numbers. You can send and receive referrals through this robust system, as well. The management at your financial institution can look at any time to see which members of your team are doing the referring. You can also see how your referral efforts are going across the bank.

Reports & Insights

In addition to offering referral tracking, there is also a reporting system built right in. This lets those who are in charge run reports and print out data. This can then be used to provide staff with an idea of how their referral statistics look and what sort of outcome is coming of your program. Managers will also be provided with a weekly email that gives the latest report.

Weekly Staff Emails

Management will have reports through email, but so will your other team members. On a weekly basis you can expect each team member to receive an email outlining the referrals that they have sent out and received. This is an excellent opportunity to create competitions and keep staff on task and constantly aware of how important referrals are.

Email Notifications

In addition to the weekly emails, team members will also receive individual emails anytime that they receive a referral. This email will have all the needed information to take action, including the person’s name, their contact information, and where the referral came from. This makes it easy to know where to check up on things and move forward, without guessing on when a referral is available.

Customized System

With FinancialRefer, you are getting a system that has been customized specifically for credit unions and banks who use referral programs. Everything you need is present from the get-go. However, on top of that, the people at FinancialRefer also allow complete customization. You can change what is seen on a referral form, customize the reports that print out, and much more.

Secure Referral Data

While your team won’t be sending out private account information, it’s still important that software in a financial institution is secure. That’s taken care of with FinancialRefer. They use SAS Type II audited servers and every piece of data that is sent through is encrypted. You will never have to worry about someone gaining access that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Opportunity Tips

You can incorporate tips and tricks with a weekly tips email to your staff. This can help them better understand opportunities and special events that might be taking place. By providing tricks and tips, you can ensure each team member has the same information and is capable of the same sort of referral gaining.

All in all, FinancialRefer offers a great system for banks and credit unions to succeed. If you are curious to learn more about it, you can contact the staff at FinancialRefer here or sign up to try out a demo.

A Dozen Ways to Keep Referrals Coming

If you’re involved with a bank or credit union and have a referral program, you’re likely always looking for ways to improve it. It can be hard to keep a constant flow of referrals happening over time. Check out these great tips for getting more referrals.

Just Ask

If you want referrals, you must bite the bullet and ask. When you’re working a project with a client, just ask if there’s anyone they know that might want something similar. You may be surprised at the answer you get.


Give a referral to get a referral. If you scratch the back of the next guy, he’ll often turn around and do the same for you. This is a low-key way to get a stream of referrals going in. You can always find someone who wants promotion.

Client List

Make a list of people you’d love to work with. Check them out on LinkedIn and see if you have a connection. If you do, talk to them. You can see about networking and helping each other out.

Social Media

On that same note, make sure your own LinkedIn profile is up to date. Make a point to drive engagement to your profile. This could mean posting an interesting link or writing up a blog post for the site.

Build Relationships

Every bank has businesses that do things for them. This includes suppliers and vendors and more. You want to be sure these individuals know what you do and how you help people. This can lead to increased referrals.

Create Content

Have a seminar or webinar where you talk about something relating to the financial industry. Serve breakfast or lunch along with it. Get out there and make this event special, as this will make people more interested in helping you.

Offer Rewards

When networking and building referrals, make it worth the other person’s while. Offer an incentive to provide referrals. This can be monetary or it can be something completely different. Everyone loves being appreciated.

Inspire Confidence

Some people may be nervous about referring someone on the chance that it won’t work out. Give them a reason to have confidence by telling them how much of your business is from those who have been referred.

Do it Now

You do not want to wait until your referral program is having issues to look for great referrals. Find them now and look at them on a consistent basis. This will ensure you aren’t stuck in a rough spot when things get slow.

Be Unique

Show that you aren’t the same as the bank on the corner or the credit union down the block. If you have people something to talk about, they will. Make sure that something is going to be in your favor.


Make sure every customer knows what you do. Many people don’t know every service you offer, so consider chatting them up and offering information about those things. This can lead to a more educated consumer base.

Thank Them

Anyone who provides you with a referral should receive some kind of thank you. Just acknowledging the effort can go a long way. You could send out a thank you card, shoot off an email, or send a handwritten note. This will encourage people to continue referring people your way.

While you’re working on your referral program, let FinancialRefer help you. You can visit the website at to find out about the services offered, which revolve around helping your bank referral management. Try a free demo or ask questions on the website.

Tricks and Tips for Better Selling Through Bank Tellers

Selling is a tough job in any industry, but bank tellers have an even more challenging experience than most. A teller is often required to find opportunities, cross-sell both services and products, and do all of that while avoiding a long line at their station. It’s a difficult proposition, and it’s made even harder when most people want to simply get in and out of the bank in a hurry.

You may wonder if there are ways to make the whole thing a little bit easier, and lucky for you, the answer is yes.

Strategies for More Effective Selling

One thing that needs to be considered when selling as a bank teller is that the first impression matters. People are much more likely to consider a product or service if it is suggested by someone who they respect, trust, and like. The truth is that the typical teller doesn’t have a whole lot of time to impress customers, so making that first impression a good one is extremely important.

As such, you really want to focus on some fundamentals each time a customer steps up to your window. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Make sure you greet every customer promptly.
  • Make eye contact and keep it until they have approached you.
  • Smile at them. Not a forced smile, but a genuine smile of friendliness.
  • Keep your tone pleasant and upbeat.
  • Stand up straight and project confidence and professionalism.
  • Dress for the job and exude confidence.


This may not sound like important stuff, but it really is. People are more likely to take you seriously if you appear to be put together, friendly, and open to conversation. Think about the people who sell things to you in other situations and consider what appeals.

In addition, make sure you think about the fact that people want solutions to their problems. Ask questions of them to find out what they need. You may have the perfect service or product just waiting for them if you can dig down and determine what needs the person has. Don’t pressure or use sales-oriented speak, just talk to them. Once they’ve provided information, it’s easier to get the sale.

That said, it’s a bad idea to pitch something without knowing the customer can use it. It may work on occasion, but isn’t the best strategy. Instead, it seems as if you are just trying to make money, not improve their life. People may find it frustrating being sold services they neither want nor need, which can tarnish the reputation of you or your business.

Instead, ask questions, suggest a way you can help, and go from there. You might set up a time to talk about the problem further or ask more questions and then propose the solution as something your bank offers.

At FinancialRefer, we understand the needs of banks and credit unions, and offer products that help. You can try our referral system out for free here.

Simplifying Customer Referral Programs

A bank referral program provides a way for customers to refer their family, friends, and co-workers to the bank through specific channels. Some estimates show that about 30% of banks and credit unions in North America are already using some kind of referral program. In some cases, these are automated systems with all the bells and whistles. In other cases, they might be a simple paper form that someone hands over to a buddy.

While these systems, and those in between, all work – the design of the program does matter when it comes to return on investment. A huge banking network across the United States might make better use of an automated system, while a credit union with two branches might need something much simpler.

Common Mistakes with Referral Programs

There are a number of things to consider when instituting a program. We’ve determined what the most common mistakes are and would like to pass them on to you. This will help you ensure you start off on the right foot with whatever system you choose.

  • Providing one option for referrals – Some customers may prefer specific methods over others. If you only choose one channel, you’re going to miss out. Use many channels so people feel they have more choice, making them more likely to sign up.
  • Bad rewards or a long path to rewards – Either of these things will make for fewer referrals. People want to see something for their efforts, so give them just that. Lots of banks and credit unions offer these referral rewards, so you want to stand out.
  • Not being available for every customer – Some banks choose to exclude particular product lines or types of accounts, but this is not a great way to go. Instead, use variable rewards for different accounts. For instance, a checking account might have a lower referral reward for a customer with more revenue.
  • Limited time promotions – People refer when they know someone who needs your service. Having a program that runs a short time only captures a small group of people and may not be worth the effort of the system. Instead, make it a long-term offering.
  • Limited awareness – If your customers don’t know there is a referral program, they won’t be referring people. Make sure everyone is aware you offer the program. Advertise it in newsletters, social media, and on your website.

What to Do

While there are many examples of what not to do, you must also know what you should do. That’s just as important. One thing you should do is to make sure the system is easy to use. You should also ensure the reward is worthwhile, as that will bring in more customers. In addition, do what you can to promote the program and automate its use. This will all give you a better chance at hooking new customers who will use your services for years to come.

FinancialRefer System

If you are looking for a referral system that is simple to set up and offers great features, one option is FinancialRefer. You can find a free demo and learn more here.

5 Features That Make FinancialRefer Great for Banks

FinancialRefer is a brand-new type of software that offers a way for credit unions and banks to track their referrals. It provides a number of features that are both fun and useful, and can be incorporated at any financial institution. This product is new, but it already has many banks using it to gain referrals and grow their markets. We’ll look at some of the excellent features provided when using FinancialRefer, so you can see what a difference it will make for your own business.

Complete Customization

One of the best features of FinancialRefer is that the system is completely customizable. That means that you can alter the system to fit your bank or credit union best. You can make changes to the referral form that staff use, customize reporting to show only what is important to you, and more. The team at FinancialRefer is always available to help you make this system work just right for what you need. You can’t ask for most than that.

Security of Data

While this is a referral system used by staff members, the data is secured just as if private financial data was being used. All servers related to FinancialRefer services are SAS Type II audited. There is also constant data encryption, so you don’t have to worry about anyone gaining access to your information and accounts. That’s something important to the team at FinancialRefer, so the security is top notch.

Referral Tracking

With FinancialRefer, you will find that it’s straightforward to send referrals, as well as receive them. This can be done between staff members and departments in your credit union or bank. This makes everything easy and accessible, without the need for various systems for each office or department. Instead, it all stays in one system and is done in a single way for ease of use.

Manager Reports

For those who are managers in charge of being aware of referrals, FinancialRefer helps out there, as well. You can set it up so that the appropriate members of the staff receive weekly reports showing top referrals. In addition to that, the managers can run reports 24/7 if they need more information on a day when an email is not sent out. That gives you flexibility, no matter how often you want to check up on things.

Staff Emails

It isn’t just managers who will receive information, either. Staff members will get an email each week that states the number of referrals that they have sent and received. One way to make this fun and grow numbers is to offer an incentive for being the top referrer of the week or month. This will give employees a reason to go above and beyond while ensuring you get the numbers you want.

FinancialRefer for Banks and Credit Unions

As you can see, there are many features associated with FinancialRefer, and it can offer a host of benefits for any financial institution. If you are interested in learning more about the system, you can do so here. You can also request a demo to try it out at no cost.