Posts Tagged Social Media

Smartphone Apps, Mobile Trends and Credit Unions

Posted by on Thursday, 31 May, 2012

Did you catch this infographic about smartphone app use on Mashable a couple of weeks ago? New research from Nielsen has revealed just how much app use has skyrocketed from 2011 to 2012. Among the findings:

  • The average number of apps per smartphone has increased from 32 to 41.
  • Time spent on apps vs. the Web has jumped from 73% to 81%.
  • The number of Android and iOS users has taken a huge leap, from 38 million to 84 million.

How do these findings affect the credit union industry? Some CU-specific research provides more insight into the increase in smartphone app and mobile use and the implications this has for credit unions.

According to the “Measuring Social Media Success in Credit Unions” report from the Filene Research Institute:

  • Overall, 15.5% of credit unions report that they have developed a smartphone app.
  • About 21.3% of credit unions that use social media use smartphone apps.
  • App use has increased throughout the year, with 13.9% of all credit unions developing apps.

And from CUNA’s 2012-2013 Credit Union Environmental Scan (E-Scan) Report:

  • More consumers will use mobile devices to obtain loans, particularly younger members. The average age of a credit union member is 47, but the average age of users of CUNA Mutual’s Smartphone Loan technology is 29. In addition, completion rates for CUNA Mutual’s mobile loan application are more than 50%, compared to 40% to 50% for all Internet loan applications.
  • In a survey of 450 credit union CEOs and senior executives, 48% listed mobile banking as one of their top tech projects for 2012. In addition, 39% prioritized mobile payments.
  • While mobile payment transactions already total $240 billion annually, the market is expected to double or triple in the next five years, according to Juniper Research. By 2013, one in five cellphones worldwide will use near field communication (NFC) technology; by 2014, Google estimates that 50% of cellphones will use NFC technology.

It’s clear that mobile technology is booming, and an increasing number of credit unions are diving into the world of smartphone applications, mobile lending and mobile payments. Is your credit union developing new mobile technology or experiencing success with mobile tools? Let us know in the comments!

Yes, You Can Use Pinterest for Your Credit Union

Posted by on Wednesday, 29 February, 2012

This post was originally published on

To pin or not to pin? As the popularity of Pinterest continues to grow, that is the question many credit union professionals are starting to ask.

If you’re not already familiar with the website, here’s a quick rundown: Pinterest is a social bookmarking website that allows you to collect—or “pin”—content from around the Web to personalized pinboards. The usefulness for credit unions might not be immediately apparent. After all, Pinterest is practically tailor-made for brands that specialize in fashion, cooking, housewares, and other visually oriented pursuits.

So do credit unions really have a place on Pinterest? I would argue that they do—if you give some deeper thought to your current and prospective members’ motivation before diving in.

But first, let’s talk about some statistics. In terms of numbers, it making more and more sense to have a presence on Pinterest because that’s where the Web users are. Check out these insights compiled by Monetate, a provider of digital marketing and optimization tools:

  • Estimated unique visitors to Pinterest increased by 329% from September to December 2011.
  • Pinterest is now driving more Web traffic than Google+.
  • The top five tips for using Pinterest include promoting a lifestyle, using it as a focus group, crowdsourcing, running contests, and inspiring your team.

So what are some specific ways that credit unions can start pinning? The key is to tap into the goals of members, and show them how your credit union can play a vital role in helping them achieve those goals.

Think about it like this: Users typically use their boards as future inspiration. They might pin images of new cars, dream kitchens, vacation destinations, or splurge-worthy shoes. Do you notice a pattern here? Your credit union can help members work toward all of these goals. You just have to position yourself on Pinterest as their biggest financial adviser and cheerleader. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a collaborative pinboard of potential savings goals, and invite other users to become contributors. Encourage them to pin content related to whatever they want to save money for, and offer advice and feedback through comments.
  • Lots of pinners use Pinterest to find creative ideas for kids. Try creating a pinboard that focuses on projects or activities that teach children about money. Or, for something more lighthearted, create a pinboard dedicated to something quirky, like unique piggy banks. A quick Web search should reveal lots of fun images worth pinning.
  • Use pins to direct members to specific areas of your website. But make sure you’re actually sharing content that will genuinely interest members. For instance, does your credit union maintain a blog or write articles for members? Pin attention-grabbing images or infographics that link back to your content.

As with any form of social media, getting started with Pinterest might be a trial-and-error process at first—and that’s perfectly okay. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches and strategies to find what works best for your followers.

Have you started using Pinterest for your credit union? Share your experience with a comment!

How credit unions and financial institutions use social media

Posted by on Wednesday, 1 February, 2012

A friend was recently hired into the credit union industry. As she got up-to-speed with credit unions she wanted to get a better sense for how financial institutions use social media and asked if I would supply her with resources on the subject.

I said to myself after replying to her request: “Self… CUNAverse readers might find this information useful!” I agreed with myself, as I often do.

So, here is a small list of online resources I track with periodically or have found to be useful. It is by no means an exhaustive list—nor an endorsement—but rather a small sampling of what I use to stay current with the credit union space and better understand how financial institutions use social media. Perhaps you will find these helpful as well.

What resources and examples would you suggest? Please share them in the comments!


Examples of credit unions using social media:


Resources from the credit union industry:


Articles on social media and financial institutions:


Top 10 New Years Resolutions for CUNAverse

Posted by on Thursday, 19 January, 2012

Your CUNAverse team is excited for the upcoming year and looking forward to several improvements that will make CUNAverse a better experience for you… beginning with this post.

Take a moment to view our slideshow for our top 10 New Years Resolutions for CUNAverse. We hope this level of transparency reinforces the genuine nature of this blog, our commitment to providing you with valuable insight on all things credit union, and sets the tone in your mind for what is already shaping up to be a fantastic year.

As always, we want to hear your feedback. What do you think? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Top 15 Must-read Credit Union Articles for Summer, 2011

Posted by on Thursday, 22 September, 2011

What a busy summer in credit union land! We took a brief respite from our “Must Read” lists this summer to tend to other matters, but fear not! This post includes five articles for each month—June, July, and August—on important credit union topics you may have missed.

We hope these are helpful and, as always, please share additional articles by leaving a comment below!




Create a Board Succession Plan: Seven Steps

Creating a board succession plan is in members’ best interests and helps fulfill directors’ fiduciary duties. Learn how with this article.

What Do Credit Unions Need to Do to Remain Relevant

Several credit union IT leaders were asked this question by Credit Union Times at the recent Finovation conference in San Francisco: “What do credit unions need to do to stay relevant in the coming years?”

Small Banks, Credit Unions Fear Debit Fee Declines

Could a limit on the fees retailers pay on debit card purchases cause your bank or credit union to fail? That’s the dire picture some are painting as a cap on so-called swipe fees nears.

Louisiana League to Develop Young Professionals Network

The Louisiana Credit Union League (LCUL) is developing a program to provide networking, development and growth opportunities for Louisiana’s young credit union professionals.

Compliance: What to Know About Reg Z Changes

CompBlog, the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) newest addition to its electronic information toolshed for members, has started a conversation about what credit unions should focus on in the changes the Federal Reserve made this spring to its Regulation Z.




Why Social Media’s in the Cards

Credit unions still unsure whether or not to invest in social networking may find some direction in a new study. According to SYNERGISTICS Research, cardholders are beginning to connect with credit card issuers via social networks.

Credit Unions Provide Haven for Commercial Lending

More companies have turned to their friendly neighborhood credit union for commercial loans, which is keeping many folks in business and adding jobs to a shaky economy.

Fed Issues Interchange ‘Exempt/Not Exempt’ Lists

In its first step to facilitate a two-tiered debit card interchange fee structure since adoption of its final rule, the Federal Reserve Tuesday (06/12) issued two lists—one with the names of each institution considered to be covered by the new cap on debit interchange fees and another with the names of those that are exempt.

Check 21: Image is Everything

Even though the volume of checks written gradually declines each year, credit unions should continue to invest in check-capture technologies that automate item processing and lower costs, says Andrew Tilbury, director of marketing and communications at Bluepoint Solutions Inc.

Social Media Enters the Hiring Process

As with all communication, social media comes with business benefits and legal risks. A primary area for concern among HR professionals is the use of social media in the hiring process.




Crash Networkers Take on Affordable Home Ownership

In just ten weeks, the Filene Research Institute and the Crash Network have developed an innovative program designed to help credit unions increase the availability of affordable home ownership.

Ed Filene on Embracing Social Media

There has been a long-running topic on about how to get management on-board with social media when they are dead-set against it.

Can Square Bring You More Business?

Shari Storm, SVP and CMO for Verity Credit Union suggests the launch of Square may cause credit unions to see more of their members starting side businesses.

CU Members Today and Tomorrow

As credit unions look to attract new members and peak borrowers in the future, they should increasingly think “young” and “Hispanic.”

How Stock Market Woes May Impact CUs

What is the consumer-confidence effect of market volatility on credit union members?


Use Social Media to Engage Members, Get Them to Your Website

Posted by on Friday, 29 July, 2011

Michelle Dosher

From Michelle Dosher:

Traditional communication channels and marketing campaigns may no longer be enough to grab members’ attention. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—just a few of the social media tools available to your credit union—can help promote the online personal finance products your credit union offers. Posting a product link on your credit union’s home page is a great first step in driving member traffic back to your website. Using social media tools is a great next step in engaging members with your products.

Posting pulls in members

Hughes FCU in Tucson, Ariz., drives traffic to its website by posting article and blog links from onlineEDGE publications—Home & Family Finance Resource Center®, MoneyMix™, Googolplex®, Plan It™, Anytime Adviser®, and El Poder es Tuyo™—on its Facebook page (search “Hughes Credit Union”). These posts link directly to the articles within the onlineEDGE publication featured.

Hughes FCU draws members from Facebook to MoneyMix on its website.

“We post links to onlineEDGE articles on Facebook because it helps us with our lifestyle marketing,” says Kathy Hippensteel, marketing manager at Hughes FCU. “We use Facebook because it allows us to have interactive communication with our members.” The credit union receives quite a few comments and “likes” about the posted articles. Since Hippensteel’s social media coordinator posts articles from different CUNA consumer publications, there is information posted for each target market. “The best thing about the products and about posting information about the products on Facebook is that it ties in with our goal of making a positive difference in members’ financial lives,” Hippensteel says.

Educators CU promotes a Youth Week activity.

The credit union also posts links to onlineEDGE information on Twitter, such as posting a link to remind members that they can win Visa gift cards by participating in the Resource Center’s Financial Fitness Challenge.

Getting started in social media

When using social media, credit unions should do the following, according to CUNA’s 2011-2012 Credit Union Environmental Scan:

  • Allocate proper time and resources
  • Have a social media strategy
  • Define goals and objectives
  • Set proper expectations
  • Set a realistic budget

Hippensteel concludes that, if possible, it’s important for credit unions to have someone on staff dedicated to working on social media marketing. “Social media is another way to keep members informed about what your credit union is offering,” she points out.

Michelle Dosher is a managing editor in CUNA’s Center for Personal Finance. This article originally appeared in CUNA’s Connection newsletter.

Big Time Thursday: Discovery is Coming to the America’s Credit Union Conference! (Contest)

Posted by on Thursday, 5 May, 2011

From Christy LaMasney

Why is CUNA Mutual Group bringing our face-to-face Discovery sessions to the Credit Union National Association’s America’s Credit Union Conference and Expo in 2011?  Well, by collaborating, we are leveraging our collective strengths to create a truly diversified and educational experience.

The Discovery breakouts will cover a wide range of topics including marketing and membership, risk management strategies, lending and compliance, virtual banking, employee and employer issues and issues facing boards of directors.  There truly is something for everyone.

Over the four day conference key insights will come from a combination of industry thought leaders, outside consultants, CUNA Mutual staff and your credit union colleagues. Just a few highlights include:

Kelly McDonald

Social Media & Social Marketing: How to Use it to Grow presented by Kelly McDonald, McDonald Consulting.

Kelly is making a return appearance after a successful presentation at our Online Discovery Conference last November.  At ACUC she will focus on how social media tools fit in your marketing strategy.  Many credit unions are using social media, but how do you know it’s effective and relevant?  Kelly will cover social media marketing from A-Z.


Ann Davidson

Top Fraud Trends in 2011 – Is Your CU Prepared to Prevent Today’s Top Fraud Threats? presented by Ann Davidson, CUNA Mutual Group.

How much is fraud costing your credit union? The bad news is fraud is not going away. Are you prepared to defend against these top fraud threats, including cards, ACH, wires, mobile payments and more? During this session Ann will share the industry top fraud threats, criminal behavior, how to identify the weakest links and key defenses to prevent fraud. Keep criminals out of your credit union and away from your members!


Panel discussion

A View to the Future of Credit Unions with Gen Y presented by a Credit Union Panel: Ronaldo Hardy, LaCapitol FCU; Matt Vance, Industrial CU; Amy Stanton, Connex CU and Jen Shefner, Columbia CU.

How many of your employees are from Gen Y?  With numbers estimated as high as 70 million, if you haven’t hired them yet, you will soon!  How can you attract young professionals and shape them into future leaders of the credit union system? These four young credit union leaders will share how they are influencing their credit unions, and what they believe is needed to make credit unions more relevant to their generation.


George Hoffheimer

Under the Sheets: What’s Hidden in Your Financial Statements? presented by George Hofheimer, Filene Research Institute and Mike Higgins, Jr., Mike Higgins and Associates

Too often, strategic plans are put together with a pre-determined financial objective in place. Unfortunately, the tactics to reach an arbitrary ROA target can have unintended consequences. A strategic plan needs to be more thoughtful than that. It’s important that you study your credit union’s balance sheet mix and non-interest income production to understand how powerful, and sustainable its Net Revenue Engine is and where opportunities for improvement exist. Credit unions need a sound set of asset quality guidelines to make sure credit losses don’t deplete excessive amounts of capital. During this session, based on a forthcoming Filene Research study, George and Mike will walk you through the process and discuss the benefits for your particular situation.


Discovery CONTEST: We want to know: What are the credit union issues and opportunities keeping you up at night? What topics are you looking for more insight? Answer this question in a comment below and we’ll do a random drawing on May 12th of all commenters and give away 50% off the ACUC conference registration plus a copy of  Discovery speaker Kelly McDonald’s best selling book How to Market to People Not Like You, currently featured on Inc. Magazine’s Business Book Bestseller List.

UPDATE (05/12): This contest has ended – congratulations to our winner, David from The Golden 1 Credit Union. He won a  50% off the ACUC conference registration plus a copy of  Discovery speaker Kelly McDonald’s best selling book How to Market to People Not Like You, currently featured on Inc. Magazine’s Business Book Bestseller List. THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!

Christy LaMasney is the Communications Strategist, Discovery for CUNA Mutual Group.

CONTEST DETAILS: Contest begins today and ends on Wed., May 11th at 11:59PM (CT). No purchase necessary to win.  Make sure you leave an email address where you can be contacted.  The winner will be notified via e-mail and will also be announced on the blog.  Multiple comments are allowed as long as you have a valid idea in each comment. (No duplicate comments) The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants received.  Void where prohibited.

This competition is offered by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and is open to anyone who comments on this post and is at least 18 years of age. Employees of CUNA and family members of such employees are not eligible to enter.

CUNA shall not have any liability for any malfunction of or damage to the prize. The award winner may be responsible for applicable state or federal taxes on the value of the contest prize.


Follow CUDiscovery on Twitter

Five Twitter Accounts Your Credit Union Should Follow

Posted by on Wednesday, 13 April, 2011

By now, you’ve probably heard about the importance of engaging credit union members through social-media platforms like Twitter. Hopefully you’re already putting that advice into practice!

Getting active on Twitter is a great way to spark conversation with members and potential members, but that’s not the only benefit. Just as you want members to find value in following your tweets, you can find value for your credit union by following other relevant users.

To get you started, here are five Twitter accounts your credit union should follow to keep up with current financial issues, find useful marketing and creative tips, and ramp up social media efforts:

1. @mashable

Follow Mashable for the latest news in social media and technology. The online resource puts the spotlight on new social-media tools, best practices for online and social-media marketing, and analysis of technology usage and trends. You’re sure to find a tip (or ten!) to help your credit union navigate the digital landscape.

2. @nytimeseconomix

Tweets from the popular New York Times economics blog cover big-picture financial issues, from college enrollment trends to unemployment statistics. Following this account is an easy way to stay on top of new facts and figures that could help direct your credit union’s product offerings and strategy.

3. @CFPB

The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau uses Twitter to share updates on policy and consumer issues. Follow the CFPB’s tweets to learn more about the Bureau’s evolving role, new rules and regulations, and important consumer insights. The CFPB also tweets links to consumer research and surveys, which can help your credit union understand some of the financial challenges  members may be facing.

4. @copyblogger

Want to learn how to whip up engaging content for your credit union’s website or blog? Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger Media, tweets helpful copywriting strategies from and around the Web. You’re sure to find some interesting, fun-to-read suggestions for effectively reaching members online.

5. @TweetSmarter

Why not round out this list with an account that can actually help you better position your credit union on Twitter? TweetSmarter offers hints for getting started on Twitter, troubleshooting, using third-party apps, and much more. Another cool perk: TweetSmarter also responds to specific questions from users.

Finally, make sure you follow CUNAverse (@CUNAverse) on Twitter to keep up with new content and other fun things we have going on. And check out all of CUNA’s social-media pages to stay connected with what’s happening in the credit union world.

Happy tweeting!

What do the International Year of Cooperatives, Dragon Tales, & the Detroit Robocop Sculpture have in common?

Posted by on Wednesday, 6 April, 2011

From: Sarah Arthurs M.Ed.

Some of us are of the Dragon Tales generation. We either watched Dragon Tales (a cartoon for 3-to-7 year olds) as kids, have children who have watched Dragon Tales, or maybe even sat with grandkids and flew to Dragonland.

One of the dragons has two heads, Zak and Wheezie. As you can imagine the plot often involves their having differences of opinion and the two needing to come to a common decision.  Zak is the calm and tidy one, while Wheezie is more excitable and carefree—known for saying “LOOOOOVE IT” when she approves of something.

It is my observation that the credit union community has a lot in common with Zak and Wheezie; we are like a two-headed friendly dragon.

One of our heads is our established, institutional, hierarchical nature with obligations commitments and structures.  All good!  Our other head is our grassroots beginnings, our member driven agendas, our democratic infrastructure and commitment to socially progressive community friendly values.  Also all good!

From the one head we get stability, resources, infrastructures, from the other we get energy, ideas, relevance and responsiveness.  One provides the answer to the question HOW, the other the answer to the question WHY.

As we look toward the International Year of Cooperatives we need to benefit from the contributions of both of our heads. This can happen through the use of web, social media, and in-person network and strategy sessions.

There are a number of internet crowd-sourcing platforms we can use to harness the power of social media and ask our members, staff, management, and directors how they would like to use the IYC to raise the profile of credit unions as well as celebrate and expand the contributions that we make to our communities.  A successful web platform would empower users to make suggestions, develop ideas, and vote for their preferred ideas.

Crowd-sourcing through social media allows us—in a manner concurrent with our member focus—to begin engaging our members in the IYC experience. It also allows us to demonstrate our commitment to democracy and the input of members by involving them in the process of determining what we might do. Most importantly we can benefit from the wisdom, creativity, and ‘on the groundness’ of members and front line staff.

In-person networking and strategy sessions are a good way to move from the idea generating stage to action plans, timelines, and collaborative partnerships.  Through social media we can enable the two heads of our friendly dragon to collaborate and benefit from the unique and complimentary assets of each. We can enjoy both the “LOOOOOVE IT” factor and the infrastructures and resources of our established organizations.

And where does the Detroit Robocop sculpture fit in?  In just 6 days citizens and friends of Detroit created the idea of the Robocop sculpture, shared it through social media, and were able to find enough resonance to raise more than the $50,000 project required.

Just imagine what we as Credit Unions could do to make the International Year of Cooperatives a significant experience for Credit Unions and the communities we support as we benefit from both of our heads.

Sarah Arthurs M.Ed., C.Psych. is Director, First Calgary Savings; Director, Credit Union Central of Alberta; and a member of the Prairie Sky Co-housing Co-op.  Send Sarah an e-mail at sarah.arthurs[at]

Big Time Thursday: The ACUC in Texas! (Contest)

Posted by on Thursday, 24 March, 2011

Improv Everywhere Founder Charlie Todd

What do you get when you hold an America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo (ACUC) planning session after watching Improv Everywhere’s I Love Lunch! The Musical? If you’re me, you get this crazy idea to hold a random musical at the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).   That’s right, we’re so excited about ACUC we decided to sing about it at this year’s GAC.  OK, full disclosure, we actually were so excited we hired actors to sing about it (nobody wants to hear me sing), and enlisted some friends from the CUNA Councils to help as well.    That’s right, exhibit hall attendees were surprised by this CUNA ACUC 2011 Random Musical. (Warning: Once you watch this you’ll likely be humming the tune all afternoon!)

Are there ways credit unions can use things like random musicals and flash mobs to stand out in a crowded market?  With the right plan up front and strategy to help it go viral, there are certainly ways these can compliment your traditional promotions.  Join us at ACUC to hear Improv Everywhere (the group behind the I Love Lunch! Musical)  founder Charlie Todd present a thought leader session sharing details behind some of his group’s biggest pranks and what credit unions can learn from using those kinds of tactics.

Already have a video you’re trying to spread the word on?  I recently spoke with Michael Taylor of PLAY Creative, the marketing agency who worked with the Nebraska Credit Union League on their recent CU Awareness Campaign.  Here are some simple ways Taylor suggests to help spread the word about your video:

  • Post the video link on Facebook fan pages of other groups your audience would likely be interested in
  • Share the link on Twitter and ASK people to share with their friends and comment on the site where you’re hosting the video. Asking people on Twitter versus just sharing a link can help you get more people to actually pass the link on.
  • Reach out to like-minded blogs and ask them to post a story about your viral project.  Make sure to include an answer to the question “What’s in it for their readers?”
  • Tag the video correctly on YouTube.  This is key for people searching on YouTube.  Having good tags also helps bring the video up in Google searches.
  • Send a plain old e-mail to friends and family.  This can help spread the word in the early going. In turn, they will also likely share with their friends and family.

BIG TIME Thursday CONTEST: We want to know, what are some of the BIG TIME things your credit union is doing or planning to do to stand out from the competition? Answer that question in a comment below and we’ll do a random drawing on March 31st (just in time to kick off our next Big Time Thursday contest) of all commenters to give away an Apple iPod® nano 8 GB (6th Generation) and a copy of Charlie Todd’s book Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere.

Read more about BIG TIME Thursday Contests (there will be lots of great prizes through May 2011).

UPDATE (3/31): This contest has ended – congratulations to our winner, Cheryl Hart, who won an Apple iPod® nano 8 GB (6th Generation) and a copy of Charlie Todd’s book Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere.  THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!

CONTEST DETAILS: Contest begins today and ends on Wed., March 30th at 11:59PM (ct). No purchase necessary to win.  Make sure you leave an email address where you can be contacted.  The winner will be notified via e-mail and will also be announced on the blog.  Multiple comments are allowed as long as you have a valid idea in each comment. (No duplicate comments) The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants received.  Void where prohibited.
This competition is offered by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and is open to anyone who comments on this post and is at least 18 years of age. Employees of CUNA and family members of such employees are not eligible to enter.
CUNA shall not have any liability for any malfunction of or damage to the prize. The award winner may be responsible for applicable state or federal taxes on the value of the contest prize.
iPod® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion.