Operations

Bank Transfer Day: One Year Later

CUs are on track to add 2.3 million members in 2012.

October 17, 2012
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“We’ve seen some very good numbers in the 12 months following Bank Transfer Day last Nov. 5,” says Ryan Zilker, B2B marketing manager for CO-OP Financial Services, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Zilker spoke Tuesday to attendees of the CUNA Technology Council and CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council annual conferences held concurrently in Las Vegas.

“We’re on track to add 2.3 million members in 2012, and a lot of that growth can be traced back to Bank Transfer Day and related events,” says Zilker. “One of the challenges of that growth is that most consumers think of banking as a maintenance activity and credit unions need to turn it into an enhancement activity.

“Credit unions also must deal with the fact that most consumers think of switching financial institutions as a very intimidating task, and consumers have to reach a high pain threshold before they’ll switch,” says Zilker.

“As an industry, we need to simplify the complexity of switching financial institutions,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot a credit union switch kits, but none of them simplifies the process to a large degree. It’s still an intimidating undertaking, and most consumers just won’t do it.

“Our consumer research tells us that--in consumers’ eyes--credit unions are essentially invisible, the credit union brand is flawed, and banks have perceived advantages in convenience and technology,” Zilker says. “More than half [58%] of consumers responding to our survey said they weren’t sure if nonmembers could join credit unions.

“Nonmembers say credit unions’ strongest attribute is their community involvement,” says Zilker. “While admirable, that attribute doesn’t match up with what nonmembers say is important for convincing them to switch financial institutions. Nonmembers say ‘online banking’ and ‘convenient ATMs’ are the two most important factors to get them to switch institutions.

“Basically, people want a branch at the end of their driveway and they want to trip over an ATM on their way to that branch.” 

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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