March 16, 2020
The past few days have brought unprecedented events that we as a nation will be challenged to address. You and your credit union have no doubt have met, or are planning to meet to strategize your next steps in dealing with the ramifications of the COVID 19 pandemic. Now is the time to learn from the past and prepare ourselves, our staff and our members for what lies ahead over the coming days, weeks and more than likely months.
With information and policies being rapidly put out and fluid, one topic that needs to be considered and addressed is the coming financial repercussions. Experts can debate whether a local, national or global recession may be experienced, however we can accurately assume that the financial focus of our members will be altered. If we learned anything during the recession of 2008 is that we as an industry need to be proactive and decisive. After nearly twenty years in the financial marketing field we've learned that during unprecedented times we must think differently and act assertively. As in past uncertain economic times your members most likely won’t be making typical seasonal financial decisions. Which means auto, RV and toy purchases will be tabled, spring break credit card purchases unmade, home improvement projects put off and long-term deposits kept fluid.
Rather, many people will be concerned with how they're going to pay their bills- rent, mortgage, auto loans and credit card payments. As schools shut down for indefinite periods their focus will be on child care and maintaining their jobs. Regardless of your members employment, family and financial situations there will be concerns on how to maintain their financial stability-staying out of excessive debt, preserving savings balances, keeping homes and vehicles.
As credit unions we are presented with this unique challenge and opportunity to demonstrate that our founding philosophy of “People Helping People” is no throw-away tag line- it’s a commitment to our members financial being.
We have to think differently.
Now is the time to be proactive with products and services that can alleviate some of the potential financial strain our members and communities may face. Whatever current initiatives on the marketing plans and calendars should be reconsidered in order to focus your time, energy and resources around communicating credit union initiatives, such as:
- Emergency low interest loans/personal loans structured specifically for those hourly and part time employees
- Low interest loans for small businesses to cover expenses such payroll, inventory, equipment and operating costs
- Debt consolidation offers (personal loan or credit card)
- Lowered to no fees or waivers on such things as overdrafts, late payments, etc.
- Existing loan restructure options: term, rate, payment schedules
- 30/60/90 day no pay options on current loans, or refinanced/balance transferred loans (interest still accrues – personal loan or credit card)
- Encouraging members not to go to payday loan companies, but rather come to their credit union for secured/unsecured loans
As trusted credit union marketing partners, we have a team that has helped credit unions with efforts like the above get through the recession, the San Diego wildfires, teacher strikes, major company layoffs, and other situations where we’ve had to pull a 180 and head in a different direction in order to help keep our credit unions strong by assuring staff and members and communicating to potential -members that they have a place to turn to in times of need.
The BA Team is ready to work with you to think and act differently.
We've been overwhelmed by all the good that is coming out in people from around the world and know we will get through this, believing we’ll come out of this stronger and more united than before. We're honored to be working with the “good guys” of the financial world to help ensure the hope for a positive outcome comes true.
If you find that your credit union is in need of strategy, communication or other marketing assistance please reach out to BA. We're ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
We would like to share the following templates in which your credit union is free to use to communicate with your membership. Many thanks to several of our credit union partners for their colloboration on these documents.
On behalf of all of us here at The BA Group, we wish you and your family well and better times ahead for all.