How Credit Unions Across Canada are Using Aura™ to Engage Members and Support their Communities

February 17, 2021

Since the launch of Aura in early 2020, our credit union clients have seen great success with the program.

To showcase how Aura has helped many credit unions meet their strategic objectives, we have laid out how current Aura clients are deploying the program to their members.

Sunova Credit Union

As the pilot credit union for Aura, Sunova Credit Union was the first to launch the loyalty and payments card to their members in March, 2020.

As we all know, this was when the Coronavirus pandemic hit North America hard. Aura provided an alternative to traditional credit cards for Sunova members through this pre-paid Mastercard™. Aura does not require credit checks to sign up, but gives members the same ability to make purchases online as they would with a typical credit card.

Sunova Credit Union went to market at a difficult time, but with a solid social media marketing campaign and strong value proposition backing the card, member registrations for Aura rolled in despite this.

“Signing up for the Aura program was super easy and the Aura team created a seamless transition with their turnkey solution. Our members are using Aura a lot for online purchases at a time when you can't always shop in store. Additionally, the Aura platform has helped Sunova attract new members and we continue to receive feedback that our members love the merchant offers.”

Greg Rutherford, VP, Chief Information Officer, Sunova Credit Union

Osoyoos Credit Union

As the first credit union in BC to join the platform, Osoyoos Credit Union (OCU) launched Aura to their membership in September, 2020 to help stimulate the local economy and deepen community connections.

Backed by Aura, OCU has partnered with the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce to enable local merchants to add discount offers to Aura’s carousel of offers.

Not only is OCU experiencing success connecting with their community, they are coming up with unique use-cases for the program, like using Aura as a money management tool for seniors by allowing their power of attorney to manage, monitor and control spending through the app. This limits risk for seniors to be taken advantage of by fraudsters because there is a limited amount of money on their pre-paid Aura card. This is one of the many use-cases that has been identified for Aura.

“One of our core values is supporting the prosperity of our local economy. Aura has given us an innovative platform that is bringing our community closer together. Through Aura, we are creating more awareness of the goods and services available in our local community and enabling members to support these merchants.”

Greg Sol, Chief Executive Officer, Osoyoos Credit Union

Rocky Credit Union

Rocky Credit Union, the largest single branch credit union in Canada, launched Aura to their members on International Credit Union Day in October, 2020.

Rocky chose Aura to provide a digital platform to their members that fosters financial literacy and good spending habits while also providing members with local, regional and national retail offers.

Rocky initially launched Aura to their employees with the #Loyal2Local initiative by providing each of their employees with an Aura card preloaded with $25 to enjoy at a local business of their choice. The initiative had a lot of success on social media and created hype around the program for their members before the launch.

Most recently, Rocky Credit Union has engaged with local merchants who would like to join the program by offering a discount to their shop on the Aura app carousel. The Aura platform is allowing Rocky to create deeper connections with their members and community.

East Coast Credit Union

Aura officially expanded coast to coast in December, 2020 when East Coast Credit Union selected the loyalty platform for their members.

East Coast Credit Union has used all of the Aura marketing materials that are provided as part of the program, and have created vast marketing campaigns to promote Aura across their organic social media channels and through paid posts, radio ads, digital banking ads, statement ads, in-branch print materials and in-branch tv screen promotions.

"Additional key success factors that resulted in significant engagement and conversion of our members were:

  • An email marketing strategy that targeted members according to who would be most likely to sign-up for this new product
  • Engaging employees early in the process and incentivizing them to sign up for the card so they could understand its benefits. This created buzz by getting employees excited about the new product roll-out
  • A well developed internal process with an easy to complete member sign-up form – simplicity for members is key!

Trudy Wells, Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications, East Coast Credit Union

Their campaigns have been highly effective, as East Coast has seen a substantial uptake in Aura account registrations. Aura has helped them attract new members who are interested in getting a card.

Most recently, East Coast had an 83-year-old long-term member talking about wanting an Aura card, who described Aura saying, “it’s so cool”. The success of Aura at East Coast Credit Union shows that not only is the program attracting younger members to the credit union, but it is also easily understood by an older demographic.

Bruno Credit Union

As the first Saskatchewan credit union to join Aura, Bruno Credit Union launched the program to their members in November, 2020.

Bruno chose Aura because it provides an affordable way to offer a reloadable, prepaid Mastercard with a range of member benefits like instant rewards and budgeting tools to members. As Bruno did not have an email marketing tool to contact members, Celero provided a solution by sending emails to members through our email platform. Celero created the emails, sent to Bruno for approval and then sent the email on behalf of the credit union.

Bruno and Celero worked together on an ongoing basis to come up with the best campaigns to reach members and persuade them to sign up for Aura. This offering is just one of the many options available with the Aura turn-key solution.

Vision Credit Union

Vision Credit Union was the second Alberta credit union to launch Aura to their members in January, 2021.

Credit unions like Vision are choosing Aura because it’s a globally accepted platform and card, enabling their members to transact anywhere in the world and online, while enjoying discounts and rewards from local businesses and large retailers.

Another key reason that Vision chose Aura is because it’s more secure than credit cards for online shopping. The pre-paid platform means that fraudsters can’t access funds beyond the balance on the card. The ability to freeze both the plastic and virtual cards also provides enhanced security for members.

“Our employees are quite excited to offer Aura to our members as a wonderful replacement for the Global Payment card. We are anticipating attracting new members of all demographics to our credit union as they are interested in the intuitive digital platform that Aura provides.”

Pauline Marcinkowski, VP of Banking Operations, Vision Credit Union

Northern Credit Union

Northern Credit Union chose Aura to stimulate local economies through the credit union led initiative, #Loyal2Local program. Through the Loyal2Local initiative, Northern Credit Union is adding funds to each of its 273 employees’ Aura accounts, encouraging them to spend the funds locally and highlight the businesses they supported on social media.

To continue to focus on community building and supporting local economies, Northern has partnered with four different local merchants that will offer discounts to members through the offer carousel on the Aura app.

“Our strategic focus and our culture are centered around enabling communities in Northern Ontario to thrive; we live by our mandate, True North Strong."

Joshua Ingram, Community Outreach Manager, Northern Credit Union

Encompass Credit Union

Encompass Credit Union will be the third Alberta credit union to launch to their members later this month. After hearing about Aura, an Encompass Credit Union employee requested to test the card and after using it, knew it was something that should be in the hands of members.

As part of their launch, Encompass is collaborating with four local merchants in their community to provide a stronger value proposition to their members when signing up.

“We are thrilled to be launching Aura to our members as the platform offers online shopping options and contactless payments that have become increasingly prominent and necessary. Aura also provides a way for our credit union to create stronger community ties by collaborating with local business on offers that are showcased in the Aura app.”

Amy Gertsma, VP Information Services, Encompass Credit Union.

If you are interested in testing an Aura card or want to learn more, please contact us or talk to your Celero Account Executive.


Related posts: 

Top Five Financial Literacy Topics that Teens Must Know 

Aura Youth Card Coming Soon 

Everything You Need to Know About Celero's Product Families 

How #Loyal2Local is Stimulating Local Economies 

Five Reasons Your Credit Union will Love Aura 

Osoyoos Credit Union Supports Members and Community Using Aura Loyalty 


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How Credit Unions Across Canada are Using Aura™ to Engage Members and Support their Communities