It’s time for credit unions to “chime” in about doing the right thing

The mobile-only bank’s marketing gambit provides lessons in how to make lemonade out of lemons.

Credit unions were created to do right by their members. That’s baked into their DNA and in their charters. They succeed by sticking to their mission: providing affordable, fairly priced financial services and service that puts members, and their communities, first.

So, why is it so hard for so many credit unions to deliver that message? It’s one thing to do all the right things, but it’s another to get people to sit up and take notice, to give credit unions the credit — and the business — where it’s due.

Instead, the movement’s competitors — old and new — are publicly pounding their chests about doing the right thing like it’s something new. That’s true even when the “right thing” unravels in the fine print.

Take the case of Chime, a mobile-only bank backed by Bancorp Bank that’s making a big impression in the marketplace by advertising itself as “the bank that has your back” and promising “an early payday” by depositing pay into accounts “up to two days early.” It also offers no hidden fees and 38,000 fee-free ATMs.

 

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