Credit unions (CUs), by default, are cooperative in nature. Many are tapping into their cooperative natures to pursue innovations, so as to compete aggressively and keep up with larger financial institutions (FIs) and FinTech challengers.
Several credit unions, for example, recently formed partnerships designed to share resources, such as ATMs and physical branches. Meanwhile, other CUs are turning to collaborations with technology partners to better serve their members by enabling greater access to account-to-account and peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers, in addition to fraud mitigation services.
In the new September/October Credit Union Tracker, PYMNTS highlights the latest collaborations and partnerships in the CU space, including agreements intended to enhance member experiences for international workers.
Both credit unions and banks recently gained access to a new set of tools designed to market access to multi-brand ATMs (MBAs). ATM solutions provider FCTI Inc. recently debuted a new online resource center, aimed at enabling participating credit unions and banks to highlight its network of roughly 15,000 shared ATMs, which enable different FIs to display their unique interfaces via a single terminal.
While some credit unions and banks share ATMs, a pair of Canadian credit unions will be sharing an entire branch. Provincial Government Employees Credit Union and East Coast Credit Union recently opened a shared branch location in Halifax, Nova Scotia’s financial district. The new branch is the first shared location in Canada’s Atlantic region and aims to offer both CUs an opportunity to raise awareness of their respective brands to potential members.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., a Kentucky CU recently entered into a new agreement with a local university that will provide it the opportunity to raise its profile. The agreement names Park Community Credit Union the “official credit union” of Bellarmine University, as well as the official partner of the Bellarmine men’s basketball team and athletics division.
While most credit unions cater to locally based members, others serve members stationed overseas. The global workforce of the United Nations, for example, is currently based in 193 countries, which can make monitoring personal finances a challenging task.
The lifestyle of theses highly mobile workers has prompted the United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) to invest in new financial innovations, such as cross-border remittances and EMV-enabled payment cards, based on its members’ overseas experiences.
For the September/October feature story, PYMNTS spoke with Jim Fenimore, UNFCU’s SVP of operations, and Bill Thomas, UNFCU’s first VP of member operations. In the interview, the executives discussed the innovations the CU has pursued in its efforts to better address U.N. workers’ financial needs, and why a credit union is better-suited than a bank to address the needs of highly mobile workers.
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