Last week CUNA publicly announced an initiative aimed at promoting awareness of credit unions that asks credit unions and credit union trade associations across the country to educate people in communities they serve. Taking up this call nearly two years ago was the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA).
CCUA, which represents Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, has made significant inroads in sounding the credit union movement siren through its “Better Values. Better Banking.” consumer awareness campaign.
“There are no hard-sells with “Better Values. Better Banking.” It’s all about education,” says CCUA President Paul Gentile. “We are telling consumers a story of ‘value.’ The value of being part of a not-for-profit cooperative. The value credit unions deliver back to the membership in the form of better rates, lower fees and industry leading member service. We also focus on the value credit unions provide in their local communities in so many ways.”
Launched in December 2015, the initiative employs a variety of outreach methods, from traditional and social media to consumer engagement.
Its “In Your Neighborhood” events offer a simple yet, quite literally, in-your-face approach, whereby credit union professionals meet and greet patrons in local coffee shops to chat about the role credit unions play in banking. Not only do “In Your Neighborhood” patrons get a free cup of coffee, they also receive a $10 gift card, which they can choose to pass on as an act of kindness. To date, CCUA has held 19 successful events.
According CUNA research, 42% of non-credit union members are unaware they have the ability to join a credit union. Also, 82% of respondents who viewed credit union TV ads as part of a national poll said they were interested in moving their accounts to credit unions from banks.