Members of Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU) have never paid a fee to use their debit card—and there are no plans to change that—a message the $1 billion not-for-profit cooperative hopes sway others to make the move away from their bank and join a credit union.
Following announcements that big banks would begin charging consumers up to $5 a month to use their debit cards—then changing their minds—LGFCU built a microsite called “Make the Move” (www.lgfcu.org/makethemove
), which shows the benefits of switching to an LGFCU checking account and debit card.
Visitors to the site answer a series of questions, which ultimately walks them through making the move. If the visitor is not currently an LGFCU member, but is eligible, a “switch kit” is provided; if they are not eligible, they are directed to a website where they can find a credit union they can join.
“The main point credit unions, including us, are driving home right now is that we have never charged a fee to our members simply so they can use their debit card,” says LGFCU VP, Marketing Ashley Ruffin. “Some banks may have changed their minds in reaction to consumer backlash, but that's because they realized they didn’t put their customers’ best interests first. As a cooperative of member-owners, you can bet credit unions do have the members’ best interests in mind.”
LGFCU has already seen a 46 percent increase in new checking accounts when comparing October to the average of the previous 10 months.