Requests for information about credit unions and where consumers can locate a credit union to join increased dramatically since news of big banks’ debit card fees broke in late September.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reported that the volume of visits to its aSmarterChoice.org consumer site more than doubled during the period between Sept. 29 and Oct. 9. The site received 36,000 visits during the period, compared with 16,500 visits on average per month in the previous seven months, said Pat Keefe, CUNA vice president of communications and media outreach.
“We had two months’ worth of visitors in two weeks,” Keefe told News Now.
Also, the aSmarterChoice.org Facebook page added 2,500 friends during the period, bringing the total friends to 3,500, Keefe said.
The announcement about Bank of America’s plans to charge $5 a month for debit card use was made public Sept. 28. That announcement was followed by other banks’ announcements they were testing similar fees in an effort to recoup loss of revenue from debit card interchange fees under the Dodd-Frank Act. The news brought outrage from consumers and a constant barrage of press reports about ways consumers could avoid the fees–including switching to credit unions.