The Summit Credit Union Business Case
With the goal to: “Connect people and inspire action to create member and community wealth,” Summit is very engaged in financial literacy programs throughout the entire community.
Its Money Minder program (their PFM) involves a robust array of tools, blogs, worksheets, checklists and contests to engage its members in ways to become more involved with their finances.
Summit’s mantra to its members is, “It’s your money, own it.” And Summit does everything in its power to make banking less of a ‘business’ and show how it fits into the needs and the values of the community.
“We’re big on helping people set goals for specific things they are working toward,” notes Jamie Bay, Assistant Vice-President of Marketing for Summit. “Money Minder offers the tools we recommend they use to track and reach those goals for notifications and motivation along the way.”
It’s about the impact a financial institution (FI) can have on your life by using a robust financial literacy program to show members and potential members that it’s more than just about having an account or two where you check your balances now and again.
The safety and security of each customer is part of the FI’s responsibility when they entrust FIs with their money. Helping them navigate the challenges and opportunities they will face as well as anticipating their needs, is crucial to success.
And this means everyone. To be successful, it takes a commitment from the financial institution’s staff to get to know each customer in order to understand their needs. A cookie cutter approach won’t do.
Real World Results
It is important for Summit to build an experience with members that goes beyond the traditional relationship between FIs and customers.
Credit unions are traditionally member friendly, given their charter. But that doesn’t always translate to a member-friendly experience. Helping members deepen their relationships using digital personal financial management (PFM) tools is a great vehicle for starting a conversation with members.
Summit’s robust Money Smarts blog even features monthly articles called Females and Finances focused on the specific needs of women navigating the financial world personally or professionally.
"We set out to speak directly to women, because women are the primary financial decision makers and there weren’t other financials or a lot of resources dedicated to helping them manage their money and answer their money questions,” reflects Bay. “We wanted to help them be more successful, and we continue to strive to give them tools they need to be financially successful.”
“As for our team, we want to find people that are driven to help other people,” says Bay. “If they want to make a difference, we know we can help them do it.”
Here’s just one example of what happened when a member reached out to a Summit team member who wanted to make a difference:
“I don't know if you remember who I am."
“I was one who was lucky to have you answer my call and help me refinance my debt and give me some wonderful financial insight and encouragement. One tidbit of advice was the use of the Money Minder. Then I saw an email about it and thought I would give it a chance. I am glad I did. The team that created the Money Minder... I would like to sincerely thank them!!"
“For once I feel like I am actually in control of my finances and it is so wonderful how it guides me to organize my finances, have a financial insight, reminders, set goals and the ability to see where your money is going. I am so excited about this opportunity to be a part of Summit Credit Union Money Minder: this tool is going to help me pave the way to a positive financial future."
“My dreams of getting out of debt have become a reality. But most of all this will enable me to better my credit score so that I can finance my truck & tiny house in the near future.”