Credit unions need to rise up and be ready for “Bank Transfer Day”

Occupy Wall Street has been all the rage for weeks so I don’t think I need to say more about that. But there’s no real commercial winners or losers except for the poor merchants whose front doors face the makeshift campgrounds. But more recently, and maybe a little less known, is a movement culminating this November 5th called Bank Transfer Day that may make prepared credit unions big winners.

Like OWS, BTD is rooted in an emotionally driven social media foundation. It has over a thousand twitter followers and over 25,000 followers on Facebook.

Mainstream media has started to acknowledge the groundswell of interest in this . So are the credit unions reacting? I did a quick scan to see which of local credit unions are doing anything specifically geared towards BTD or if they are open on Saturdays as a regular course of business and here’s what I found:    

  • Whatcom Educational Credit Union
    • Nothing on their website, Twitter feed nor their Facebook page. Usually, no branches are open on Saturdays.
      (Content on Twitter is repeated verbatim on Facebook – WECU, we need to talk)
  • Industrial Credit Union
    • Nothing on their website, no Twitter feed, no Facebook page. Many branches have Saturday hours.
      Note: their “marketing guy” (his term) has been tweeting some about it from his personal account.
  • GaPac Community Federal Credit Union
    • Nothing on their website, no Twitter feed, no Facebook page. Branch is usually not open on Saturdays.
  • Pacific Northwest Credit Union
    • Nothing on their website, no Twitter feed, no Facebook page. Branch is usually not open on Saturdays.
  • North Coast Credit Union
    • Nothing on their website, no Twitter feed, no Facebook page. Branches are usually not open on Saturdays.

(Okay all ya’ll, no Twitter or Facebook accounts? We need to talk)

Whether or not there’s any outward promotion around this “event,” credit unions need to gird their loins to be ready for whatever may come. A solid directive is provided in a recent article in The Credit Union Times

Taking place on a Saturday could pose a problem for many credit unions; consider opening Nov. 5 if you don’t have regular Saturday hours or you’ll alienate these new potential members right away.

Be absolutely sure, whether your branches are open or not, that your website can handle the potential uptick in traffic for transferring accounts. Again, credit unions cannot afford to tick off these people who are already angry about their financial services.

Those that do open locations Saturdays must ensure you have proper staffing and extend hours of operation. You know your field of membership best. If you believe there could be increased lobby traffic, beef up staffing. Making members wait in long lines would be a huge mistake if you only have one or two tellers or MSRs on.

 

So while the real heavy lifting has been done to drive the masses to their doors, the real question remains, “Will there be cake?”

 

UPDATES – 11/3/2011
North Coast Credit Union’s website now has a “Flee The Fees” pitch on their front page and “Make the Switch” links everywhere (which at this time are not functional – may be a work in progress?).

GaPac‘s website has an announcement that they will be open 10a-1p on “National Bank Transfer Day” (national? sounds better though) and “click for more details” but clicking does nothing (another work in progress?).

 UPDATE – 11/4/2011
An article in The Bellingham Herald about the local credit unions’ preparedness provides some explanations.

 

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