Money and education often go hand in hand, and it all starts with the necessary building blocks from elementary school. At Inspirus Credit Union, it’s all about caring about students in the community. RewardExpert spoke with Collin Campbell, vice president of strategic initiatives, and Morgan Cole, public relations specialist, about what makes their credit union stand out from the rest and why after more than 80 years it’s still going strong.
“It’s all about our mission of giving back to education,” Cole said. “We believe in the power of education and we support our members who also share that same passion so we offer a lot of great products to reward our members for using Inspirus for their financial services.”
Inspiring from the Very Beginning
Inspirus was founded in 1936 by Robert J. Handy, a math and journalism teacher from Seattle. “He wanted a place for teachers to pool their money together to support each other during the Great Depression,” said Cole. Over the years, the credit union expanded its membership to include individuals of all different roles in schools. And in 2015, it opened its doors to everyone. “We decided to open it to anyone who’s passionate about education,” she said.
The credit union significantly helps the schools in its community through various events, as well as monetary donations. “What makes us unique is our commitment to education. We give 5% of our net income back to schools in our communities,” Campbell explained. “In 2017 alone, we’ve given $400,000 directly to classrooms through a variety of mechanisms.”
Cole added that it’s important to serve their members and also provide teachers with the resources they need “so they can teach their classrooms to the best of their abilities and inspire their students and engage with their students so they become passionate about learning and become lifelong learners, as well.”
A Digital Banking Platform
In order to continue to be successful, Inspirus has kept up with technology and virtual banking. “We want to best position ourselves to be the provider of choice when people want to make a payment,” notes Campbell. The credit union offers a unique money management option where people are able to see a dashboard of all their accounts and recently converted to a new digital banking platform. Campbell adds that when creating the user experience, it’s all about the people. “The companies who are getting it right today are the ones who are able to blend the human experience with the technology in a way that feels great,” she said.
Another project the credit union is working on is a financial education program. “We’ve partnered with a local organization called Financial Beginnings, a service who develops and writes curriculums for financial education for students of all ages and even adults – budgeting and savings tools, planning for college and beyond,” described Cole. “Through this, we hope to set people up for success later in life and through their educational careers.”
The Launch of the Visa Signature Card
An additional project that Inspirus is proud of is their Visa Signature Card. This is a rewards credit card that provides 2% unlimited cash back on all purchases. Campbell says the card is a prestigious product that is very inclusive. “It can be issued to people at all points on the credit spectrum. There’s no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, has a lower APR rate and not a lot of complexity. It felt like a niche that had the opportunity to be filled.”
One of the beauties of Inspirus Credit Union is that the organization really values its members. “The rates that we offer are significantly lower in most cases than most of our competition and the impact we make on communities is significantly greater than our competition,” said Campbell. To read more about Inspirus’ success story and its multitude of ways it gives back to the community and its members, and also to find out more about their new Visa Signature Card, visit www.inspiruscu.org.