WASHINGTON (8/31/12)--More than a quarter million visits have been made through July to the aSmarterChoice.org website developed by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the state leagues to help consumers learn about credit unions and find a credit union to join.
According to statistics from the website gathered by CUNA, the website received 255,000 visits by 155,000 persons in the first seven months of the year.
What's more, consumers successfully conducted 137,000 searches for credit unions they could join using the site's credit union locator tool during the period.
CUNA and the state leagues launched aSmarterChoice.org March 2011. The site includes basic information about credit unions, member testimonials, and recent media coverage about credit unions, and has as its centerpiece on online locator tool that enables consumers not only to find a credit union close by, but one that they are eligible to join based on its field of membership. All U.S.credit unions are included in the site's database.
On average, according to the website's manager, Jill Stevenson, aSmarterChoice.org is visited between 5,000 and 7,000 times per week--a level of interest in credit unions that accelerated in the wake of last year's run up to Bank Transfer Day.
Stevenson said that visits to the site had averaged a couple thousand a week last year. However, in September of 2011--when a major bank announced it would impose monthly fees on its debit cards--weekly visits rose dramatically to more than 23,000 in the week following the announcement.
The emergence of Bank Transfer Day, a viral and social media movement that called on consumers fed up with banks to transfer their money to credit unions on a single day, Nov. 5, 2011, had the number of visitors to the site running well above average through October.
The aSmarterChoice.org site saw nearly 70,000 visits on the day before Bank Transfer Day, and 40,000 visits on the day itself. "Since then and into 2012, traffic has continued at a higher pace than what we saw through most of 2011," Stevenson said. "People continue to visit the site by the hundreds daily."