For the past six months, while the country has been in various states of quarantine and isolation, credit unions from coast to coast have played a critical role in supporting their members. From opening branch lobbies (sometimes for limited hours), to sending Text Messages in response to members’ questions, to Text Messaging about the status of loan applications, credit unions have continued to provide quality service that have helped people and small business consumers weather the crisis. They have been truly essential to their members.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented many members from getting out as much as they normally would, and when they do leave their homes, many consolidate their trips. Credit Unions responded, not only by opening lobbies and drive-thru windows, but also by incorporating Text Messaging into their communication strategies, offering members a choice as to how they would like to communicate with their branches.
As we head into autumn, the pandemic will continue to strain the broader economy. More than 2,100 credit unions serve nearly 46 million members, many who are essential workers, including teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and government employees. From suspending loan payments to providing low interest short term loan options and financial counseling, Credit Unions are offering real solutions and critical services.
Many implemented emergency programs such as loan modification, fee waivers, new loan products, financial counseling, debt consolidation, increasing ATM/debit card limits and providing new lines of credit for small business borrowers. Through the use of Text Messaging, Credit Unions continue to inform their members and communities of help that is available during this time of economic uncertainty.
Text Messaging has been–and will continue to be–used by Credit Unions to successfully and directly get the word out about all the services they offer members. Some of that communication can be of a particularly urgent nature, especially at a time when members are facing job insecurity or even employment. Other members supported by Credit unions are frontline workers such as nurses and janitors who are providing essential services to help the general public through the crisis.
By having a significant presence in the community, and offering stability during this crisis, Credit Unions have earned their place to be considered “essential.”