Pay it Forward and Backward Now!

In The Financial Brand's article Credit Unions, Here’s That Awareness Campaign Everyone’s Been Waiting For, editor Jeffry Pilcher is advocating a national pay-it-forward campaign.

What if one day, every credit union in the world sent out representatives to perform hundreds of thousands of good deeds, nice gestures and other random acts of kindness?

Jeffry is suggesting that International Credit Union Day in October 2012 would be an ideal day to make it happen. I really like this idea and think that credit unions could really make this happen.

But what if you took it up to a whole other level and made it happen now? I mean right now!

Last week during our Marketer Meet-up, we split the attendees into three teams and tasked them with coming up with a compelling member drive campaign concept. One idea that struck me as exceptional was the notion of offering a rebate for an overdraft fee from a competing financial institution! Bring in a statement that shows the fee, move your primary checking account, sign up for at least three services including direct deposit of your paycheck and the credit union will credit your account up to a maximum of $25.

Credit unions are notoriously afraid to ask for the business, but this approach would make the conversation so much easier and natural. Credit unions would essentially be saying, "Hey, your bank won't give you a break, but we will. In fact, we'll pay you back for that thing they did to you that has brought you to this boiling point."

Photo by Ninja Cherepashka

Now imagine combining this rebate concept with the pay-it-forward concept and organizing a street team to decend on the Wall Street protesters right now. Print a wallet-sized promo and insert a $10 bill to pay forward and a voucher explaing the overdraft fee rebate. CUNA or the Credit Union Association of New York could rally all area credit unions and make this happen right now.

It would receive positive national media attention and shine a light onto the differences between banks and credit unions.

Credit unions are exactly what millions of disenfranchised, educated young adults are looking for, they just don't know credit unions exist. 

What do you think?

Tim