ATLANTA - Thirteen of the 16 credit unions that were using CO-OP Network's Service Centers Corporation for shared branching have converted away from CO-OP Network's eFunds switch in favor of the credit union-owned Next Generation Switch offered by Credit Union Service Corporation. Member Service Centers, Inc., the Texas Credit Union League's shared branching organization, had pushed the change, arguing the credit union-owned switch offered more options for less money. "It has always been important for credit unions to find ways to control their costs and still have advanced product offerings," says Paul Ellis, a vice president with Member Service. "With NGN, credit unions receive greater value through the credit union enhanced message format. Using NGN allows our credit unions to apply new technology and service applications at a significantly lower cost while offering a superior level of quality control." Consistently ranking in the top five of CUSC transaction producers and generating over 330,000 transactions per month, Texas has proven to be a strong supporter of shared branching and an integral participant in the network, CUSC said. But Ken Sucher, CEO of SCC, said that the agreement between Member Service Centers and CUSC had more to do with the shift to CUSC than any inherent additional ability or cost advantage from the new CUSC switch. Sucher said that when the credit unions signed up with SCC, the Member Services organization was not formally aligned with any of the national shared branch networks. When it eventually decided to go with CUSC, Sucher explained, it left the organization with the awkward situation of having some of its members using one shared branching network and others using another. "We agreed that this was a situation that couldn't continue and we didn't really push on the topic," Sucher said. "It's not like we had credit unions that had decided to sign with us independently decide independently, to leave us." A source familiar with the process but who did not wish to speak for the record, backed up Sucher's observations, noting that the move had been made in November 2005 when the group had decided to push the NGN switch, in part because it saved the league significant money. CUSC's switch also benefited because it was new, the source observed, and as such was not burdened with investment in legacy technology, another factor that enabled CUSC to cut the prices. -firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas CUs Switch Shared Branch Networks
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