Arizona FCU Membership Fee Breaks New Ground
Although there are more than 93 million credit union members, only 40 million use a credit union as their primary financial institution. So is there any way to convince the remaining 53 million members to bank at a credit union for their day-to-day financial needs?
The $1.2 billion Arizona Federal Credit Union in Phoenix said it is the first financial services cooperative to try a new but controversial solution to this long-standing industry-wide dilemma: Require all of your members to pay a monthly membership fee.
Credit union industry consultant Tom Glatt Jr. said the membership fee is an interesting but punitive attempt to change behavior of members.
“Regardless, I can see how [the credit union] could argue that it needs to do this to conform members to active relationships,” observed Glatt. “But the fact that they had so many members close their accounts is telling, and I also think it is not a credit union friendly solution.”