November 26, 2022

It is undeniable that associations and business organizations learn from each other in terms of management practices and models. For example, some corporations have taken over the membership-like activities of associations, while some associations have undertaken corporate-like, revenue-generating ventures.

Coming from banking, I share some banking terms that can generate ideas for associations:

1. KYC Know Your Customer). KYC requires financial institutions to make efforts to verify the identity, suitability, and risks involved in maintaining a business relationship. Optimizing KYC to KYM (Know Your Member) in the association context, not from a risk perspective but for member engagement, might be worth considering. Creating member personas (see my post here titled “Association Member Personas”, February 21, 2018) is an example of KYM.

2. Relationship Manager. The relationship manager position has been established in most banks and the job description generally involves building a client relationship, providing personal advice and responding to inquiries quickly. Associations are active in the area of ​​relationship building and can learn from the activities of the banks in this area.

3. Private Banking. This consists of personalized financial services and products offered to a bank’s wealthy clients and includes a wide range of wealth management services offered under one roof. Associations can take this concept with a twist, for example by having a one-stop hub for premium members.

4th banking day. A business day on which a bank’s office is open to the public for essentially all banking functions. Clubs can also organize a “club day”, for example.

5. Grace Period. A period of time during which a borrower can delay a payment on a loan or credit card account without incurring a penalty or paying interest charges. For example, a club may grant members an extended deadline to pay their annual membership fee.

6. Mobile Banking. Refers to the use of banking services with the help of a mobile phone, which clubs can convert into membership services via mobile phone apps, or in a larger context an online community where members can access many other services.

7. Lender of last resort. Then a financial institution to turn to for urgently needed funds has already exhausted all other options. An association can be a provider of last resort or a point of contact for its members who need support to grow their business in the case of a trade association or to advance their careers in the case of a professional association.

Addendum: I actually tried most of these bank-related ideas with good results when I ran an association of development banks. To this day, I still find them handy in my new job as head of an organization dedicated to sustainability. In the end, adopting banking practices in associations may be a good idea for you.

Octavio B. Peralta is currently Executive Director of the Global Compact Network Philippines and Founder and Honorary CEO of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives, the Association of Associations. The PCAAE will host its Associations Summit 10 (AS10) on November 23-24, 2022. Email: