9.29.21

Consumers Receives Mastercard Institution Award for Operational Efficiency

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Jorgene Hallet, Steve Owens and Jennifer Smith pose for a photo with the crystal Mastercard Community Institution Award.
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Employee agility and determination in the face of PPP lending leads to overwhelming success.

For the third year in a row, Consumers Credit Union was honored as a recipient of the esteemed Mastercard Institution Award, this time for achieving operational success during a time of immense change.

A New Reality
In March 2020, when Michigan entered a statewide shutdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone, but especially businesses, were desperate for help to keep them afloat.

The U.S. Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) gave hope to many by providing a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. But that created a new problem, how could businesses possibly tackle such a massive undertaking when most of their staff were at home?

An Opportunity to Try Something New
While Consumers office lobbies were closed because of the pandemic, we began to shift staffing resources to expand the capabilities of our existing business lending team from 11 people to 37.

Led by several team members who quickly emerged as subject matter experts of the evolving PPP program, the group worked closely with other departments to launch the program. As a result, they were able to rapidly develop the documentation, managing procedures, underwriting, funding, servicing and other critical processes. A workflow was quickly developed and tested, including how to electronically sign and submit documents for efficiency and member safety.

Continuous Improvement
Daily review of the process, exceptions and opportunities for improvement led to small changes which improved accuracy, turn time and overall member experience. Ultimately the turn time for loan origination went from days to minutes during the first two weeks of PPP lending.

Redeeming Results
As Consumers was one of the first in Michigan to fund a PPP loan to aid business relief, it was critical to be fast with this program because money was limited.

Approximately 200 businesses responded within the first day they received notification that we were accepting PPP applications.

During the first round of PPP, we originated 764 loans totaling $57 million. When you compare those 700+ loans completed in the course of a month to the 115 loans originated during the entire year of 2019, the operational feat is nothing short of amazing.

“To be recognized with this award is such an honor,” said Katie Warren, Consumers’ senior electronic payments manager. “The Consumers Team has worked tirelessly to assist our members to the best of our ability during these difficult and unprecedented times.”

Learn more about the PPP program and explore loan forgiveness options at ConsumersCU.org/ppp_resource_center.

Federally insured by NCUA

Careers at Consumers

If you are interested in exploring a career with us, check out our job openings here.

Learn more

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