As a result of increased retention of alumni accounts and expanded online access for new customers, the Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union recently hit a new record of $16 million assets under management, a sum close to 37 percent greater than asset totals at this time last year.
“Such a rapid growth rate is unprecedented for this organization, but it is in my opinion a confirmation of the direction that the board and previous ones have taken this organization,” GUASFCU Chief Executive Officer Arjun Mehta (SFS ’11) said. “Every cent is reinvested to lower fees, provide better rates and introduce state-of-the-art banking services to further make us the obvious banking solution.”
According to Mehta, much of the asset growth can be attributed to better alumni retention, a feat accounted for by a number of recently launched initiatives: GUASFCU’s membership in the nation’s largest ATM network; its offering of products with some of the highest basic savings rates in the nation; and its introduction of alumni debit cards personalized with the graduating class year.
Along with recently establishing a new online banking platform that allows members to manage their accounts remotely, Mehta stated that an increasing proportion of new accounts are being opened online, rather than in person.
“We view that as a product of our times, as well as our growing reputation and sophistication in our online offerings,” Mehta said. “The five summer associates tasked with running the bank during the summer did a great job, and their hard work is an important part of our growth.”
While the organization has worked to appeal to Georgetown graduates, creating new customer relationships with new students on campus remains a key component of their strategy. According to a GUASFCU press release, the credit union has about 12,000 accounts, of which 40 percent are student-owned and 60 percent are alumni-owned.
“I have a family friend who is a senior who told me I should open an account. The bank I use is Wells Fargo and they’re not as big out here, so [GUASFCU] is a good alternative,” new student Chris Bien (COL ’14) said.
Georgetown became the first private university to have an independent, student-run credit union in 1983, beginning with just $500,000 in deposits from students and a certificate of deposit from the university for $100,000.”