Mel Valenzuela, CLO, SRP FCU
SRP Federal Credit Union ($928.7M, North Augusta, SC) is taking it to the streets to reinforce the credit union value proposition. The 129,000-member financial cooperative is handing out $100 bills to members spotted sporting the credit union’s decal on their vehicles as they motor around the credit union’s home market of Augusta, GA, and North Augusta, SC.
The Spotter’s Program began last month and the credit union has handed out a baker’s dozen C-notes so far. Here, SRP FCU’s chief lending officer, Mel Valenzuela, shares what it’s all about.
CU QUICK FACTS
Data as of 06.30.18
HQ: North Augusta, SC
12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 7.8%
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 15.8%
How does the credit union determine how to return value to members?
Mel Valenzuela: We have a strong ROA that consistently exceeds 1.25% and net worth in excess of 11%. We want to give back to members in many ways, which now includes our new Spotters Program.
How do you decide how much to reward and to whom?
MV: We reward all of our members by offering great rates every day, but we specifically give back to our raving fans. We consider anyone who sports around with their financial institution’s name on their car a raving fan.
What is the advantage of returning value in this way?
MV: Giving back to our members is how we measure success. You don’t need to have a certain CD balance or meet some loan threshold amount. You just have to be a member and place a sticker on your vehicle. It’s that simple. This program will enhance our visibility, it’s marketing on the move. We might get more marketing recognition than billboards and for a fraction of the cost. This is our president/CEO’s idea he was making branch visits one day and the thought came to him.
What communication channels do you use to announce and communicate the value of the reward?
MV: We’re currently discussing the communication channels. We will communicate in various methods to include digital channels, branch conversations, digital billboards, newspapers, and our website.
When did you begin handing out $100 bills, how many have you handed out, and how many do you plan to hand out?
MV: We started the Spotters Program on Sept. 15 this year. So far, we have paid out 13. Our goal is to pay out 20 per month. We haven’t determined when we’ll end the program.
A green SRP label displayed on a back window of a member’s vehicle can be good for $100 if the right credit union staffer spots you.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Whether and when a credit union offers a patronage dividend varies across organizations. As does how they calculate the return and communicate the occasion. Read more QAs from CreditUnions.com’s ICU Day special feature.