MADISON, Wis. (8/19/13)--Thirty years ago, CUNA Mutual Group founded its MemberCONNECT program to help credit unions serve members who were historically underserved by insurance companies. Today, the value of the program has been embraced by a majority of credit unions around the country, said the company.
MemberCONNECT, CUNA Mutual Group's program to help credit union members who have historically underserved by insurance companies, is celebrating 30 years of providing service to nearly 14 million members through more than 4,000 credit unions. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
In 30 years, the program has grown to help protect nearly14 million members. For credit unions, more than $66 million in non-interest income was paid in 2012 alone.
"We created a standardized and pre-complied marketing approach that took a complex set of products and made them easy to implement," said Kevin Lentz, vice president of direct to consumer for CUNA Mutual Group. "Not only was it easy to get started, it was easy to manage and maintain. That's still true today."
"In the early 80s, we saw how credit unions had difficulties making products and services available beyond their core competencies," said Lentz. "The value of the program is that we've done all of the work to make it even easier to serve credit union members," said Lentz.
Credit unions that have been with the program from the early days said it has reinforced trust with their memberships. "It fits right in with our credit union's philosophy--it's all about helping the members," said Sherry Saxon, president/CEO of Augusta (Ga.) Metro FCU. Her credit union has been involved with MemberCONNECT program since the beginning.
Of the more than 4,000 credit unions participating, more than 500 have been with the program from the beginning in 1983. "Working together for 30 years is quite a statement," said Lentz. "We've learned a lot from these original credit unions and have always valued their insight. Together, we've made great strides in optimizing various marketing channels and understanding how members learn and purchase services."
"With the evolution to the TruStage brand last year, we've seen even more confidence from credit unions who understand what value we can add to protecting their members," said Lentz. TruStage is CUNA Mutual's consumer marketing brand.
What does the next 30 years look like for the MemberCONNECT program? It's continued investment and refinement, said Lentz. "We're continuing to invest in new channels, media and technologies in the ways members want. In that sense, we're constantly adapting to reflect the current marketplace."
For a full visual history of the MemberCONNECT program, use the link.