To help credit unions serve members who were historically underserved by insurance companies, CUNA Mutual Group launched MemberCONNECT 30 years ago.
“In the early 80s, we saw how credit unions had difficulties making products and services available beyond their core competencies,” said Kevin Lentz, vice president of Direct to Consumer for CUNA Mutual Group.
He added, “Since then, the MemberCONNECT program has grown into one of the industry’s preferred methods of connecting credit union members with insurance protection.”
In 30 years, the program has grown to help protect nearly14 million members, according to CUNA Mutual. For credit unions, more than $66 million in noninterest income was paid in 2012 alone.
Of the more than 4,000 credit unions using the MemberCONNECT program, CUNA Mutual said more than 500 have been with the program from the beginning.
“Working together for 30 years is quite a statement,” said Lentz. “We’ve learned a lot from these original credit unions and have always valued their insight. Together, we’ve made great strides in optimizing various marketing channels and understanding how members learn and purchase services.”
Sherry Saxon, president/CEO of the $74 million Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union in Augusta, Ga., said her credit union has been involved with MemberCONNECT program since its launch.
“It fits right in with our credit union’s philosophy – it’s all about helping the members,” Saxon said. “Just knowing that we’re able to help members by making available life insurance products that are not expensive, I think it gives them a sense of comfort.”
Lentz said with the evolution to the TruStage brand last year, the program has seen “even more confidence from credit unions who understand what value we can add to protecting their members.”
What does the next 30 years look like for the MemberCONNECT program? According to Lentz, it’s continued investment and refinement.
“We’re continuing to invest in new channels, media and technologies in the ways members want. In that sense, we’re constantly adapting to reflect the current marketplace,” Lentz said.
CUNA Mutual has provided a full history of the MemberCONNECT program.