What To Do With A Membership Surge

With more members joining credit unions in the past month than all of 2010 combined, credit unions must decide how to leverage the trend.


It’s official: credit unions scored a win gaining new members with the so-called Bank Transfer Day push, according to data released Tuesday by the Credit Union National Association.

The grassroots effort pushed more than 40,000 former bank customers to open credit union accounts, creating about $80 million in savings, or about $2,000 per user, the association says. That member surge caps more than a month of stellar growth from the campaign, which CUNA says has drawn more than 650,000 new members since Sept. 29 – more than in all of 2010 – and landing more than $4.5 million in new savings accounts.

This week, credit unions have been abuzz about their success with snagging new members:  

@PCUA (Pennsylvania Credit Unions): CUNA survey says that 1540 new accounts with $3.1 million were transferred into PA #creditunions on #BankTransferDay.

@CommunityAmerCU (Community America Credit Union): To all those who became CommunityAmericans before, on or after #BankTransferDay … Thank you and welcome to our family!

@NWCUA (North West Credit Union Association): More than 23,000 Washingtonians and 10,500 Oregonians have joined a credit union since Sept. 29. http://fb.me/1jmR5JqI6

@Redwoodcu (Redwood Credit Union): What an amazing weekend! Welcomed more than 600 new Members and RCU was mentioned on ABC World News: http://abcn.ws/s8QvmI

But now, the question is how will credit unions use the surge of new members to strengthen its bottom line? How can credit unions plan to improve member services with the windfall of new members? Many credit unions, many of which stayed open and offered later hours on Nov. 5, are proving they’re already leveraging the new base — the 1,100 institutions CUNA surveyed reported making $90 million in new loans that Saturday.

Many credit unions are planning to cling marketing campaigns taking advantage of the backlash over new bank fees. Texas Trust Credit Union ($695.1M, Mansfield, TX) and Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union ($1.4B, St. Paul, MN) are among the credit unions trying to keep the momentum going with their ongoing anti-fee campaigns. Texas Trust Credit Union, which welcomed a 75% increase in new member growth in the month before Nov. 5, is keeping its F.E.E. Syndrome promotion going. And Affinity Plus has only kicked its Ditch Your Bank campaign “in a little higher gear” in the wake of all the media attention on credit unions, marketing director Sarah Mason recently told creditunions.com.

If you’ve had significant Bank Transfer Day success or have plans to leverage benefit from a membership surge, send a Tweet to @creditunionscom or @CallahanAssoc.


Nov. 10, 2011



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