With Ocotober 1 fast approaching many financial institutions are scrambling to figure out how they are going to make up for the lost revenue. The talk throughout the industry seems to be geared towards the end of free checking accounts, more prepaid cards, and possible debit card fees similar to the current ATM fees. Now looking at this situation from a sales perspective I see opportunity, especially if you are on the exempt list; however, you better act fast. Just because you’re exempt now does not mean you won’t feel the pain in the very near future. Let’s face it; I doubt it will take long before the “big banks” put pressure on the providers to lower the interchange for the non-exempt banks and credit unions. I highly doubt they are going to sit by and just watch their market share decrease. So what are you going to do? Look within first. It is cost effective and financially beneficial to your business. Who is your members’ primary banking relationship with? Is it you or the place down the street? What other loans or services could you be offering them now? If you are not already start onboarding your current and new members now. The stickier the relationship the more likely they are going to stay with you. Once October 1st rolls around if you are not their primary institution, you may have an opportunity to be soon, so start building your relationships now. Start getting out there and gaining the market share, why wait? Yes times are tough but people still need loans. The people who have loans still want better rates. Maybe it’s time to take that auto loan refinance program off the back burner and launch it. Grow your membership and your bottom line. The real estate market my seem bleak right now but there are still people out there buying, refinancing, and taking out lines of credit, go after them. For a short time, while all the larger institutions start rearranging their fee structures and changing their rates to make up for the lost income the smaller institutions will have the opportunity to really showcase why smaller can be better. Now that you took the initiative to grow make sure you keep all those new members. Continually speak to them and win them over with your focus on member service. I know I am impressed with an institution that I can actually speak with, and even more so if they reach out to me and speak to my needs. People get tired of telephone prompts and getting transferred from person to person. Sieze the day everyone, go after the market, onboard your current and new members, take a deep look into your current member service behaviors and come out of a potentially negative situation on top.