The interchange message and its TV advocacy campaign is getting a boost this month from an unexpected linkage between two credit unions—one in California and the other in Kansas.
As it turns out, a California member of the $167 Cabrillo Credit Union of San Diego helped spark a widely seen TV interview by the president of the $179 million Mid American Credit Union in Wichita.
“The interchange issues affects not only members in San Diego but consumers everywhere,” said Robin Lentz, president/CEO of Cabrillo.
A member of Cabrillo who is now a TV reporter for KWCH, the CBS affiliate in Wichita, saw notices from Cabrillo about the issue and aired an interview with James Holt, the head of Mid American.
“It seems that reporter who used to live in California but was still a member of Cabrillo got one of their interchange letters and ended up talking to us,” said Holt. “The coverage would not have happened without Cabrillo doing its job and we doing ours.”
To help educate Cabrillo members on the issue, the CU had sent out letters and posted website information urging members to write Congress that the interchange cap would only “benefit large retailers and could make Cabrillo unable to continue offering debit cards or free checking.”
The reporter, intrigued about “what the issue is all about came to us,” said Holt.
“I find it pretty interesting than an email to a member about interchange from a credit union in California helped create press for the credit union movement in Kansas,” said Anne Legg, vice president of marketing.