On November 5th, 2011, thousands of Americans plan to send banks a very strong message by taking part in the viral Bank Transfer Day movement. The event's participants take issue with big banks' recent hikes in fees in response to the Durbin Amendment that caps the debit interchange fees banks can charge merchants.
The group's mission is explicitly stated on the event's Facebook page, which acts as the event's Web site and headquarters: "If the 99% remove our funds from the major banking institutions to non-profit credit unions on or by this date, we will send a clear message to the 1% that conscious consumers won't support companies with unethical business practices."
The page also goes on to point consumers in the direction of credit unions, citing findacreditunion.com as a place for U.S. consumers to find a local credit union.
This movement poses a very substantial and unique opportunity for credit unions. As fed-up consumers look to switch, credit unions can use Bank Transfer Day, or the message of the movement itself, to drive consumers to their door.
CUNA has assembled a number of resources for credit unions to use in order to learn more about the movement, tailor their marketing to drive more consumers to their credit union, and communicate with the press.
NJCUL has posted to its site CUNA's resources for credit unions to download. Included in these resources is a credit union Ready Sheet, which offers tips on how your credit union should prepare for Bank Transfer Day and a potential influx of member inquires; a Q and A Sheet that includes commonly asked questions and their answers; Talking Points for credit unions to use as a guide to share the position of credit unions on Bank Transfer Day when talking to the press; and a Model Press Release to customize with the credit union's branding and information in order to get the message out to the press that the credit union is ready to take in new members. These materials can be found at www.njcul.org/bank-transfer-day.aspx.
Credit unions can also tailor their consumer awareness campaigns and up their exposure to be the answer to consumers' frustrations. Credit unions across the country are taking their "ditch your bank" messages to billboards, airwaves, and newspapers.
Credit unions can use a message in their marketing leading up to and around the Nov. 5th date such as the one available through NJCUL's "Banking You Can Trust" Toolkit that states "I Love My Bank Because it's Not a Bank". To access the toolkit visit www.njcul.org/banking-you-can-trust-toolkit-.aspx. A login and password are required to access the page. If you do not have a login and password, visit www.njcul.org/Secure/Register.aspx.
For more information on Bank Transfer Day, visit the event page on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Nov.Fifth. Credit Union Times has also been running stories about what credit unions around the nation are doing to help promote this viral movement. Check them out at www.cutimes.com.