The Pulse | 08-28-2018

Volume 7, Issue 34

The Pulse Archive


CUNA-League System Named Most Influential Financial Services Advocates

CUNA and the State League system are seen as the most influential financial services organizations and one of the most effective advocacy organizations in Washington, according to an independent study conducted by Ballast Research (formerly National Journal Research). This is the second year in a row CUNA is the leading association at representing the interests of its members, due to its success in creating the credit union narrative and sharing their story among Washington policymakers.  


“By providing representation at the state and national level, the Minnesota Credit Union Network, CUNA and other state Leagues around the country provide a strong, unified voice to legislators at home and in Washington D.C.,” said Minnesota Credit Union Network President and CEO Mark Cummins. “We are proud to be part of the most influential financial services organization and look forward to continuing our work alongside CUNA.”


Ballast Research gathers policymakers’ perceptions for the 100 of the most prominent advocacy organizations.


The research findings are based on two key measurements:


  • Long-term reputation, which is calculated by a combination of scores in four distinct measures: respect, consideration, influence and sharing; and
  • Advocacy tools/tactics to include media, lobbying and research.

More than 1,200 policymakers were surveyed, and more than 400 senior policymakers were interviewed for the 2018 report. 


Other highlights of the study include:


  • CUNA is named number one #1 in representing the views of credit unions among organizations studied;
  • For the third year in a row, the CUNA -League System are rated the most influential financial services organization among organizations studied
  • Policymakers have greater respect for CUNA’s role in policymaking than its peers;
  • Policymakers see CUNA as the best in the industry – and in the top 25% of all associations studied – at talking about the financial services industry in ways that matter;
  • CUNA leads all associations studied in representing the voice of its membership for the second year in a row; and
  • Significantly more so than its peers, policymakers see CUNA as setting high standards for the financial services industry and pushing industry practices that are beneficial to consumers

In a comparison of the 48 most prominent associations in the study, CUNA and the leagues’ reputation is rated number nine by Washington’s senior policymakers.  



WINcentive Savings Deepens Member Relations

WINcentive® Savings is a prize-linked savings account that offers members the chance to win cash prizes from a statewide drawing pool, with chances to win monthly quarterly, and an annual prize. Along with statewide prizes, WINcentive Savings offers credit unions the ability to designate drawings exclusively for their members.


“WINcentive Savings accounts have been a big hit with both our staff and members,” said First Alliance Credit Union Digital Marketing Specialist Jenna Taubel. “When we first introduced WINcentive Savings to our staff they were thrilled to have such a unique and fun product to share with our members. Our members have been very engaged with saving in their WINcentive Savings accounts, and we continue to see new accounts opened month over month.”


According to an ongoing survey of members upon opening a WINcentive Savings account:


  • 80% said WINcentive Savings makes them more excited about their credit union
  • 60% of participants said that building their savings would make them more likely to use other financial products at their credit union
  • WINcentive is attracting many credit union members to their first ever highly committed savings product. 82% of participants do not currently have a share certificate or CD, and 58% of participants have never had one. 90% do not currently have a holiday club account, and 83% of all respondents have never had one
  • 82% of participants were already members of their credit union before they opened a WINcentive account, while 14% joined their credit union for the WINcentive account

WINcentive Savings is offered at 22 credit unions in Minnesota. In April, WINcentive announced program eligibility for credit union members in Wisconsin. The Minnesota Credit Union Network and TruLync, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the association, also administer prize-linked savings programs in Delaware, Louisiana, New York, Montana, and Wisconsin.


Credit unions interested in offering prize-linked savings accounts beginning January 1, 2019 should begin implementation by September 30. To learn more, contact MnCUN Director of Engagement Ben Hering by email or by phone at 651-288-5519.





Mark Your Calendar for 2019 Advocacy Events


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Bureau Issues Annual TILA Threshold Adjustments

Kate Cole of FRPA to Speak at Upcoming BSA & Compliance Training


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There Are Risk-Free Options for Credit Unions to Offer What Members Want

More and more credit unions are getting into the credit card arena. Jumping into a new program can be scary, or at least overwhelming, with all the requirements of getting it set-up, initial fees, etc. However, it’s becoming a resource many members want; some even demand when choosing a new financial resource to manage their money. After all credit cards are no longer the scary gamble popular opinion once branded them. They are a fantastic tool for responsible members to keep more money on deposit and build their credit rating.


Even members who never use cards like having them at their disposal in case of emergencies. If the car breaks down or the washing machine goes silent, better to take advantage of traditionally lower rates on a credit union credit card than put the family budget in constraints. Not to mention many cards offer attractive rewards programs.


Fortunately for credit unions, getting into a credit card program doesn’t need to be overwhelming, or frightening. There are programs that mitigate many of the risks, and some that remove them from the equation completely. Just make sure to look at certain key aspects before committing.


For instance, a major issue can be start-up fees and the operational headache of getting a new credit card program off the ground. There are referral programs specifically designed for credit unions that cost nothing and require no implementation effort of the CU’s part. They simply set you up with a website to enter interested members’ applications, and they will take over the process, from underwriting to printing and delivering the plastic and managing the accounts. That means they also assume the associated risks that might have kept your credit union from offering a card in the past.


The best of these will even provide your credit unions with free marketing materials for your branch and banners for your website to let you members know to come to you for any credit card needs. Such programs provide all necessary documentation and disclosures, right down to the necessary disclaimers to make sure your credit union is never at risk of non-compliance.


While compliance and low-risk are major priorities for credit unions when looking at credit card programs, let’s face it, the question we all ask is “how does this benefit my members and my credit union?” We’ve already talked a little about the benefits credit cards provide to members, so let’s look at what’s in it for you. Put simply, free money. If you pick the right program, that is. The EZ Launch program offered by LSC® is a prime example of a risk-free credit card referral program for credit unions. Aside from charging no set-up fees and providing free marketing materials, EZ Launch pays credit unions. That’s incremental income to you for a simple referral.


These are the programs your credit union needs to look for if you’re serious about providing a credit card option to your members. The time is now. Over 60% of credit unions across the country offer a credit card. It’s what your members want and can truly be a great tool for them. Find the right program that meets their needs and increases your credit union’s bottom line.


LSC is a MnCUN Strategic Partner. For more information about LSC, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Kris Jacobsen by email or by phone at 651-288-5515.

Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034