Opening Consumers’ Eyes to Credit Unions

By Frank Chinn, Board Chair, Unitus Community Credit Union

Frank Chinn

Frank Chinn, Board Chair, Unitus Community Credit Union

Many of us in the credit union movement have been members for decades, maybe even our whole lives. The mission and benefits of credit unions are so obvious to us that we don’t realize there are many people out there that don’t truly understand credit unions. It’s time that we try and reach these people to show them what credit unions are all about!

The good news is folks from all over the credit union movement have already come together to make this happen. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is leading an initiative to raise the consideration of credit unions among consumers.

What does that mean? CUNA, leagues, and credit unions are supporting a campaign – Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® – that busts industry myths and shares all the benefits credit unions provide.

The campaign is designed from extensive market research where we learned that 98% of consumers have heard of credit unions, but 72% of non-members wouldn’t consider a credit union for their financial needs. We also learned that consumers are stuck on two big myths, thinking: 1) I can’t join; and 2) accessing my money will be hard.

When you understand these myths, that 72% starts to make a lot of sense. Why would non-members consider credit unions if they were pretty sure they don’t qualify, and even if they did, they would probably struggle to use our services?

As a board chair, I’m passionate about credit unions. I see what this industry does for members like myself and I want us to succeed. It’s not just about raising our market share – it’s about giving more Americans better financial options to help them follow their dreams.

Maybe you’ve heard a lot about the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® Awareness initiative or maybe this is all new to you. Wherever you fall, I encourage you to consider this campaign. It’s live in several states and many more launches are being planned for 2019!

It’s important that Board Members are involved in this process. I know for me it’s about helping our incredible movement reach more people. Don’t sit on the sidelines while the rest of us participate in this groundbreaking initiative. Talk to your credit union, ask those of us at contributing credit unions questions and learn more from CUNA.

Have you thought about your credit union becoming a part of one of the most exciting projects our industry has ever taken on together? If so, have your credit union become a contributor! If not, what information are you looking for that you haven’t received?