ARLINGTON, Va. — The foot traffic at Arlington Community FCU was as brisk today on most Saturdays, but looks can be deceiving. The credit union has had a “strong increase” in new members over the last few weeks both from people coming in and on line,’’ said President/CEO Brenda Turner.
“We had a 45% increase in membership in October over September and a 100% increase in checking accounts,’’ Turner said in an interview in the lobby of the credit union’s main branch on Columbia Pike here.
“A good number of those new members have said that they are joining because of the Bank of America fee and the high fees that banks charge,” Turner said.
She said the publicity in the traditional and social media surrounding the lead up to today’s Bank Transfer Day has helped attract prospective members but that her credit union also has been very proactive in reaching out to people who live, work or worship in this suburb of Washington, D.C. Arlington Community FCU regularly and aggressively contacts employers and holds workshops describing products and services and on topics such as financial literacy.
In addition, Facebook and other social media outlets also are used. Turner said her credit union has benefited from the fact that many members use Facebook to encourage friends to join the credit union.
Arlington Community FCU also has been doing a “Free Yourself” marketing campaign on its website, emphasizing free checking.
The credit union has assets of $190 million and 17,000 members.
Karen Rosales, the credit union’s vice president of marketing and community relations, said the publicity surrounding Bank Transfer Day has complemented the marketing efforts of individual financial institutions.
“It’s been amazing about the power of the woman who came up with the idea for Bank Transfer Day. She’s done in a short period of time what it took a battalion of marketers years to accomplish,’’ Rosales said.
Turner interrupted the interview to ask several of the people waiting to open new accounts what was motivating them to do so. While none cited Bank Transfer Day they mentioned their positive experience with credit unions in other cities or the fact that they had relatives who are members of Arlington Community FCU.