CU Financial Literacy Platforms Score National Awards
Two platforms that share the credit union message recently received national awards for achieving measurable results and will be available soon to institutions across the country.
PSCU's Make Your Money Matter and Phroogal, which both promote financial literacy, can help credit unions build rapport, establish credibility and capture a larger market share, the companies said.
Make Your Money Matter, which debuted last fall, was recently named best educational resources website and a top five finalist for the People's Choice award at the 2014 South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.
This month at the MoPRO 2014 member conference in Las Vegas, PSCU plans to introduce the member acquisition, lead generation and social media platform to its member base of 700 credit unions, the company said.
“The future for credit unions lies in their ability to do what they do best today – take care of the financial needs of their members – but to do so in new ways digitally,” said Fredda McDonald, EVP and chief creative officer of the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based CUSO. “Make Your Money Matter can assist by enabling them to attract, educate and engage a new generation of consumers by highlighting their enormous value using social media.”
Another platform planning a national rollout this year is Elizabeth, N.J.-based Phroogal, which captured the top spot in the recent DEMOvation Challenge at Bank Innovation 2014 in Seattle and made it to the finals of the 2014 Entrepreneur Fest in Washington, D.C., the company said.
Phroogal and Make Your Money Matter feature unique social media components, the companies said.
Make Your Money Matter includes a shareable calculation tool that allows users to see how much big bank shareholders profit from consumer deposits.
The platform has also earned other awards for design, content and interactivity, including a Gold ADDY Award from the American Advertising Federation, PSCU said.
“It is nice to have digital marketing experts, like the judges at SXSW, validate that we are on the right road with the quality of the platform we are building,” McDonald added. “And we couldn't be more thrilled by the early response we have gotten to the offerings.
PSCU conducted beta testing at eight institutions: the $2.3 billion Redwood Credit Union in Santa Rosa, Calif.; the $1.6 billion GTE Financial in Tampa, Fla.; the $2 billion Baxter Credit Union in Vernon Hills, Ill.; the $817 million Firstmark Credit Union in San Antonio; the $5.4 billion Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Bethpage, N.Y.; the $676 million Michigan First Credit Union in Lathrup Village, Mich.; the $3.4 billion OnPoint Community Credit Union in Portland, Ore.; and the $471 million Mazuma Credit Union in Kansas City, Mo.
During the first eight weeks of the beta launch, which ended Jan. 1, metrics trended well above anticipated benchmarks, garnering more than 65,000 website visits and 31 million unique impressions on Facebook, the CUSO said.
Jason Vitug, founder of Phroogal, said his platform is currently in beta testing, but his goal is to enable credit unions across the country to integrate Phroogal into their websites.
By embedding the new platform, instead of investing in their own financial literacy website, credit unions can stretch educational budgets further, Vitug said.
To beta test Phroogal, Vitug said, he collaborated with several credit unions, including the $100 million Reach Federal Credit Union in Menlo Park, Calif., where he previously served as vice president of membership development.
“By creating Phroogal, Jason has really embarked on something unique and sorely needed,” said Christine Petro, president/CEO of Reach FCU. “Phroogal is a fantastic tool that can help credit unions of all sizes. I don't think there's anything else like it.”
Many consumers seeking “just-in-time” information turn immediately to search engines, Vitug said.
“People are not going to financial institution websites for answers to personal finance questions,” he added. “In fact, six in 10 people use Google to search for answers to financial questions. They sift through information that is advertised and SEO-optimized, leaving relevancy and reliability to chance.”
To resolve the dilemma created by unconfirmed information online, Phroogal ranks responses based on a hierarchy system that gives more weight to answers provided by verified experts and respected peers, he said.
“Financial illiteracy is a big problem in the America and one of the biggest challenges is getting the products and resources into the hands of the people who need them,” Vitug concluded. “We hope credit unions will partner with Phroogal to be part of building the largest financial knowledge base of its kind.”
Make Your Money Matter will be available to credit unions who participate in two PSCU marketing programs called Inbound and InboundPlus, the company said.
By the Numbers: PSCU's Make Your Money Matter
65,367 website visits during eight-week beta test
10,000 searches in nationwide credit union locator
4.6+ million earned Twitter impressions
31+ million unique Facebook Impressions
759 hashtags for #makeyourmoneymatter