I would hope that all credit unions would state that they strive to create products that serve their membership and offer tools and resources to be financially successful. When individuals complain about big banks charging too many fees on their checking accounts, credit unions respond with checking accounts that have no monthly fees, like a Better than Free Checking account.
But what about the struggle to save? And why is saving money so hard? Yes, we offer certificates and savings accounts to squirrel money away, but our members deserve creative solutions to put an end to their struggle, to open up avenues where their dreams can become reality, and Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union has used its core values and mission to create an innovative program where members become consumers, in conjunction with saving for that rainy (or snowy in Minnesota) day.
Saving impacts several grand milestones in life
Recently I introduced our new savings program called Savings Accelerator (find more information here about it), and this program embodies who we are at Affinity Plus, and what we stand for. Our mission is about providing exceptional service and quality financial products, and this program was developed because of this promise. We are responsible for creating robust products and services, and to make the journey of saving more enjoyable. Our core values at Affinity Plus are excellence, caring, and integrity and this program incorporates all these principles in different ways. In daily conversations had with our members, employees at Affinity Plus see the members’ triumphs and struggles, and we strive for excellence in each recommended product we offer. Some of us know what it feels like to be in debt, or to struggle to pay a bill, and we know that there are tools and resources to help us improve our financial positions, like the Savings Accelerator. Affinity Plus illustrates care as we have compassion and respect for all people, and we know that unfortunate things can happen to good-hearted people, and we are here when things do not go as planned. And we demonstrate integrity, hoping that our members and people in our communities view us as trusted and dependable. All of these values can be seen in the Savings Accelerator program, mirrored in the same light as how we treat our members.
I challenge all the idea-generators and the decision-makers of the credit union industry – listen to your members’ needs and voices when you begin launching new and exciting products and features. We need to be present in our members’ financial lives, and make their futures bright as ever. Teaching consistent saving behaviors has to play a role in that bright future.