Thirty years ago, CUNA Mutual Group founded its MemberCONNECT® program to help credit unions serve members who were historically underserved by insurance companies. Today, the value of the MemberCONNECT program has been embraced by a majority of credit unions around the country.
1983 – The Year Credit Union Insurance Marketing Changed
MADISON, Wis. – Thirty years ago, CUNA Mutual Group founded its MemberCONNECT® program to help credit unions serve members who were historically underserved by insurance companies. Today, the value of the MemberCONNECT program has been embraced by a majority of credit unions around the country.
“We created a standardized and pre-complied marketing approach that took a complex set of products and made them easy to implement,” said Kevin Lentz, Vice President of Direct to Consumer for CUNA Mutual Group. “Not only was it easy to get started, it was easy to manage and maintain. That’s still true today,”
“In the early 80s we saw how credit unions had difficulties making products and services available beyond their core competencies,” said Lentz. Since then, the MemberCONNECT program has grown into one of the industry’s preferred methods of connecting credit union members with insurance protection. “The value of the program is that we’ve done all of the work to make it even easier to serve credit union members,” said Lentz.
In 30 years, the program has grown to help protect nearly14 million members. For credit unions, more than $66 million in non-interest income was paid in 2012 alone.
Credit unions that have been with the program from the early days said it has reinforced trust with their memberships. “It fits right in with our credit union’s philosophy – it’s all about helping the members,” said Sherry Saxon, President and CEO of Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union in Augusta, Ga. Saxon said her credit union has been involved with MemberCONNECT program since the beginning. “Just knowing that we’re able to help members by making available life insurance products that are not expensive… I think it gives them a sense of comfort.”
Of the more than 4,000 credit unions using the MemberCONNECT program, more than 500 have been with the program from the beginning. “Working together for 30 years is quite a statement,” said Lentz. “We’ve learned a lot from these original credit unions and have always valued their insight. Together, we’ve made great strides in optimizing various marketing channels and understanding how members learn and purchase services.”
“When the MemberCONNECT program launched back in ’83, we knew we were on to something special for the industry and the success of the MemberCONNECT program for credit unions has been so incredible that it’s hard to believe 30 years have already gone by,” said Lentz. “With the evolution to the TruStage brand last year, we’ve seen even more confidence from credit unions who understand what value we can add to protecting their members.”
What does the next 30 years look like for the MemberCONNECT program? According to Lentz, it’s continued investment and refinement. “We’re continuing to invest in new channels, media and technologies in the ways members want. In that sense, we’re constantly adapting to reflect the current marketplace.”
TruStage is a consumer marketing brand of CUNA Mutual Group, a company providing financial security and protection to credit unions and their members worldwide. With more than 75 years of true market commitment, CUNA Mutual Group’s vision is unwavering: To be a trusted business partner that delivers service excellence through customer-focused products and market-driven insight. More information about the company is available at www.cunamutual.com
TruStage™ Insurance products and programs are made available through TruStage Insurance Agency, LLC and issues by CMFG Life Insurance Company and other leading insurance companies. The insurance offered is not a deposit, and is not federally insured, sold or guaranteed by your credit union.