Unbanking. I bet right now you’re asking yourself what the heck is Unbanking? If you already know, you’re a step ahead of the game. If you don’t, not to worry, you’re in the same boat I was just a short time ago. I was asking myself why a credit union was promoting the opposite of banking. Since after all, aren’t credit unions banks? Little did I know I was about to find out that credit unions are so much more than banks.
Hi! My name is Chris Whalen and I am the new Vice President of Unbanking at Connex Credit Union. I am currently in the middle of an engaging learning experience when it comes to the workings of a credit union. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my views and experiences with you!
Before I get into what I have learned these past few days, let’s get to know each other a little better! I grew up in a small town in the Berkshires. To me the rolling mountains and endless trees make my home one of the most beautiful and captivating places in the country. Currently I am in my senior year at theUniversityofNew Haven. My major and passion is marketing. I am always eager to communicate messages that I feel are a worthwhile cause. Before working at Connex, I had a summer internship with MasterCard Worldwide. Working at the heart of commerce really helped me begin to understand the impact that financial institutions have on our everyday lives.
Now that you have gotten to know me a little bit better, please feel free to help me get to know you. I am eager about meeting both members and non-members of Connex! I would love to know where you’re from and what your experiences are dealing with banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions!
I am in a unique position to be able to share with you my time thus far at Connex Credit Union. Going into this I knew very little about the differences between banks and credit unions. I have been bulking up on my knowledge fast these past few days and was shocked to find out that a credit union is non-profit. At first that was a little off putting, but I learned that credit unions work much in the same way a university does. Being non-profit does not mean they do not want to make a profit. It means that the profits made are recycled back into higher yields on accounts, lower interest rates, better services, and more products. In my first employee coaching meeting I learned the cornerstone of Connex and credit unions in general – it’s all about the member. The entire meeting was about how we could make our member’s lives easier. The key point that the member is the focus, was really the biggest “ah-ha” moment for me. Credit unions do not have shareholders to please they only members to please. Even the board of directors is made up of members and ultimately helps lead the directions of the credit union. The best part is that any member can run to be on the board!
I am excited to continue on my learning path. I am also energized about sharing my learning along the way with all of you and finding ways to help your financial life!
Chris, Vice President of Unbanking