The Shift Toward Self-Service: What Does it Mean to Credit Unions?

Consumers have become used to conducting many of their day-to-day tasks using a self-service channel, from self-check lines at the grocery store to renting movies through a Redbox outlet or checking a flight’s status at an airline kiosk. The adoption of self-service tools in the financial services industry is no different, especially with the availability of video-enabled ATM machines and other ATM innovations that streamline the process of handling a transaction.

Many credit unions and other financial institutions are making the shift toward self-service inside their branches, and that has multiple advantages. Members conducting simple transactions such as deposits or withdrawals can save time by using a CO-OP NextGen ATM, for example, freeing up branch employees to assist members who need to complete a more complex transaction or open an account.

Video-enabled ATM machines are also a great addition to a credit union’s branch offerings, especially for after-hours and weekend support. With 24/7 availability, members can count on their credit union to be available when a transaction needs to be made, no matter what time or day it is. In addition, members are able to see and speak with the representative conducting the transaction, which offers peace of mind and deepens the relationship between credit union and member.

A partnership between CO-OP Financial Services and Diebold Inc. makes the transition to these innovative services seamless and inexpensive. The companies recently joined forces on CO-OP NextGen ATM, creating a software solution — available now – that maximizes and leverages the mainline ATM infrastructure. That allows members of participating CO-OP Shared Branching credit unions to conduct nearly all branch transactions, including loan payments, at Diebold Opteva® ATMs.

With CO-OP NextGen ATM, members can select a shared-branching option to access all of their accounts with the credit union, not just those linked to the card as with standard ATM transactions. Credit unions that participate in CO-OP Shared Branching as acquirers and allow guest members to visit their branch to conduct transactions can utilize a CO-OP NextGen ATM to decrease lobby traffic and still retain acquirer revenue. CO-OP NextGen ATM offers credit unions an extension of their branch network, without the expense of brick-and-mortar locations and increased staffing.

CO-OP Financial Services and Diebold have also partnered on Concierge Video Services, with Diebold supporting member identification and video services and CO-OP Financial Services providing network access and terminal capabilities. The program lets credit unions visually connect with members to answer questions, fulfill marketing opportunities and process any call center-capable transactions from the ATM. It’s currently being piloted at Missoula Federal Credit Union in Montana and Mountain America Credit Union in Salt Lake City, Utah. General market availability is expected in mid-2014.

As the adoption of self-service channels continues to evolve throughout the financial services industry and beyond, the partnership between the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Strategic Link and CO-OP makes it possible to easily and affordably offer innovative services to members, especially for credit unions that already participate in CO-OP Shared Branching. For more information, visit www.co-opfs.org or contact Christopher Kruger at 800.782.9042 ext. 2644 or christopher.kruger@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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