SECU Board members Bob Brinson and Michael Wooten Jr. talk at an event with an attendee
article | 4 MIN READ

Coming Together Around an Evolving SECU – How Our New Strategic Plan Puts Members at the Center

The SECU strategic plan outlines our vision for the future. Guided by four strategic focus areas: Member Experience; Employee Experience; Digital Innovation; and Safety and Soundness, the strategic plan lays out our approach to fulfilling the needs of our members, employees, and the rapidly changing financial services landscape.

Picture above: Members of the Board of Directors, the policy-making body of SECU, McKinley Wooten (left) and Bob Brinson (right), alongside the retired dean of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government, Mike Smith (center).

Our Mission

Every organization has a mission. At SECU, ours is to be the trusted provider of financial services to every eligible member and to enhance the value of their lives and financial well-being while maintaining our fiscal strength.

We stand firm in our mission, while we also recognize that our members’ expectations have evolved over the years. As our world changes, our members seek innovative offerings, with more product options and even more convenient ways to seek out our services. We acknowledge our members’ expanded needs and, so, we’ve created a strategic plan that, by way of thoughtful and deliberate priorities, outlines our vision for the future of SECU.

Our Strategy

The trust our members have in us and the value we bring to their lives is at the center of both our mission and our Strategic Plan. So, SECU has committed to four focus areas: Member Experience, Employee Experience, Digital Innovation, and Safety & Soundness. By enhancing and boosting our services in these categories, with an eye toward convenience and ease, we hope to continue earning our members’ trust by deepening the value we bring them.

Member Experience

Approximately 90 percent of SECU members say competitive rates and high quality and accessible technology are at least somewhat important in choosing a financial institution.*

State employees and their families join SECU because of our unwavering focus on their needs. They expect more from us because of the credit union’s “People Helping People” philosophy, in which we get to know our members personally and provide tailored solutions to help them achieve their financial goals. We are expanding our solutions even more with enhanced products, services, and outreach that drive member value.

  • New Lending Approach: We’re expanding our rates and options to better serve every eligible member and provide the services they need, all while ensuring our collective financial stability.
  • Financial Empowerment: Our new financial education offerings on our branch website help members improve their credit score, learn budgeting and saving tactics and boost their financial literacy. Members can also speak with one of our 1,000+ accredited financial counselors to obtain personalized one-on-one guidance.
  • Giving Back to NC through SECU Foundation: Our commitment to our members extends into the communities in which they live. Since 2004, the SECU Foundation has committed $235 million in scholarships, grants, and loans to address community issues affecting North Carolinians throughout the state. Another $15 million is forecast to be donated across NC in 2023.

Employee Experience

Over 75% of members value good customer service from their financial institutions – and 9 out of 10 would recommend SECU to other eligible friends and family.*

Our more than 270 branches in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties are filled with our greatest assets: our people; our employees are the beating heart of SECU. Every day, members rely on and trust in our 8,000+ colleagues to provide them with best-in-class service and guidance through life’s many financial challenges and decisions. As we seek to become the best place to work in North Carolina, we are expanding our investment in our employees.

  • Investing in Employees: We encourage the career development of all our employees. With new education and skills training courses, we’re empowering our employees with the knowledge they need to grow, increasing both their commitment to their roles and the quality of service they provide to members.
  • Best-in-Class Benefits: Along with medical, dental, life and disability insurance, SECU offers unique and competitive benefits, including a 401k with immediate 100% vesting and a 200% match on employee contributions of 1-5%.

Digital Innovation

While branches and staff remain important to members, over 91% of members believe that quality and accessible technology is important.*

Members appreciate the face-to-face experience that our branch settings offer. That experience remains. At the same time, advances in the financial technology space oblige us to innovate, so that we can meet all our members’ needs and expectations. By enhancing and personalizing our offerings, we enable our members to be served how they see fit, with more efficiency and affordability.

  • Overhaul of Digital Services: Our members can access new mobile banking features, including online loan applications, with much more coming soon.
  • Fewer Fees: The implementation of new digital offerings allows for many cost-savings that we can forward along to our members. Members will no longer incur fees for stop payment requests, overdraft transfers, or return checks.

Safety & Soundness

Over 70% of members place great weight on the financial strength of their financial institutions, including SECU.*

We are prudent in our obligation to protect our union, what we have all created and invested in for over 85 years. The health of SECU is our greatest responsibility. As uncertain times can strike in a moment’s notice, it is also our responsibility to act with foresight. Members can rest assured that we take the proper precautions to maintain our position as a financially sound organization.

  • Building a Stronger Foundation: We are balancing and strengthening our portfolio and reserves to better withstand economic volatility.
  • Preparing for the Unexpected: The maturation of our risk management culture and governance capabilities has better prepared us for the unexpected.
  • Mission & Member-Centric: Our commitment to our members and our not-for-profit mission is unwavering, serving as our constant guiding light. We serve with integrity and keep our members at the center of all we do.

We are SECU. Every one of us. And, together, we have a shared interest in the well-being of our credit union. SECU’s new strategic plan was thoughtfully crafted to meet our members where they are in their financial journey. As our world constantly changes, so too do our needs and expectations.  So, whether you seek to use SECU’s products and services as you always have or are eager to engage in our new offerings, one thing’s for certain: we’re with you.

*SECU surveyed North Carolina residents online from May, 12–24, 2023. The survey included 1,392 respondents with an oversample of 661 SECU members. To qualify for the survey, respondents needed to live in North Carolina, have heard of SECU and not work in the financial services industry.