HarborOne CU Plays up the "Advantage"
BROCKTON, Mass. - HarborOne Credit Union is pushing the HarborOne Advantage as a way to draw in more members. Launched in June, the HarborOne Advantage is an initiative developed to identify exactly what members would like to find at the $1.2 billion credit union. Staffers worked in teams for over a year and discovered some 100 new opportunities for the credit union to introduce in stages. "When we began our discussions in the spring of 2004, we knew that our employees would be a great source of information about our members' wants and needs," said HarborOne CU President/CEO James W. Blake. "Speaking as the voice of the community and as members themselves, they really helped us to pinpoint the things that though sometimes small, can make a huge difference in a member's experience." Some small changes include installing several coin-counting machines in select branch lobbies to play up the credit union's image of convenience. The service is free for members and non-members are charged a small fee of 5% of the total coins changed. In addition to reinforce the credit union's homey feel Saturday branch visitors are treated to warm, freshly baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. To ensure Saturday staffers can focus on serving members HarborOne CU hired additional dedicated part time employees just to bake and serve the cookies on "Chocolate Chip Cookie Days". Several new products have also been rolled out as part of the Advantage including an "Income Averaging CD", which is an insured investment designed to smooth out swings in investment earnings over long periods of time. Within the CD the member may choose to split the total investment into certificates of varying terms each of which automatically rolls over. According to HarborOne CU Senior Vice President Leo MacNeil the customizable structure allows the account to earn higher returns while providing greater liquidity. With an eye on providing flexibility the credit union has also introduced the HarborOne Bump-Up CD, which allows members to increase the rate once during the 18-month term. In addition the credit union has launched a 40-year mortgage, and made available mortgages and equity lines of credit with interest-only payment options. To generate a buzz about the HarborOne Advantage the credit union is giving away a 2005 Ford Mustang. One lucky winner will be named September 16. "We think people will be pleased to learn more about the new products and services we've recently introduced, but even if they don't have an account with us the contest is open to everyone," said Blake.