Despite little coverage by the local media, Bank Transfer Day turned into a hit for the $1.2 billion Arizona State Credit Union of Phoenix, an executive with the 122,000-member credit union said.
“We had a really good weekend for our online account opening system, opening 75 applications online as compared to a normal 21 and we had several thousand visitors to our website for three days,” said Paul Stull, senior vice president-strategy/brand.
Stull said Monday that Arizona State CU has seen membership increases every month this year and is up 30% from year ago.
So far, he said, the momentum for the first seven days of November is continuing at the same pace. “I will be interested to see what final November numbers look like. Our first four days were higher than average, but this week should give a better indication,” Stull said.
For credit unions, Bank Transfer Day “was a wakeup call to tell their story, show how they are different and how local financial institutions benefit both consumers and the communities in which they are located,” said Stull adding “the big day may be over, but credit unions can’t afford to let the opportunity disappear.”
While the cable channels and network feeds mentioned Bank Transfer Day, the Phoenix media largely ignored it, including a march by Occupy Phoenix protesters to shred debit cards at branches of Bank of America and Chase Bank.
“Coverage here was nonexistent,” said Stull.
But CUs, he said, should be ready to combat the anticipated effort by banks to come back with new fees.
“I see TD Bank announced it will charge a $9 fee to savings customers who have more than six transactions in a billing cycle,” said Stull adding “so the new fees are not going away for long and I’m sure BofA already knows how it will get the get the increased revenue it was looking for with a debit card fee. They will get the fee, but it will come in another way.”