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  • Writer's pictureJohn San Filippo

2023 Tekkie Award for Marketing: Allegacy Federal Credit Union

By John San Filippo

With an increasingly mobile membership, $2.2 billion, 176,000-member Allegacy Federal Credit Union began exploring mobile marketing technology in 2019. The Winston-Salem, NC-based credit union was looking for better ways to reach members when and where those members needed the credit union, as well as enhance the financial center experience. Allegacy Federal Credit Union has 27 locations, including nine at regional high schools. The credit union was introduced to Madison, Wis.-based Pulsate through that company’s partnership with NCR, which provides the credit union’s digital banking platform.

“Allegacy already had a robust online banking system and our mobile app had been around for quite some time,” Senior Marketing Specialist Stacy Jones told Finopotamus. “We had already been exploring the landscape of what can we provide our members as far as additional mobile marketing, like push notifications and things like that.” That’s when NCR introduced the credit union to Pulsate. Jones said that in addition to exceptional mobile marketing technology in its own right, Pulsate offered the added advantage of pre-integration with NCR’s digital banking platform.

Stacy Jones

“Looking across the industry landscape, we were really thrilled with Pulsate’s offering,” added Jones. “It was a great fit.”

An Auto Lending Example

Jones offered the example of an auto loan campaign to illustrate how the Pulsate platform works.

“Traditionally, we're going to have paid advertising. There could be print and digital ads, SEO ads – things like that – as well as targeted member marketing, email marketing, etc.,” explained Jones. “Where we utilize more advanced mobile marketing using the Pulsate platform is by adding in push notifications.”

Jones said that, using the Pulsate software, the credit union has geofenced all 18 of its regular, non-high school branch locations. “We can launch a push notification that goes to users of our mobile app when they're coming within that geofence to let them know there's an auto loan special,” noted Jones. This has led to many inquiries about the promoted products.

“We also geofenced local auto dealerships,” Jones continued. “So if our members are out there car shopping, at the time they go into one of the geofences around a dealership, we can let them know, hey, these are the rates available, here's a special, etc.” She added that the push notification will include a link that allows the member to apply for an auto loan on the spot.

According to Jones, the Pulsate platform has produced a higher response rate on auto lending campaigns compared to other methods of promotion, such as email. She also noted that the credit union has seen similar results promoting home equity loans by geofencing retailers such as Home Depot and Lowes.

Member Service and Engagement

Jones told Finopotamus that while Pulsate is great for mobile marketing, the platform offers other important use cases.

“We recently had a renovation at one of our locations. The member entrance is new and the parking is new,” said Jones. “We used Pulsate to alert people once they got within a hundred meters of the location that says, ‘Hey, you're going to enter a new parking lot entrance.’ It's labeled; watch for it. Pulsate is helping us ease that member transition.”

Jones said that the Pulsate platform is also useful when an ATM goes down. The credit union can quickly geofence the ATM and let members who approach that ATM know where the next closest ATMs are.

As of August 2023, Jones said the credit union is also exploring the use of the Pulsate platform to solicit member feedback. “Using the geofence around a branch, we can say, ‘Hey, thank you for visiting our financial center today. Please rate your experience,’” she said, noting that the push notification can include a link to a member satisfaction survey. “We want to make sure members are completely satisfied.”

Easy and Effective

“I think Pulsate is a great tool,” stated Jones. “I find it very easy to use. It's great because the marketing team can set up and launch these campaigns quickly and easily.” She noted that the Pulsate platform can play an important role in a larger campaign or used as a stand-alone system for campaigns that rely exclusively on push notifications and geofencing.

Regarding Allegacy Federal Credit Union's selection as the 2023 Tekkie Award winner for marketing, Jones said, “We are really thrilled and honored.”


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