Ka'u Federal Credit Union has put a new twist on branching convenience by providing a walk up window in the town of Pahala.
The Na'alehu, Hawaii-based credit union is 50 miles from Volcano National Park and 50 miles from the outskirts of Kona, is the only credit union in the Ka'u district and covers over 922 square miles. The new Pahala branch is about 30 miles north of Ka'u FCU's main office and is literally a walk-up window at a small country store located in the historic Olson Building.
"Because our members are spread out over a very large geographical area, there was a real need to have the credit union as accessible as possible," said General Manager, Cheryl Weaver. "This is not your typical credit union office. We have a desk up against the window and slide-open the window from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Fridays to serve many of our members that live in the area or work the macadamia nut farms around Pahala."
At the end of the day the window is closed, and the safe is locked until next payday Friday.
According to Weaver, driving through the Ka'u District and into the rural town of Na'alehu is not the typical Hawaii scenes of beaches and fancy hotels but rather of cows and horses grazing in the pastures and an occasional goat or two in many of the front yards. It is estimated that 8,000 people live in the Ka'u District.
The credit union also has a part-time branch in the town of Ocean View, approximately 30 miles in the opposite direction from the main office in Na'alehu.