My New Year’s resolution: Help open eyes to credit unions

With the holidays coming up I’m looking forward to spending time with family and friends to soak in the last days of 2019 and ring in the new year. But the days I have circled on my calendar are in January. What’s happening then? Northwest consumers eyes will be opened to credit unions!

The Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign is coming to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. This is a game changing effort to raise consumer consideration of credit unions. As a Board Chair, I’m passionate about credit unions. I’m so proud of the work Unitus Community Credit Union does for all its members. And I want every American to feel the financial support I feel when I walk into my credit union.

Unfortunately, a lot of consumers just don’t think about credit unions when they make financial decisions. In fact, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), who initiated this campaign, found through research that even though most consumers have heard of credit unions they often think they aren’t their best option. 

We need to change these perceptions. Every American should know there’s a credit union out there for them. They should know that credit unions have a nation-wide network of ATMs, offer online banking, and most of all, are there to support members’ financial needs.

This consideration problem is having real consequences for our movement. Over the last couple decades credit unions’ market share has remained pretty much the same, while big banks have gobbled up their smaller competition. We know credit unions are in their sights, and we have to work together to protect and grow our market share.

That’s why I support the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign. Since last January, fourteen states have launched its digital-first ads to targeted consumers. The results so far are fantastic! The campaign has reached millions of consumers even in these early stages. Because that’s the important part – this is not a one- or two-year effort. It’s a long game, and we need credit unions, along with Leagues and CUNA, across the country to get on board to make it successful. 

So, here’s my New Year’s Resolution: I want to get as many people as I can to support Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union®. If you’re a Board Chair, CEO, marketing lead, or anyone in between, please make a commitment to our movement by asking your credit union to contribute to this campaign. There’s no better way to start off a new year than by supporting our movement as we all work to reach new members.

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By Frank Chinn, Board Chair, Unitus Community Credit Union