Truliant Federal Credit Union sponsors many events in Forsyth County, from professional networking lunches to music festivals like Summer on Liberty in downtown Winston-Salem. And employees representing the credit union at these events constantly come back with the same feedback.
“People know Truliant, and they’re aware of credit unions, especially in the Triad,” said Tricia Beeker, Marketing Director at Truliant. “But residents tend to think they can’t join because they don’t work for a certain company, or the state. And they’re not aware that credit unions offer the same products and services as banks, often at better rates and with better service.”
It turns out that this response is not unique to the Triad. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) led two years of research with consultants, credit union leaders across the country and hundreds of listening sessions with consumers.
Jim Nussle, president and CEO of CUNA said that this laser focus on research led to some surprising findings. “As it turns out, we don’t have an awareness problem. For the most part, consumers know what credit unions are,” Nussle said. “What we have is a misperception problem.”
Research in hand, Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union was born. While the digital-first campaign recently launched in major markets across the country, including North Carolina, with stark, black and white images and bold messages like ‘Open Your Eyes’ and ‘Join the Millions of Americans Owning their Money,’ Truliant is offering Forsyth Family Magazine readers a sneak peek.
Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union
Spearheaded by CUNA and helped locally by Carolinas Credit Union League, the Open Your Eyes campaign is funded by credit unions nationwide, including Truliant. Carolinas Credit Union League President and CEO Dan Schline said, “We have a great story to tell as credit unions and are excited to see how Open Your Eyes helps us do just that.” Thus far, almost 30 credit unions in the Carolinas have committed to participate in the campaign over the next three years to help tell their story.
Most people mistakenly believe they can’t join a credit union, or that credit unions are too small and local — too “mom and pop”— to provide modern services like nationwide access and mobile banking.
Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union was launched to address these misconceptions and help Triad families and residents realize their financial future, faster.
Welcome to Truliant
Credit unions like Truliant can offer lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposit accounts because they are not-for-profit, meaning money made is invested back into the community; specifically through products and services members need. And notice the word ‘members.’ Truliant has been able to thrive for more than 65 years without a single customer. How? Credit unions do not have customers; anyone who banks with a credit union is a member-owner.
You Can Join
Credit unions are open to a wide range of memberships. Yes, there are credit unions that require members to work for the state, the government or a large corporation or industry, but there are options with a broad range of affiliation groups. Because of how numerous these groups are, more people than you think are able to join and enjoy the benefits of a credit union. For instance, if you live, work or worship in Forsyth County, you can join Truliant.
Too “Mom and Pop”
Make no mistake, Truliant loves moms and pops. And moms and pops love online access and mobile banking that lets them manage their money and busy family schedules. While Truliant has more than 30 convenient Member Financial Centers, with five in Forsyth County, the credit union is happy to save member-owners a trip to the branch with highly-rated online and mobile banking offerings that rival the large, national banks.
“We’re small enough to welcome you by name when you walk in a branch, but big enough to bring the latest tech to your fingertips,” said Beeker.
Credit unions offer one of the largest networks of fee-free ATMs in America. If you need cash, it’s easy to find a fee-free ATM nearby. So, go ahead, lose yourself somewhere new and be safe in the knowledge that your money’s always nearby.
With mobile banking, you can make payments or transfer funds between accounts instantly, anywhere, anytime.
Online and Mobile Banking
Speaking of mobile banking, credit unions offer smartphone apps that make online and mobile banking simple. You can access your money on the go, so there’s nothing slowing you down.
Triad residents don’t have to have one of the larger banks’ apps to deposit a check with their phone, or apply for a loan online or even find the nearest location or ATM. Truliant’s mobile banking app puts a branch right in the palm of your hand.
Credit Unions are for People with Plans
Truliant offers honest, personalized advice to make Triad residents’ financial futures brighter. Credit unions exist to help member-owners realize their dreams — and they often do it better than the larger, national banks. Whether it’s a thoughtful gift, a new car or a vacation at the lake, credit unions are here to help.
Worried about long-term goals and planning? Many credit unions offer financial planning services, including Truliant. With more than 50 years of experience in financial planning and counseling, representatives will talk with members about goals while taking into consideration their complete financial picture.
Your Future, Faster
Nussle emphasized in a recent interview with Credit Union Times that money is one of the most important and emotional aspects of a person’s life. With many Americans facing financial hardships – about half with less than $500 in savings — it’s important that people feel like they have a financial ally.
“I love the notion of ‘owning your money,’ one of the striking lines in the Open Your Eyes campaign,” said Beeker. “Since we’re not-for-profit and mission driven, we can focus on providing better services at better rates for a better future for our member-owners. That’s empowering.”
Busting 7 common Credit Union Myths
- The Myth: I can’t join.
The TRUth: While some credit unions do have strict eligibility requirements, many, like Truliant, are community chartered. This means if you live, work or worship in the Triad, you can join.
2. The Myth: A credit union can’t serve all of my banking needs.
The TRUth: Credit unions offer loans, debit and credit card services, online banking and bill pay, checking accounts, retirement investments, mortgages and more. Often offered with lower or no fees and better rates than traditional banks, a credit union is a great place for all of your banking needs.
3. The Myth: Credit unions aren’t very tech-savvy.
The Truth: Credit Unions often offer the same, and sometimes better, technology than large banks. At Truliant, you can deposit checks with your phone, check and manage account balances, apply for loans and much more.
4. The Myth: My money’s not safe.
The TRUth: All credit unions are part of the National Credit Union Association. The NCUA provides the same amount of coverage and insurance for money deposited into credit unions that the FDIC provides for larger banks.
5. The Myth: Credit unions don’t offer any rewards programs.
The TRUth: Truliant offers a Rewards Visa, as well as a cash back program with debit cards at selected retailers and restaurants. In addition, Truliant pays interest on checking accounts and offers a low or no fee alternative to traditional banks.
6. The Myth: I have to pay to join.
The TRUth: When you join a credit union and deposit your money into an account, you essentially become a “co-owner” of that credit union. At Truliant, you have to maintain five dollars in a savings account, but it’s not a fee. And if you leave, you get that money back.
7. The Myth: Credit unions are not regulated.
The TRUth: Credit unions are held to the same laws and regulations as banks. In fact, credit unions face more restrictions on the investments and loans they make.