By Gina Ragusa Published January 23, 2014 Credit Unions Online
Data released from the Kansas Credit Union Association points to robust growth across the board for state and federally chartered credit unions within its footprint.
Multiple growth areas were cited as being exceptional including loans, shares, members and delinquency:
Loans and share growth: Far above the national averages at 8.5% loan growth, versus the national average of 6.8%. The national average in share growth stands at 4.1%, whereas Kansas credit unions are performing at 5.5%.
Memberships: Kansas credit unions added 15,000 members over September 30, 2012 to a total of 641,000 members.
CUSO participation: Rose by 40% as a vast number of members have discovered the unique benefits provided by a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO).
When asked why Kansas credit unions are leading the pack, Tammy Wendland, vice president of products and services for the Kansas Credit Union Association told Credit Unions Online that community and service have been the cornerstone to success.
“I believe our credit unions are so successful because they are involved in their local communities and focus on getting consumers to choose their credit union as their primary financial institution,” she says. “The more services they can provide to the member, the more they can help the member achieve their financial goals. It becomes a win-win situation for the member and the credit union.”
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Community service is evident just from reading about Kansas credit union news and events. For example, K-State Federal Credit Union (Manhattan, KS) offers a 3-Points for Community Care program (in addition to the Helping Teachers Teach initiative). The credit union currently supports Flint Hills Community Clinic, which serves the community including the 8,000 uninsured individuals who meet the clinic’s criteria. By hosting local charity events the credit union raises funds to help the clinic serve those who struggle to pay for healthcare.
Envista Credit Union (Topeka, KS) also supports its community and is one of the founders of the Topeka Credit Union Foundation. The Foundation raises much needed financial support for a variety of non-profit organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, Meals on Wheels and the American Red Cross amongst many others.
Another Kansas-based credit union, CommunityAmerica Credit Union (Lenexa, KS) created a special partnership with the Special Needs Planning center through support of its CUSO Financial Services, L.P’s Financial Planning Services Group. The Center is designed to provide financial planning solutions for families with special needs.
“We’re thrilled to incorporate the Center into our comprehensive planning efforts and work together to achieve our shared vision to expand the reach to more families with children with special needs,” Mike Haggerty, Vice President, CommunityAmerica Financial Planning Services available through CFS said in a release. “CommunityAmerica’s mission aligns very nicely with the Center’s purpose and goals -- and we’ll work to provide even more families with special needs a broader array of resources and services, as well as access to our convenient branch locations and other competitive banking services and products.”
From the Member’s Mouth
Member reviews speak volumes as many take a “no holds barred” approach on a variety of review websites.
CommunityAmerica Credit Union member Brenda R. wrote on Yelp, “Always friendly and helpful. This credit union overall is wonderful and the employees at this location are great!”
A pleased member of Dillon Credit Union (Hutchinson, KS) wrote, “I refinanced my home through Dillon Credit Union with a very low interest rate and will pay off my mortgage twice as fast. The staff was super to work with! I would recommend them any day. Thanks!”
One member of Mainstreet Credit Union ($240 million, Lenexa, KS) was quite frank with regard to what he liked and did not like about his credit union in a 2012 review. “I have been with Mainstreet since March of 2008 and I have to say I have been 90% satisfied with the company, they are very professional and courteous, the only thing that really annoys me is the fact that they don't have an online payment option!! You still have to pay with physical checks or by phone. Wake up mainstreet!! this is 2012 (almost 2013) and you still do not take electronic payments online?? Also an update on the webpage would be great, it looks so amateur. You will be overall satisfied if you don't mind using BoA billpay or some other 3rd party billpayer or calling them to pay your bill.”
As of 2014, Mainstreet Credit Union offers full online access, bill payer, mobile banking and mobile banking bill payer. Sounds like listening to members’ needs is another thing Kansas credit unions and credit unions throughout the country do pretty well too.