3 Key Facets to Multi-Channel EFT Strategy That Can Deepen Member Relationships

In today’s ultra-competitive banking market there are a multitude of products and services members must consider when choosing a primary financial institution. What processes can your credit union employ to develop healthy retention and attraction of members?


As consumers are bombarded by organizations seeking to attract their business, credit unions are finding that they must deepen their relationships with potential and existing members by offering member focused practices and products if they wish to stand out in the crowd. You can provide memorable service through a multi-channel Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) delivery strategy customized around member needs. EFT refers to financial transactions performed electronically through a computer based system. It includes:

Shared Branching

In this system, members of one credit union use the facilities of another to perform financial transactions such as withdrawals, deposits, and check cashing. To members, this means account access at any of the 2,800 current nationwide locations. Credit unions benefit in a number of ways. First, they substantially widen their geographical reach to members who live or travel outside of the city or state without having to incur the capital expense of building proprietary facilities. Second, they bolster their disaster recovery plans. Third, a recent CUES study found that 68% of non-credit union consumers surveyed chose a bank over a credit union because it was more convenient. With this delivery method, credit unions offer members the convenience they demand out of their primary financial institution.

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)

Members have come to expect the convenience of an ATM whenever, wherever – and they don't want to pay a fee to use one. Found near financial institutions, in gas stations, grocery stores, malls, restaurants, and more, ATMs give members access at any time of day without the expense of a human teller. Acting as the account gateway members require, ATMs have become an essential part of a member focused delivery network.


No longer do members want to handle cash--paper is becoming obsolete. EFT is initiated when a credit or debit card is used, and can occur at a point of sale, an ATM, or even when the card is not present, such as over the telephone or Internet. By offering a reward program where members earn points when they use the card, credit unions prove to members they are willing to go the extra mile. Another essential offering is the gift card. Credit unions can retain member loyalty by offering this product as the prepaid market quickly grows in demand.

The transition to EFT payment systems has been dramatic over the past several years. It is imperative that credit unions integrate this member focused modern technology into their delivery channel strategy to keep members out of the banks and where they belong - in member owned credit unions.

Credit Union Service Corporation (CUSC) is the leading innovator in service center EFT transactions. CUSC's Next Generation Network (NGN) processes in excess of 50 million transactions annually for nearly 800 credit unions throughout the U.S. Designed for credit unions, NGN provides credit unions an easy, safe and cost-effective mode of offering members convenient locations to perform financial transactions at various service points.



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Sept. 3, 2007


  • Absolutely essential - on all 3 points. Shared branching retains members - convenience! ATMs provide service to members remotely - convenience! Cards - how many members are reluctant to use debit or credit cards? Very few, I would guess. Check 21 and the new absence of float makes debit card use even more attractive. Plastic is one way to spell c-o-n-v-e-n-i-e-n-c-e! It retains members and builds membership loyalty.