Canadians receive free toonies on credit union "ding free®" day from sea to sea

Apr 23, 2013, 14:00 ET from Credit Union Central of Canada

Credit unions work co-operatively to save their members from big bank ATM surcharges

TORONTO, April 23, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians discovered today just how far a toonie can go if they are a member of a credit union. As part of ding free® day, street teams in nine cities fanned out this morning on corners across Canada to distribute $25,000 in two-dollar coins - the typical cost of a bank's ATM fee.

This nationwide credit union campaign highlights how Canadians can avoid getting "dinged" by their financial institutions by joining a credit union.

Credit union members already know they can use their own credit union ATMs ding free but may not be aware that this benefit also applies at thousands of credit union ATMs across Canada. To help spread the word, teams hit the streets in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax - engaging with Canadians along busy pedestrian corridors.

And to demonstrate how credit unions support their communities, Canada's credit unions are also donating a toonie (up to $25,000 in total) on behalf of every credit union member who downloads the ding free smartphone locator app from, to their choice of three Canadian charities: the Terry Fox Foundation, the Rick Hansen Foundation or the Trans Canada Trail Foundation.

"Canadians work hard for their money," said David Phillips, president and CEO, Credit Union Central of Canada. "With the ding free campaign, we're informing Canadians that as credit union members, they can do their banking at a participating credit union ATM without getting 'dinged,' and these charges can really add up over time."

Last year, Credit Union Central of Canada (Canadian Central) with the support of a National Credit Union Marketing Advisory Committee, launched the National ATM Accessibility Project, developed by Central 1 Credit Union's marketing team along with creative agency Dead Famous, to promote surcharge-free ATM access for credit union members under the ding free banner.

The ding free campaign, the first national campaign to promote this benefit for credit union members, is being supported with an awareness campaign across Canada, including today's ding free day.

"This latest activity is just one part of a much larger campaign," said Martin Reed, AVP of Marketing and Research at Central 1. "Online and on the street, we'll be taking our ding free message from sea to sea in a number of unique and unexpected ways."

As the campaign is rolled out across the country, participating credit union ATMs will be identified by their bright green ding free decals.

Credit union members have access to at least 1,800 ding free credit union ATMs across Canada - saving them hundreds of toonies each year. For members whose credit unions are on both the ACCULINK® and THE EXCHANGE® ATM networks, the number of ding free ATMs increases to more than 3,200 - a bigger ATM network than most banks.

"From sea to sea, many Canadians got a toonie for free today," added Phillips. "It's just a fun way of highlighting the benefits they can expect from credit union membership - including exceptional service and competitive rates."

Note to editors: Photos of events from select cities are available below:

Maps to each key location among the nine cities can be found at:

Additional stunt photos from throughout the day can be found in the ding free day Facebook gallery:

About Credit Union Central of Canada
Credit Union Central of Canada (Canadian Central) is the national trade association for the Canadian credit union system. Canada's credit union system is a vital competitor in the financial services industry. Canadian Central represents five provincial/regional Centrals and one Federation representing 348 credit unions with more than $152 billion in assets and serving 5.3 million members, outside of Quebec. For more information about Canada's credit union system and Canadian Central, visit

About Central 1
Central 1 is the central financial facility and trade association for the B.C. and Ontario credit union systems. Central 1 represents a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that serves 2.9 million members and holds $86.2 billion in assets and is owned primarily by its member credit unions, 44 in B.C. and 100 in Ontario. With offices in Vancouver, Mississauga, and Toronto, Central 1 provides a wide range of services such as liquidity management, direct banking, and payment service solutions. For more information, visit

Canada's credit unions
For the eighth consecutive year, Canadians ranked credit unions first in overall Customer Service Excellence, among all financial institutions, surpassing all Canadian banks in the Ipsos 2012 Best Banking Awards. Credit unions also took sole honours in "Branch Service Excellence" and "Values My Business". Credit unions tied for first among all financial institutions for "Financial Planning and Advice" and "Telephone Banking Excellence".

SOURCE Credit Union Central of Canada