By Roy Urrico
The familiar 321 countdown numeric not only represents — and provides historical context — for the area known for its space program role, but is now also part of the Community Credit Union of Florida’s (CCU Florida) “321 Financial Liftoff,” an educational series supporting younger generations' financial needs in that region.
"321 is not just our area code on the Space Coast, but also, speaks to the importance of trying to make it simple and easy for the youth to start their financial journey," said Laurie Cappelli, CEO of the $1.02 billion Rockledge, Fla.-based CCU Florida. "Helping the next generation of Brevard County achieve its goals is top of mind for us."
Cappelli noted, “This series supports a new generation of members by providing a conversational platform that fosters peer-to-peer (P2P) conversation and highlights products aimed at positively impacting their financial future. It is the intention of the credit union to resonate with new generations in language they can understand, not financial speak.”
CCU Florida Seeks to Attract Younger Members
The 321 Financial Liftoff series officially launches March 21, 2022 with “321 Day,” an event at Rockledge High School. The series is set to include influencers from around Central Florida, such as Alyssa Carson, an aspiring astronaut who wants to be the first female on Mars; J.T. Hassell, an NFL player free agent committed to supporting the mental health of youth; and Emily Zeck, a fledgling entrepreneur with her own swimwear line.
The goal is to offer open conversation and to meet young consumers “where they are” in their financial journey. “We believe in being part of the life journey and evolving as our community does,” said Cappelli. A series of other high school and college events in April, August and October is set to follow the Rockledge High School 321 Day.
The credit union also plans to appeal to younger members:
· By streamlining its online resources so they are easily accessible in one place.
· Refining and expanding its product offerings for today’s new professionals and their relevant career choices.
· Being more relevant from a technical point of view with an easy to navigate app.
· Assigning younger consumers a financial counselor who can work with them from the beginning of their financial journey.
· Making sure the credit union’s locations are easy to access.
· Partnering with Brevard Public Schools, Florida Institute of Technology and Eastern Florida State College to create financial literacy programs and sessions.
In addition, CCU Florida has several introductory products geared towards the Gen Z crowd created with the intent of removing any barrier to entry for personal financial services, such as offering student and free checking plus accounts that have no minimum balance, no deposit requirements, or monthly fees.
CCU Florida, which has seven locations in Indian Harbour Beach, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Port St. John, Rockledge, Titusville and Viera, encourages membership to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or conducts business in Brevard, Indian River, Orange, Osceola, Polk, or Volusia counties.
The credit union has a full menu of online and mobile apps and features for all of its members including loan and account origination capabilities, mobile deposit, bill payment, e-alerts, Popmoney/P2P transfers, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.
CCU Florida's portfolio empowers members with the proper tools to show that successful financial management is easy to achieve. For example, when opening a Free Checking Plus/Debit account, new members receive $100 and can continue to earn $100 for any new account referral with no cap. In addition, they can also earn up to 2.5% annual percentage yield (APY) on the first $5000 deposited. “Our referral program is also exceptional in the way that it benefits both the current and new member. For every new Free Checking Plus account, both current and new members receive $100. And there is no cap for how many people a member can refer,” noted Cappelli.
The credit union also has an early payday service, a no cost, no sign-up necessary service that provides members with their direct deposit paychecks a day early; and a Debit RoundUp Savings Program, where once enrolled every debit card transaction rounds up to the nearest dollar, with the difference transferred to their CCU share savings account.
CCU Florida’s five-star rated mobile app (from BauerFinancial) also provides access to every service short of cash withdrawals, according to Cappelli. “From making deposits, paying loans, to securely asking account questions or finding locations, the app is a one stop shop for any financial need. In addition, our ATMs also have a virtual assistant feature, where consumers have access to a teller via video call to help with any questions right there, at our ATM.” CCU Florida indicated the credit union focus is on up-leveling its customer service from a social standpoint in the days to come.