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CO-OP shared branch campaigns add weight to CU convenience
ONTARIO, Calif. and RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (11/3/11)--The myth that credit unions aren't convenient because  they don't have nationwide  branches is being debunked by two organizations related to the ATM and shared branching industries.

Just in time for Bank Transfer Day, the movement to switch checking accounts to credit unions by Saturday, CO-OP Financial Services and FSCC (Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc.)  have informed media  in separate campaigns that convenience is not an issue for many credit unions.

A campaign by  CO-OP Financial Services, which manages CO-OP Network, a nationwide network of 28,000 ATMs for members of 3,000 participating credit unions,  was launched Oct. 12. It was viewed by more than 500 editors and appeared on numerous sites, including, Marketwatch, Investor and Optimum Online  (Life is a Highway Nov. 2).

Its campaign aimed to educate business and personal finance editors, who have chronically characterized credit unions as less convenient than banks, about the advantages of credit union membership, and to obtain coverage in consumer media.

CO-OP, in support of Bank Transfer Day, placed three ads (  in major market weekly newspapers across the country. The first  was published Wednesday.  The ads, which are sympathetic with consumers' negative perceptions of banks, deliver a message that summarizes banks' less-than-remarkable behavior and what CO-OP considers as a superior alternative: "Banks don't like you. Credit unions do."

A link to a dedicated Facebook page, supported by a Twitter feed, gives Gen X and Gen Y targeted audiences direct access to participate in the conversation,  said CO-OP.  The ads also encourages them to spread the word and learn more about the benefits of credit unions.   The campaign will appear in these widely read weeklies: NY Village Voice; LA Weekly; OC Weekly in Orange County, Calif.; Chicago Reader; SF Weekly; Boston Dig; Atlanta Creative Loafing; and The City Paper in Washington, D.C.

FSCC, which is a Shared Branching Network  providing 6,700 full-service, deposit-taking locations in 50 states,  promoted convenience in a press release Wednesday "reassuring consumers that convenience is not an issue for those seeking to support Bank Transfer Day by transferring their accounts to credit unions."

It noted that more than 1,600 credit unions participate in the CU Service Centers Network and explains shared branching allows members at one participating credit union to use the branches of another or use designated service centers or self-service kiosks.

"This cooperation among credit unions allows them to operate locally while offering the same level of national service offered by the top five U.S. banks. Only credit unions, with their focus on member-owners, can achieve this level of cooperation and convenience," said FSCC. 

"We, at FSCC, have been preaching the advantages of credit unions for decades. And we're confident that when consumers experience the high level of convenience, service, and assistance our member credit unions deliver, they'll wonder why they waited so long to switch," said Sarah Bank, president/CEO of FSCC.
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