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Kresge grants support unbanked efforts by CUs, social agencies

CU System
ST. LOUIS (8/28/14)--Three credit unions are wrapping up their first year of financial capability partnerships with human services agencies made possible through a $530,000 grant from the Financial Capability Partnership Initiative.  
 
The initiative, managed by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the Center for Financial Services Innovation, promotes healthy financial alternatives for low-income individuals and families. Support for FCPI is provided by the Kresge Foundation.

"Problems faced by vulnerable populations require a variety of interventions. We believe the Financial Capability Partnership Initiative will help people become more integrated into the financial system and provide the tools to help them become self-sufficient," said Kimberlee Cornett, managing director of Kresge's Social Investment Practice.
 
St. Louis Community CU, with $245 million in assets, works with Kingdom House, an agency that provides social services in St. Louis, to make financial education and affordable financial products available to the agency's clients.
 
The credit union operates mini-branches in Kingdom House and in other social service agencies, making it convenient for clients to receive one-on-one financial counseling and learn about banking services. Kingdom House social workers include financial assessments in their annual client interviews, and one is trained as a personal finance specialist.
 
St. Louis Community CU's presence helps fill a gap in a neighborhood that is considered a financial institution "desert," said Scott Walker, Kingdom House executive director.
 
In Chicago, the Community Builders and South Side Community FCU, with $3 million in assets assists income-earning residents of a Work First Community Housing property with direct financial coaching and access to responsible financial products.
 
In San Francisco, Self-Help FCU, based on Raleigh, N.C., with $560 million in assets, works with the Mission SF Community Financial Center to offer financial coaching and credit union products to low-income 18- to 24-year-olds who are part of a skills-development program that includes college credit and corporate internships.
 
The Center for Financial Services Innovation and the federation have also provided support to credit unions and social service agencies in Cleveland; Durham, N.C.; New Orleans; and San Antonio.

Ga. members lend voices to 100M membership video

CU System
DULUTH, Ga. (8/28/14)--The Georgia Credit Union Affiliates highlighted the credit union movement's 100 million memberships milestone recently by recording interviews with members of Georgia United CU who described in their own words what consumers like best about credit unions.
 
The $981 million-asset credit union in Duluth was the impromptu stage for GCUA's Jason Golden, who asked members, "What's the one thing you love the most about your credit union?"
 
Auto loans, member service, shared branching, low rates and convenience, the members responded.
 


One member even shared his experience of improving his financial standing. "They gave me a lot of good advice on how to help my credit and build my credit. I'm looking really good credit-wise because of them," he said.
 
"It's a little more hometown, and a little more personal," another said. "I think they are just a little bit more about the individual."
 
The video is only part of GCUA's celebration of the movement's milestone. On Monday, the league will select the winner of its Facebook selfie contest. Contestants shared a photo of themselves on GCUA's creditYOUnion Facebook page with the #100MM hashtag for a chance to win $100.
 
GCUA also encouraged members to upload their photos to the national 100 million memberships site, americascreditunions.org.

$5 coffee? Cash or card depends on age, says CreditCards.com

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (8/28/14)--Consumers, especially the younger generation, are using credit and debit cards for the smallest of purchases, such as cups of coffee and packs of chewing gum, according to a new survey by CreditCards.com.

About 1 in 3 consumers typically use a credit card or a debit card for in-person purchases of less than $5, according to a national telephone survey of 983 adult U.S. credit card holders. Roughly 11% prefer credit cards, 22% use debit cards, and 65% still pay with cash.

The penchant for plastic is stronger with the 18- to 29-year-old demographic. About 51% of consumers in that category prefer plastic to cash, the only age group to do so. A preference for cash becomes stronger in each advancing age bracket, until at age 65-plus, 82% prefer cash.

The younger consumers are, the more likely they are to reach for a card. Among consumers 49 years old and under, 52% prefer cash, and 46% prefer debit or credit cards. Among those 50 or older, 77% still prefer cash, with 21% reaching for debit cards or credit cards.

Those who graduated from or attended college are more comfortable than others using plastic for small purchases.

A combined 39% of those with college degrees prefer debit cards (21%) or credit cards (18%) over cash (59%). Only 16% of those who have not attended college usually use debit cards for purchases of less than $5, along with only 6% who prefer credit cards for that purpose.

Consumers with full-time jobs were more likely to use credit cards and debit cards for small purchases (42%) than those employed part time (34%) or than those who were unemployed (23%). People with children are more likely to use the cards for small purchases (41%) than those without children (30%).

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Council white paper: Psychographics discover 'why' of purchases

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (8/28/14)--Marketers may know the "who" and "where" of their target market, but it's the elusive "why" that will key them in to what people buy and use.
 
A new white paper from the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council looks at psychographics, which classifies people based on lifestyles, attitudes, habits, interests and opinions opposed to geographic data ("where") and demographics ("who").
 
The power of psychographics allows credit union marketers to build better connections with members by getting inside their heads and understanding how they think and what is important to them.
 
Psychographics helps marketers understand what will grab members' attention and, more importantly, what may turn them off, the paper noted.
 
How can a credit union discover its members' distinct voices? Begin by asking them five questions, the paper advised:
  • What made you decide to join/do business with us?
  • What do you like about our competitor and their product?
  • What are your interests, hobbies, and pastimes?
  • Are you extroverted or introverted? Are you analytical or emotional?
  • What kind of environment do you thrive in?
Psychographics brings a personal and emotional connection to the relationship. FAA CU, Oklahoma City, with $563 million in assets, collected data from its core processing, marketing customer information file and customer relationship management programs.

Instead of a sweeping communication, the credit union created personalized URLs to give members with a free credit score analysis. By focusing on member service, the credit union and its See Your Score Soar campaign saved members more than $10 million over 18 months (News Now May 12).
 
Use the resource link to access "The Power of Psychographics: Segmented and Targeted Marketing Strategies."

State leagues bestow social responsibility awards on CUs

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (8/28/14)--Three state credit union leagues recently announced their winners of credit union philosophy and financial education awards.
 
The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award is given to a credit union or credit union group for external activities supporting social responsibility projects within the community.
 
The Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Member Service Award goes to a credit union for its practical application of credit union philosophy to internal programs and services that benefit membership.
 
The Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards honor credit union efforts for personal finance education of members and nonmembers.
 
The deadline for states to submit winners to the Credit Union National Association for national consideration is Friday.
 
During its recent annual convention, the Louisiana Credit Union League presented its awards to the following credit unions.
 
Desjardin youth financial literacy awards went to:
  • Less than $200 million: Lafayette (La.) Schools FCU, with $173 million in assets; and
  • More than $200 million: Barksdale FCU, Bossier City, with $1.1 billion in assets.
Desjardin adult financial literacy awards were bestowed on:
  • Less than $200 million: Greater New Orleans FCU, Metairie, with $116 million in assets; and
  • More than $200 million: Neighbors FCU, Baton Rouge, with $670 million in assets.
Ouachita Valley FCU, West Monroe, with $176 million in assets, received the Louise Herring award. The Dora Maxwell award went to Lafayette Schools FCU, in the less than $200 million-asset category, and Neighbors FCU, in the more than $200 million-asset category.
 
The Minnesota Credit Union Network released its list of winners from 27 credit unions that submitted entries this year.
 
Winners of the Dora Maxwell award, by asset size, are:
  • $20 million-$50 million: Star Choice CU, Bloomington, with $47 million in assets;
  • $100 million-$200 million: Lake State CU, Moose Lake, with $188 million in assets;
  • $200 million-$500 million: Richfield-Bloomington CU, Richfield, with $258 million in assets; and
  • $500 million-$1 billion: SPIRE CU, Falcon Heights, with $626 million in assets.
Minnesota's Louise Herring award winners, by asset size, are:
  • Less than $50 million: Star Choice CU;
  • $250 million-$1 billion: TopLine FCU, Maple Grove, with $352 million in assets; and
  • More than $1 billion: Affinity Plus FCU, St. Paul, $1.7 billion in assets.
Winners of the Desjardins youth financial education award, by asset size, are:
  • Less than $50 million: Cook Area CU, Cook, with $29 million in assets;
  • $50 million-$150 million: United Educators CU, Apple Valley, Minn., with $151 million in assets;
  • $150 million-$500 million: TopLine FCU; and
  • More than $500 million: Wings Financial CU, Apple Valley, with $4 billion in assets.
Desjardins adult education awards went to $153 million-asset Great River FCU, St. Cloud, in the $150 million to $500 million-asset category; and $950 million-asset Hiway FCU, St. Paul, in the more than $500 million-asset category.
 
Top achievers from the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) also were announced this week.
 
LSCU's Dora Maxwell award winners, by asset size, are:
  • $100 million-$200 million: PBC CU, West Palm Beach, Fla., with $123 million in assets;
  • $200 million-$500 million: First Commerce CU, Tallahassee, Fla., with $400 million in assets;
  • $500 million-$1 billion: Alabama CU, Tuscaloosa, with $640 million in assets; and
  • More than $1 billion: CFE FCU, Lake Mary, Fla., with $1.4 billion in assets.
The Louise Herring award went to $1.2 billion-asset Pen Air FCU, Pensacola, in the more than $1 billion-asset category.
 
Desjardins youth financial education awards went to $43 million-asset Tallahassee-Leon FCU, Tallahassee, Fla., in the less than $50 million-asset category; $407 million-asset Legacy Community FCU, Birmingham, Ala., in the $150 million to $500 million-asset category; and $5.7 billion-asset Suncoast CU, Tampa, Fla., in the more than $500 million-asset category.
 
In the more than $500 million-asset category, the Desjardins adult education award went to Army Aviation Center FCU, Daleville, Ala., with $1.1 billion in assets.

CUNA offers 'Must-know Mondays' for directors

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (8/28/14)--The Credit Union National Association has announced a new seven-part webinar series that satisfies the yearly training requirements of credit union directors.
 
"Must-know Mondays--Required Training for Directors" will explore topics that credit union directors are required to revisit year after year, each sprinkled with humor and insights from presenter David Reed, a speaker and facilitator who has served as both an outside attorney and an in-house credit union general counsel.
 
Each session will also give attendees the opportunity to ask questions or make observations of their credit unions' situation gain additional insight into each topic.
 
"As our industry becomes more complex, credit union directors are held responsible for more and more ongoing training each year," said Lynne Bjorgo, CUNA manager of learning events. "Rather than ask them to track down each training requirement individually, we're assembling one comprehensive package and covering one topic each month from now until spring."
 
Session dates and topics include:
  • Sept. 29: Board Governance Refresher;
  • Oct. 20: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Director's Bond Coverage;
  • Nov. 17: The Ins and Outs of the Bank Secrecy Act for Directors and Volunteers;
  • Dec. 15: What a Director Needs to Know About Fair Lending;
  • Jan. 26: Creating a Transparent Board--Understanding and Dealing with Conflicts of Interest;
  • Feb.16: Examination Guidance for Directors; and
  • March 23: The Director's Guide to Effectively Working with the Supervisory Committee.
Recordings of each session are included with the webinar series.

CU System briefs (08/28/2014)

CU System
  • SUITLAND, Md. (8/28/14)--Next week, Andrews FCU, Suitland, Md., will join the Steak Team Mission for the first of its three fall events that provide steak dinners to servicemembers around the world. The $1 billion-asset credit union will bring the second Steak Team Mission to Mons, Belgium, for 600 servicemembers for a Labor Day celebration Wednesday. The following week on Sept. 9, the credit union will host a dinner for all military attaches assigned to Paris at the U.S. ambassador's residence. And, in honor of Veterans Day in November, a steak mission will be held in the Sinai Peninsula for the 2,000 soldiers serving there as part of the multinational peacekeeping mission. Since 2002, Steak Team Mission has prepared and served more than 50,000 steak dinners with all the trimmings. "There is never enough we can do in support of our troops," said Jim Hayes, Andrews FCU president/CEO. "This contribution is just our way of saying thank you for all that you do." ...
     
  • GLENDORA, Calif. (8/28/14)--Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) selected Mendell Thompson, president/CEO, America's Christian CU, Glendora, Calif., as a 2014 Angels in Adoption awardee for his advocacy of adoption efforts. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute honor is an opportunity for congressional delegates to recognize their constituents' work on behalf of foster children and orphans. The $284 million-asset credit union has helped place more than 1,000 children with families through its adoption loan program, which helps cover adoption costs such as travel to foreign countries ...

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