A Credit Unions Guide to Text Messaging Compliance

Navigating Compliance in Text Messaging Credit Unions Guide
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Blizzard conditions force immediate branch closings. Rates fall on 30-year mortgages. A new fraud alert demands immediate attention.

Whatever the scenario, when your credit union conveys vital information to members, how can it be sure its message is received? No communications method beats the speed or the 98% open rate of text messaging. However, credit unions must receive permission before they can text members or prospects.

The standard for consent differs by use case. For example, a member can grant permission at a tabling event simply by reciting a phone number. In general, 1-to-1 texts (Sales use) require only verbal consent, but 1-to-many texts (Marketing use) require express written consent.

Obtaining written consent sounds tricky, but we’ve captured best practices both in the table below to make it easier:


Regardless of the method, remember these two things: open communication encourages signups, and enrollment is a process. CUs can remain compliant with FCC/TCPA rules by following these 7 steps:

  1. Ask members to text a “keyword” to a short code. Assure them that they are not obligated in any way and are free to opt out at any time.
  2. Members typically opt in for a specific program (e.g., to receive special offers). Provide a brief description of the program, including a reminder that message and data rates may apply, as well as the terms and privacy policy.
    Example: Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to XXXXX to cancel. Text HELP to XXXXX for help. T&C: INSERT URL
  3. Send messages ONLY from the program opted into. Do not send texts for other purposes or use cases.
  4. Clearly communicate methods for opt-out (STOP) during the opt-in process. Include opt-out instructions at the end of each text you send to subscribers.
  5. Honor all opt-out requests promptly. If someone replies “STOP,” that person should not receive additional text messages except the one that acknowledges the opt-out.
  6. Specify the frequency of the text message when you send it.
    Example: Receive weekly updates on our loan rates.
  7. Structure your texts to follow the recommendations of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA):

a) Name of credit union

b) Service description

c) Frequency of text messages

d) Customer support info (Text HELP for help)

e) Opt-out info (To stop, text STOP)

f) Additional carrier costs (MSG&DATA rates may apply)

g) Terms & Conditions (hyperlink)

Launch Campaigns for Multiple Purposes

By following this process, CUs will capitalize on their members’ desire to text businesses and will amass opt-ins quickly. Your teams can use these opt-ins to launch campaigns for a variety of purposes.


Multiple teams at your CU can leverage the popularity of text messaging to better connect with members. CUs are the focus of our Text Messaging + Analytics software, which now integrates with Symitar and other core banking systems. Want to start texting your members today? Request a demo.

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