EL MONTE, Calif.-The biggest boon to Vons CU from Bank Transfer Day is not the big membership increase, it's the fact many of the newcomers view the CU as their PFI.

CEO Stephen Weakley told Credit Union Journal that most new members now take a checking account when they join. "These new members are more involved with us from the start than what we've typically found with new members."

Looking at the data from the start of the Bank Transfer Day movement to now, and comparing that to the period one year prior to BTD, 73% of Vons' new members are choosing a checking account. "That's a 20% increase from the year before. In that same timeframe, membership has risen 12%."

Weakley said the results signal to Vons a shift is occurring, from members using the $390-million credit union for selected services, to ones who want a credit union as their primary financial institution.


Biz Development Rep Added

"In response, we have added a business development representative, and our marketing team is taking proactive measures to communicate with the membership base to solidify our relationship with them as their primary financial institution. Now, I think it's just a matter of us continuing to build on our efforts by developing deeper relationships that serve their individual needs."

One reason for the excellent results, offered Weakley, is the media and advertising are educating consumers that credit unions are full-service. "Prior to Bank Transfer Day, many of our prospective members saw us predominantly as a savings institution or simply a place to borrow money. Now, because credit unions are getting regular national attention, consumers are starting to realize that credit unions offer all the products and services that the big banks offer."

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