Michigan joins (in order) Alberta, Texas, South Carolina, Alabama Tennessee, Mississippi, St. Louis and Ontario to become the ninth Young & Free region in North America.
Michigan First has really integrated the Young & Free brand deeply into the credit union. We had the opportunity to help with the interior design of a newly remodelled Wayne State University branch. The branch opened three weeks ago, so we had to strategically cover some of the integrated Young & Free Michigan branding. As of today, the grand opening graphics will come down and all of the plasma screens and kiosk stations will feature the Young & Free Michigan Spokesperson search.
Michigan First is an extremely tech-forward credit union and has come to the table with both impressive technology and a fantastic product mix. You can see the full depth of the new First Gear Account offering here.
Key differentiators for Michigan First in its marketplace will be:
- First Gear Checking with no monthly or per-check fees and unlimited check writing
- MoneyNow overdraft protection plus “Oops Forgiveness”
- 1% discount on auto loan rate
- Earn double MoneyPerks reward points for eStatements and direct deposit
- Free custom MasterCard® Debit Card with unlimited ATM & debit card transactions
- Unlimited FREE ATM withdrawals at more than 28,000 ATMs in the Co-op Network plus three free ATM withdrawals monthly at non Co-op ATMs
Another key differentiator is the integrated personal financial management tool. It is a customized installation of Jwaala. Based on the unique login credentials of a First Gear Account holder, the site loads with a Young & Free skin. It's very slick.
In addition, Michigan First offers mobile banking apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, plus a native mobile web interface. Remote check deposit capability and live chat are also included.
Michigan First really has put together a great package of products and services. We're really excited to see how the combination of these account features performs with the Young & Free young adult marketing program in the Detroit area.
Every Young & Free region comes together when a senior champion believes in it and when there is a great supporting cast. Michigan is no exception. From the beginning, Michael Poulos, the President and CEO has embraced the program and made it a strategic priority.
In addition, the marketing team—Linda, Darren, Paula, Sandra, Steve, Allan and Susie—have been great to work with.
Internally, this is the first program to launch under the guidance of our newest program director, Kate Davies. Kate has done a great job of managing this project from start to now.