Micro-Branch Pilot
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Micro-Branch Pilot John Herrera [email protected] Haydee Moreno [email protected] NALCAB Conference September 24, 2009. Self-Help History. Latino CCU CRL Formed California Expansion. Founded in Durham, NC. Secondary Market Program . 1980. 1990. 2000. 2010.

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Micro-Branch Pilot

John Herrera

[email protected]

Haydee Moreno

[email protected]

NALCAB Conference

September 24, 2009

Self help history
Self-Help History

Latino CCU

CRL Formed

California Expansion

Founded in Durham, NC

Secondary Market Program





  • Self Help Federal Credit Union

    • Chartered in 2008

    • 2-pronged strategy

      • Mergers

      • Micro-Branch Pilot

The un banked need
The Un-Banked Need

Mainstream Financial Institutions


Alternative Financial Service Providers

The un banked need1
The Un-Banked Need

Confidence Tomorrow

Financial Stability &

Economic Opportunity

Needs Today

Micro branch strategy
Micro-Branch Strategy

Branch Description


Look & Feel


  • Product Suite

    • Transaction Services

    • Deposit-Based Account

    • Loans: Personal / Auto / Mortgage

Micro branch business model
Micro-Branch Business Model

Customer Acquisition

Retention &











Spending Wisely

Saving Vigorously

Living Confidently






  • Self-Help Background

  • Market Need

  • Self-Help Solution: Micro-Branch Strategy

    • Delivery Model

    • Business Model

    • Financial Sustainability

  • MB Status Update

Self help background
Self-Help Background

Founded Center for Responsible Lending

Merged with 3 credit unions in NC

Launched CRL & SH in California

SH Founded in Durham, NC

Small business and home loans

Transform lending industry through secondary market program

1980 - 1986


1990 - 1994

2002 - 2006

To-date, $5.24 billion in loans





  • 29-year history

    • Extensive lending experience

    • Community credibility

    • Deposit-raising network

    • Proven innovation track record

Self help california
Self-Help California

  • Background

    • Launched in 2006

    • SHFCU Charter July 2008

  • Financial Services Strategy

    • Community Development Credit Union Mergers

    • Micro-Branch Pilot

Self help ca management team
Self-Help CA Management Team

  • Steve Zuckerman

    Steve launched the Oakland office in 2006 after spending 15 years with McCown DeLeeuw, a private investment firm focused on middle market leveraged buyouts. Steve holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Yale.

  • Haydeé Moreno

    Haydeé joined SH in 2008 after four years in investment banking and two years in CDFI strategy. Haydeé holds an MBA from Stanford and a BBA from The University of Texas at Austin.

  • Jack Lawson

    Jack joined SH in 2008 after founding and running the Brooklyn Cooperative Federeal Credit Union for eight years. Jacks holds an MA from the University of London, a Masters in Economics from the New School for Social Research and a BA from the University of Vermont.

  • Ellie Carothers Kelly

    Ellie joined SH in 2007 after four years in consulting and foundation impact assessment. Ellie holds an MBA from Berkeley and a BA from Williams College.

Market need
Market Need

Financial Mainstream

Fringe Financial Services





Source: Center for Financial Services Innovation

Micro branch starting point
Micro-Branch Starting Point

Mainstream Financial Institutions


Alternative Financial Service Providers

Market research
Market Research


  • Who’s our customer?

  • What is the need?

  • How do we address our customer’s need?

  • What do we represent in the mind of our customer?


Observation Excursions

In-Depth Interviews

Focus Groups


Street Interviews

Target market
Target Market

  • Demographics

    • Un-Banked

    • Living paycheck-to-paycheck

    • Latino immigrants

  • Market Research

    • Value proposition

    • Selection criteria

    • Work-arounds

Target market insights
Target Market Insights

  • Pain Point: Fluctuation in Savings Cushion

    • “I used them (credit union) before but now I’m broke… I need the cash right away. I have to leave the check with them (credit union) for, like, at least three days.” – 1:1 interview

Work-Around: Cash is King

People stop using accounts to avoid overdraft / NSF fees and rely on check cashers when savings are depleted.

Target market insights1
Target Market Insights

  • Pain Point: Lack of Clarity & Comfort

    • “It’s not that I don’t think banks are telling me the truth, it’s that I don’t know if the translation is getting everything right.” – 1:1 interview

    • “I never used the ATM card. I didn’t trust it. I don’t know how the ATM works.” – 1:1 interview

Work-Around: Risk-Aversion

Rather than feel rejected or embarrassed, people avoid banking products or use the products at a limited capacity to avoid making a mistake.

Target market insights2
Target Market Insights

  • Pain Point: Documentation Anxiety

    • “I go to the Mexican store because they don’t ask for any ID. They already know me there.” –1:1 interview

    • “I don’t know what kind of documents [the bank] is going to want… I go to [the check casher] where I always go because I’m registered there. ” – 1:1 interview

Work-Around: Trusted Referrals

Recent immigrants rely on friends & family for guidance on handling their financial situation.

Value proposition
Value Proposition

  • Starting Point: Target market

    • Better understanding of needs

    • Pain points & work-arounds

  • Next: Value proposition

    • Street surveys & focus groups

Value proposition insights
Value Proposition Insights

  • What would you advise someone on what to do with their first paycheck?

    • Without an ability to open an account, consumers start their financial relationships with neighborhood check-cashers & keep money in their homes.

For recent immigrants,habits are formed early on and only changed with the guidance from a trusted family member or friend.

Value proposition insights1
Value Proposition Insights

  • How do you feel when you hear “money management”?

    • Worried (don’t know everything, disorganized)

    • Stressed (excessive expenses, keeping up)

    • Insecurity (am I doing this right? what else?)

    • Frustration (history of negative experiences)

The obligation to support family, here and abroad,

can be a stressful burden.

Once settled, immigrants are cautiously optimistic towards opportunities to build wealth.

Value proposition insights2
Value Proposition Insights

  • What is the main reason you come to this check-casher?

Value proposition insights3
Value Proposition Insights

  • Is there a reason why you don’t do this transaction at a bank?

    • “The bank handles my deposits; the check casher sends money to my family. That’s the way it is.” – Street Interview

    • “I tried to send a remittance [at my bank] once. They had to call the manager and I was taken out of the line. They just didn’t know how to do it like they do [at my check casher] ” – Street Interview

    • “I used to have an account but I got charged fees. I don’t think I’d open one again. This [using a check-casher] is working for me.” – Street Interview