CO-OP Financial Services Rebrands Its Shared-Branching Network

By Nathan Rogers

The most recognized credit union consumer brand name is now being applied to the industry’s shared-branching network.

CU Service Centers and its “swirl” logo and signage at participating credit unions are being replaced by CO-OP Shared Branch. Migration to the new logo started in August and will be done in a phased approach.

The new shared-branching brand will closely resemble ATM branding for CO-OP Network. In this way, CO-OP Financial Services hopes to make it easier for members to identify exactly what they need when it comes to the essential convenience services they expect from their credit union. The mission of CO-OP Financial Services remains the same: to contribute to member convenience, and to help credit unions attract new members.

The decision on the consumer branding initiative was approved by the boards of directors of Service Centers Corporation (SCC), Credit Union Service Corp. (CUSC) and Financial Service Centers Cooperative, Inc. (FSCC), the three entities that comprise CO-OP Shared Branching.

Instead of CU Service Centers, members will now see a new CO-OP Shared Branch logo (right). They’ll come to recognize it—the network of 5,000 shared-branch locations in all 50 states is the fourth-largest financial services network in the country, trailing only three national banks. The network also includes more than 2,000 self-service locations.

The shared-branch concept is unique to the credit union industry. The network enables members of participating credit unions to enter the branch of any other participating credit union and conduct their business as if they were visiting their home branch. This is part of the great credit union tradition of cooperation between institutions, and as such the network has consolidated through an evolutionary process.

At the end of 2011, CO-OP Financial Services and FSCC merged, uniting the industry’s shared-branching networks under single management. This enabled CO-OP to establish a common brand, a common look and feel to logos and signage identifying participating credit unions.

The CO-OP name is already well-recognized because of its surcharge-free ATM network of 30,000 locations, 9,000 of which take deposits. To more clearly convey the service being offered, the ATM network logo is being revised from CO-OP Network to CO-OP ATM (right).

Of course, the rebranding involves much more than just new logos. CO-OP has launched a new locator website for both ATMs and shared branches at http://www.allco-op.org.

“With all the positive attention credit unions are getting in the media, the timing of this change seems especially right,” says Craig Beach, president/COO of CUSC, and Sarah Canepa Bang, president/COO of FSCC and chief strategy officer of CO-OP Shared Branching, in a joint statement. “Leveraging CO-OP’s already strong brand recognition will help credit unions educate their members about the credit union difference, not to mention shared branching.”

Nathan Rogers is manager of channel strategy and market innovation for CO-OP Financial Services, To learn more about participating in CO-OP Shared Branching, contact Nina Kopp, National Sales Manager, CO-OP Shared Branching – FSCC, LLC, at 888-372-2669 x1230, or Nina.Kopp@co-opfs.org.

 

Strategic Link is the NWCUA’s wholly-owned service corporation, using the power of aggregation to provide the Association’s member credit unions with exclusive high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. Contact Director of Strategic Partnerships Craig Reed today to find out how Strategic Link can help your credit union save money while meeting its goals in 2013 and beyond: creed@nwcua.org.

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