Credit unions using creative, cost-effective and innovative campaigns to successfully market their credit and debit cards will be recognized by Card Services for Credit Unions at the association's annual conference this week.
“The campaigns prove our credit unions are competing with the big banks–and winning, said Bill Lehman, vice president of portfolio consulting at CSCU. “We provide the forum for our members to share their ideas at our annual conference and through our online tool.”
“We are excited about this year’s conference as attendees will have the opportunity to hear from some dynamic speakers and learn from their peer award winners who continue to set the bar higher each year in attaining great successes with their card programs,” Lehman added.
Card Services for Credit Union is the association of credit unions that processes their card transactions with FIS.
A record number of nominations, 115 entries from 70 credit unions, were submitted for this year’s awards. Winners received registration waivers and travel funds to attend the meeting, where they will be able to network and learn industry best practices from other credit unions’ successful marketing campaigns, the association said.
A new category was introduced this year: bank to CU transfer campaign. Many CSCU member credit unions capitalized on the national buzz and created local marketing campaigns encouraging people to bring their financial relationship to a credit union, the association said. The national Bank Transfer Day grassroots campaign was started by Kristen Christian, who will be speaking at the CSCU Annual Conference on Thursday, April 26.
The 125,000-member, $1.8 billion Summit Credit Union, headquartered in Madison, Wis., won recognition for its overall campaign to market its credit card program that saw the CU more than double its usual number of new cards over the promotional period in June and July 2011.
According to Summit CEO Kim Sponem, the Visa card issuer has a portfolio that includes platinum cards, platinum rewards cards and business rewards cards. The CU has roughly 42,000 cards worth roughly $79 million in outstanding balances as of the end of 2011.
Sponem said the CU offered a promotion that included a 3.9% rate on balance transfers for one year as well as a 0.5% rebate on new purchases through the end of the promotion.
“We set a six-week goal of 1,000 new cards with $4.5 million in balance transfers,” Sponem explained. “Typically, we only open about 450 new cards over a six-week period. Our results were 1,387 new cards opened over the promotion and $5.35 million in balance transfers,” she added.
The CU included messages on the website as well as articles in both its print and electronic newsletters, but primarily relied on staff to promote the card deal, Sponem explained.
“We relied heavily on staff to achieve the goal,” Sponem said. “We provided staff incentives for individuals and branches who met their promotion goals. Twenty-four employees met their goal of opening more than 25 cards, which resulted in each of them getting a $100 gift card. And 13 of our 24 branches exceeded their individual branch goal for new cards opened and balance transfer amounts, resulting in a free lunch on the credit union for all of those branch employees.”
In total, Sponem said, the staff incentive cost for the promotion was $6,000.
The 3,600-member, $17 million Village Community Credit Union, headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., won recognition for its “Around the Corner” campaign, which offered double reward points and 3.99% interest rate to drive increased card openings and increased use of existing cards.
The six-month promotion saw the credit union add 43 new accounts, which is 6% above the numbers it usually achieved. At the same time, the credit union saw existing balances move up by 11.6%, from over just over $1 million to just over $1.2 million while average balances moved from $2,755 to $2,865 and overall card penetration go up 33. The numbers of accounts with a finance charge moved up 12% as well, and the average number of times a card was used each month moved from 4.2 to 4.9.
Village used a mixture of staff education, statement inserts and lobby posters to promote its card offers, according to its Chief Operations Officer Janet Hendrie.