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Baxter Credit Union Launches New Web Site and Online Banking System

Baxter Credit Union Launches New Web Site and Online Banking System

For immediate release:
July 22, 2005

Contact: Astrid Perez
(847) 522-8723
astrid.perez@bcu.org

Vernon Hills, IL – July 22, 2005 – Baxter Credit Union (BCU) launches new website and online banking system. On June 1st, 2005 BCU launched their new website featuring a new look and feel, an infrastructure that supports multiple brands and languages, online applications, financial education and more.

“The new website was created for several reasons”, said Michelle Bloedorn, VP of Marketing for BCU. “To service and market better to our members; strengthen a popular delivery channel, provide convenient self-service tools and consistency among our communication outlets”.

Roughly 70% of the U.S. population uses the internet on a regular basis. With this statistic in mind, BCU created a user-friendly website that offers online banking with access to shares, loans, credit cards and a convenient bill payment system. The website also offers online applications for new membership as well as products such as mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. Through the website, members can obtain their credit score, pre-approvals and can read financial education articles pertinent to their specific needs.

To service and market better to its member’s BCU’s new website was written in an informal manner. The information provided is less product-oriented; instead it focuses on how a product or service will affect a member’s financial well being. Additionally, the marketing message is supported by the convenience of online applications available throughout the website. “We ask for the business on every page. All pages that discuss loans have the online loan application on the same page and is one click away from the member”, said Jesse Bruns, Manager of eServices.

Furthermore, the new website infrastructure can support multiple brands and languages, currently supporting two languages (English www.BCU.org and Spanish www.tuBCU.org) as well as four different brands. Each of the five websites is a little unique, but for the most part they are exactly the same. According to Jesse Bruns, “with the new infrastructure we can make different offers on each website, however, the core engine that drives the websites is the same. Moreover with a robust content management system in place, it provides the ability to more easily manage multiple sites and bring up new brands relatively quickly”.

The look and feel of the new website is consistent with all communication channels as created by BCU’s marketing strategy. “The images and copy were well thought out and chosen as an extension of our overall marketing strategy”, said Michelle Bloedorn. “For example, our Spanish website has images that were chosen specifically to appeal to our Hispanic market. The copy of the Spanish website was also written specifically for our Spanish-speaking members. On the whole, all product brochures, posters and letters are consistent with the overall approach of BCU’s new website”.

Additionally, partnerships with several different companies allow BCU to deliver a variety of services on their website with its own look and feel and not the partner’s. With new technologies, called web services and XML, members do not need to go to a hyperlinked second site. One example of this is the Mapquest service. All branches, shared branches and surcharge free ATMs are located in a Mapquest database. With this service, members can search for BCU locations closest to them and obtain a map and directions to the location. According to Jesse Bruns, “members will now very rarely leave the BCU site for another site to view credit union specific information. They will feel that BCU provides a one-stop-shop for all of their financial needs”.

The launching and marketing strategies have been a success. Members as well as employees are responding positively to the new website. BCU is currently focused on tracking all marketing efforts and online statistics to monitor significant changes.

With $1 Billion in assets, BCU currently serves more than 115,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Formed in 1981, BCU is a not-for-profit, member-owned credit union offering a full range of financial products and services, in English and Spanish. Known for competitive rates, low fees, and state-of-the-art services, BCU is headquartered in Vernon Hills, Illinois. Membership is open to employees of several prestigious companies around the country and a large portion of the greater Chicagoland area