Bob Hoppenstedt, SVP Bethpage Federal Credit Union, reported about the success of Bank Transfer Week. Bethpage’s specific offerings included a lifetime no-fee checking guarantee plus the introduction of a debit card/check buyback offer. The initiative was supported by paid media (traditional, digital), owned media (social channels) and earned media (press coverage).
The results during Bank Transfer Week were very encouraging for the future of Credit Unions:
- 1,645 new members
- 1,471 new checking accounts
- 672 new checking accounts opened on November 5 alone
Even more promising: 500+ new checking accounts have been opened weekly on average in Q1 2012. As Hoppenstedt said: “Bank Transfer Day has turned into Bank Transfer Week.”
Scott Strand, Chief Lending Officer and SVP of Member Operations of BECU, had another interesting success story to tell: BECU developed their brand in the last few years around the idea of being a local community bank. He described BECU’s approach as soft since they already counted 16,6000 new members in October 2011 and were concerned about high demand. They utilized mainly Social Media to engage with customers and partnered with the Occupy Seattle movement. Strand described Bank Transfer Day as a seismic event with continuing aftershocks:
- 28,744 new members in Q4 2011
- 50% increase in new loans
- Deposits up by $280 million
- Loan balances increased by $150 million
Sandra Scott, VP Card Services + Product Management Patelco, took a different path: Patelco started in 2010 a campaign, entitled “Break up with your bank”. That brand direction tapped right into the mindset of customers in 2011 when they were fed up with bailouts and Bank of America’s new checking fee. She explained that Bank Transfer Day was much more than Patelco, it was about a real movement. Patelco didn’t partner with Occupy, and they refused numerous times to take the political route. They extended an offer to new customers: free checking/debit card and that was enough for new members to sign-up since customers were ready for the Credit Union story- they were ready to listen. To be exact: 5,000 new members in November alone.
Her recommendations for the future of the Bank Transfer Season:
- Schedule a Bank Transfer Day quarterly
- You need marketing dollars to spread the message
- It’s important to listen to customer sentiment.
- Help new and current members to move their money.
Last but not least, Troy B. Hall, Chief Operations Officer South Carolina Federal Credit Union, believes “Every Day is Bank Transfer Day”. It started as a peaceful, social media event created by Kristen Christian, an artist from Los Angeles, CA. It’s not part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement; she fashioned Bank Transfer Day to belong to credit unions. Hall believes it’s time for all credit unions to practice the cooperative spirit through collaborative marketing.
The rallying cry “Every Day is Bank Transfer Day” was coined by Kristen Christian and serves as a rallying cry for the movement. Hall mentioned www.btdnow.org as a way to participate and communicate;. a collaborative movement with no annual or usage feeds associated. You can also join BTDNOW on Facebook. A credit union grass root movement worth joining