WASHINGTON (9/23/10)--With the “big guy” awards behind them, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Go Direct
campaign is now turning its attention to recognizing the efforts of smaller credit unions and banks to get consumers to sign on for direct deposit of federal benefits checks. Registration is now open for the Go Direct
Community Ambassadors Program. That program recognizes the efforts of small- and medium-sized financial institutions that “go the extra mile in promoting direct deposit to senior citizens, people with disabilities, veterans and others who receive federal benefits.” Financial institutions with fewer than 100 branches are eligible to register. To be recognized as a Community Ambassador, a financial institution must complete at least two of the activities listed below between October 2010 and March 2011. That participation must be reported using a simple check-box form that will be distributed via email throughout the program period. Activities include:
* Posting a web banner on your financial institution's website; * Including a statement message or insert in statements to customers or members; * Ordering and distributing in-lobby materials; * Communicating with tellers or distributing a Go Direct campaign communication kit to staff; and * Creating and implementing a teller or branch incentive program or competition.
The Go Direct
campaign offers free materials for participants to spur ideas for how to share information about the benefits of direct deposit with their members or customers. (Use resource link.) Credit unions and banks that successfully participate in the Community Ambassadors Program will receive a letter of recognition and a certificate from the Treasury Department. In addition, they also will receive a web banner and suggested newsletter copy they can use to announce their recognition as a 2010/2011 Go Direct
Community Ambassador. Also recently, State Employees' CU, Raleigh, N.C., was among six financial institutions named by Treasury as 2010 Go Direct
Champions--an enrollment recognition program for larger institutions. The six champions beat out 13 other competitors. (News Now
Sept. 16) The Credit Union National Association is a national partner with Treasury for its Go Direct
campaign and was on hand when the government launched the campaign on the National Mall in September 2005.