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Truliant President & CEO Marc Schaefer on Charlotte Today Primetime

Contributed by: Heath Combs

Our President and CEO Marc Schaefer was recently interviewed by WCNC Charlotte’s Charlotte Today Primetime. In this interview, he discusses how credit unions are different, how to join, and some details about Truliant’s Charlotte expansion. A video and transcript of the interview is below. 

Colleen Odegaard (co-host, Charlotte Today): A financial institution with your best interest in mind, Truliant Federal Credit Union really wants to enhance the lives of its members. Many members say they love Truliant because its professional team really listens to them and cares about them. 

Eugene Robinson: (co-host, Charlotte Today): Well, lucky for us, Truliant is expanding in the Charlotte area. 

Transitions to from studio to Waverly Member Financial Center

Colleen: Enhancing the quality of life for members is the mission statement here at Truliant Federal Credit Union. I'm joined now by the President and CEO of Truliant, Marc Schaefer. Thank you so much for talking with us and inviting us to your beautiful new location here at Waverly. Why did you expand to this area?

Marc Schaefer, (president and CEO, Truliant): Well, we believe that consumers need to have access to affordable financial services and credit unions are one option. And we saw that there's a lot of growth in Charlotte and we thought that our members should have a choice. 

Colleen: Talk a little bit more about your mission statement (The Mission of Truliant is to enhance the quality of life of our members and become thier preferred financial institution) you just mentioned, you said that it's to enhance the quality of life of your members. You really believe in that don't you?

Marc: We truly do. And it's about improving members lives.With a little bit of guidance and a great product set consumers can make a real difference in their own financial lives. 

Colleen: How is Truliant different from a bank?

Marc: Well Truliant is not a bank. It's a credit union that's owned by our members. We don't have stockholders. And there's been a lot of bank mergers recently. Credit unions aren't eligible to be merged because there isn't any stock. They can merge with each other but they can't be acquired by a bank. And so, credit unions are here to actually improve their members' lives, so we do that typically through lower loan rates, higher savings rates, low fees and great services like this new branch. 

Colleen: And that's the thing customers really like to hear. Can all of our viewers can open an account here?

Marc: Yes, all of your viewers can become members of Truliant. And it's not a big deal to become a member. It's $5, which, I always laugh, because if you leave we give it back to you with interest. So there's really no barriers to joining Truliant. And then you get all the wonderful benefits that we have, like mobile banking services as well as access to all of these branches. 

Colleen: Tell us more about this Waverly location. Is it similar to the other locations you have opened in the past years in the Charlotte area? 

Marc: Very similar to the last nine other locations. It's open and airy, lots of technology, there's not a formal teller counter, you can walk all around it, if you come in with a check we can cash it for you. But really it's more about having that interaction with the consumer; to help provide guidance, to learn about the consumer, then help them along with their financial decisions. It doesn't look that much like a traditional bank. 

Colleen: What has been the response so far from people here in Charlotte to this new location?

Marc: So far the new locations are having an overwhelmingly positive response and we're way ahead of the goals that we set for ourselves. But we've been very careful in choosing each area, designing them so they're attractive to that group. We just opened in South End and we stay open until 7 p.m. A lot of millennials are coming in.This is obviously a more suburban market and so we cater to those consumers, but it's all about convenience and it's all about that guidance and the great services that we provide. 

Colleen: It sounds like you're really responding to what your customers need. 

Marc: Yes, our members tell us what they want, so if our mission is to improve their lives, we have to know who they are and what they want. So our member owners guide where we go and what kind of services we provide. 

Colleen: You mentioned briefly mobile banking. Can you tell us more about the technology that you offer here?

Marc: We have a very advanced mobile banking application. In fact, you can actually sign on with your eyeball if you want with our biometric sign on. 

Colleen: That sounds like something from the future! 

Marc: You might just want to use your finger. But if you're trying to impress someone, use your eyeball. But we have very advanced financial services available 24/7 via mobile devices. Everything from paying your bills, checking your balance, depositing a check by taking a picture of it, to getting alerts. All of those things are available. We have a very robust set of financial products that are available on your phone. 

Colleen: All of the conveniences, and features and benefits that any customer could want. I suppose your would invite viewers to come in and check it out, yes?

Marc: We would love to have folks come in and become members and beyond customer, be an actual member-owner of your own financial institution. Knowing that we're here to improve your life, and not to sell you a product. 

Colleen: I really like your mission.Thank you so much for having us here. 

Transitions back to Studio 

Colleen: Very nice. I love the beautiful office and if you're interested call Truliant Federal Credit Union, the number is 800.822.0382. You can also visit their website, it's I may need to call them about a car loan! 

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