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  • Dec. 25 Popular Day for Remittance Transfers

    Posted by on December 18, 2012

    Second only to Mother’s Day, Christmas is a busy day for remittance transfer providers. With many issues complicating the availability of these services, U.S. Hispanics may be looking for a new provider this December 25.

    Could this be an opportunity for your credit union?

    Once the domain of Latin mom-and-pop shops, remittance services have in recent years become accessible to Hispanic and other consumers through their local credit unions.

    Beyond simply allowing consumers another choice, providing remittance services also gives credit unions the chance to deliver more-comprehensive financial services to a largely underserved population. In fact, remittance services are so successful that Coopera has made it a best-practice solution for credit unions looking to invest in the youngest, largest and fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.

    Yet, it’s important to understand remittances aren’t necessarily a tool for attracting new Hispanic members. Credit unions should view these services more as a value-added tool to increase the depth of their product suites. Credit unions with comprehensive programs ultimately complete more remittances than those without a similarly robust program.

    To be truly successful, credit unions often partner with a trusted provider to bring remittance transfer services to their communities. Even though regulations have been delayed, there are still serious concerns facing the industry (I recently wrote about these issues for the Credit Union Times).

    Before settling on a partner, first endeavor to understand your typical member’s need, their country of origin and the available locations within the typical recipient’s country. As well, examine your local market competition to provide the most competitive offering. What other local organizations are providing remittance services? What are they charging? What are their hours of operation, etc.?

    Although complicated, an international money transfer tool will continue to be a best-practice for credit unions’ Hispanic outreach and service strategies. Therefore, it’s vital for these cooperatives to prioritize the research, due diligence and formation of strategic partnerships to continue (or to begin) providing this crucial service.

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    Two Famous Brands Acknowledge Hispanic Power

    Posted by on December 11, 2012

    Marketers who recently attended the annual ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference heard this from the President of Kellogg North America: “If you’re just beginning, hurry up. Because your competitors are doing it.”

    To what was he referring? Marketing to the increasingly influential U.S. Hispanic marketplace.

    The accomplished corporate leader admitted his company had been late to the game, telling attendees that in 2009 a mere 1 percent of the brand’s marketing budget was devoted to capturing Hispanic consumer attention. “Competitors, meanwhile, were crushing Kellogg in the Hispanic market.”

    The company has since stepped up its game, setting an example for the many organizations whose growth depends on the youngest, fastest-growing group in the U.S.

    Similarly, RAM Trucks has demonstrated its desire to reach this critical consumer market by aligning with Latin music superstar Juanes. The company signed Juanes to be the spokesperson for its current multi-channel campaign targeting truck buyers in the top 17 Hispanic markets, most in the southwest part of the country.

    And they are not the only ones in the auto industry investing in the Hispanic community, according to Sara Hasson, VP of Automotive Brand Solutions at Univision.

    “Leaders in the auto industry are recognizing they can’t deliver future sales growth without effectively reaching Latinos,” Hasson said. “They are revving up sales and cultivating a loyal customer base by targeting Latino consumers in culture, thus making Hispanic marketing a strategic business imperative.”

    Whether its trucks, cereal or financial services you’re selling, the Hispanic customer is a must-win target, wielding more influence over their peers as compared to other demographic segments. To learn more about how Coopera can help you win the attention and business of this critical market, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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    Hispanic Influence Felt More Strongly

    Posted by on December 4, 2012

    The 2012 elections demonstrated the growing power of Hispanic Americans in the United States. Both Gustavo Gruber, Coopera VP and I have been excited to watch media take note of this influence. Each of us were recently asked by both Credit Union Magazine and The Des Moines Register to address the cultural impact evidenced by the recent democratic process. Below are brief recaps of our thoughts on this exciting development.

    As told to the Des Moines Register: The face of the American voter is changing and we — Hispanics — have more influence. With one out of six U.S. residents being Hispanic and Hispanic purchasing power exceeding 1 trillion, it’s no surprise.

    Hispanic-owned small businesses are growing at over twice the rate of the national average — estimated to be more than $350 billion in revenue annually — and these entrepreneurs advocate for issues such as access to capital, affordable healthcare and policies that will continue to improve the U.S. economy so that they can continue to expand their businesses and create jobs.

    Catering to the Hispanic population is not only important to the strategic growth of credit unions, it is important to our country as a whole.

    As contributed to Credit Union Magazine: The Hispanic community is not a monolithic market — Hispanics are not all Mexican, but rather come from diverse races, nationalities, and ethnicities representing 21 Latin American countries, or 22 when Spain is included. However, most Spaniards do not consider themselves Hispanics as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Hispanics come to this country for economic, political and family reasons, among others, and always with the intention to return home in two or three years, when the reason that brought them to the U.S. is resolved. This scenario creates a situation that slows down assimilation while intensifies acculturation.

    Therefore, the person holds on strongly to their own culture while trying to adapt to the American way of life.

    Credit unions have recognized the importance of this growing market and many have been very strategic about developing strategies to attract and serve this community.

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