On the Pulse: New UNOFCU Debit Card Touts the "Heartbeat of the Crescent City"
The University of New Orleans Federal Credit Union has redesigned its debit card to showcase the University's new brand. The new card design, revealed July 1, showcases the University's "Heartbeat of the Crescent City" brand and logo, as well as the University's traditional logo.
UNOFCU redesigned its debit card in an effort to continue demonstrating its pride in serving the UNO community and to show support for the ongoing branding campaign, launched last fall with a series of commercials, said Chris Maurer, chief executive officer and a two-time UNO alumnus.
"We really wanted to help promote the UNO brand, because I see the UNO brand a lot – at the bus stop, and in the airport," Maurer said. "We are really excited with the direction UNO is heading in. We wanted to show our UNO pride, but at the same time, stay true to our top priority of serving the UNO community. This was the perfect opportunity."
A full-service bank and financial institution, UNOFCU has long offered debit cards with checking accounts, said Maurer. Following Hurricane Katrina, UNOFCU redesigned its debit card to show support for the New Orleans area. The design was black and gold and featured a fleur de lis.
Die-hard Saints fans greeted the card warmly, Maurer said, and the design jumped in popularity after the New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XLIV. In 2013, UNOFCU decided it was time to redesign the 7-year-old card. The UNOFCU brainstormed a host of ideas.
Maurer was casually chatting with Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Brett Kemker in April when he got inspired, he said. He knew he had a winner. With the approval of President Peter J. Fos, the UNOFCU worked with designers and marketers in the Office of Communication, Public Relations and Marketing to create and deploy the debit card's new design.
The credit union rolled out the new card on July 1, to coincide with its 10-year-anniversary of being located in the Homer L. Hitt Alumni and Visitors Center and the start of a new fiscal year.
The new card comes with enhancements: purchase protection, price protection and satisfaction guarantee, Maurer said. The card may be used for purchases anywhere MasterCard is accepted.
The UNOFCU has five ATM machines on campus and customers may also retrieve funds with no penalty from ATMs belonging to the UNOFCU's surcharge-free network.
More than 4,600 employees, students and alumni are customers of the nearly 41-year-old UNOFCU, said Maurer, who received a B.S. in Finance 1992 and an M.B.A. in 2000 from UNO. Until 2002, the credit union stood in an interior classroom with cinderblock walls located in the Math Building.
At age 42, the CEO has worked for the UNOFCU for 20 years and managed the credit union since 1995, operating as general manager and now CEO. He said the credit union has increased membership, not shrunk, since Hurricane Katrina. The full-service credit union offers major banking services and just expanded to offer private student loans.
"We usually always have better loan rates than everybody else," said the banker. "Whenever you're going to buy a car, I can almost guarantee that our rate is better unless the dealer is offering zero percent financing."