A single-sponsor credit union with members spread all over the world has started to offer shared branching to help its members meet their financial needs.
The $19 million KONE Employees Credit Union's single sponsor is KONE, a multinational elevator and escalator manufacturing firm with branches, affiliates and employees spread across the globe. More than 85% of the credit union's almost 3,000 members do not live close to the credit union and previously had to do many of their transactions via mail, according to the KONE Employees CU CEO Katherine Hoeper.
"We are not able to serve our members like a traditional brick and mortar credit union," said Hoeper. "So we rely heavily on technology services for our remote members to use. But we have found that Credit Union Centers' shared branch network complements our online services nicely."
Kone Employees Credit Union signed on to shared branching through establishing a relationship with Credit Union Centers, an affiliate of the Credit Union Service Centers that is owned by CO-OP Shared Branching.
"We believe this service is the ideal way to save money during today's challenging economic climate while either enhancing or maintaining great member service," said Dan Davis, CFO of Credit Union Centers.
Hoeper said the CU had known about shared branching for some time but that the credit union's technology budget had not allowed it to move forward before now.
"First we did audio response, then online banking," Hoeper said. "Then online bill pay and now we are working on mobile banking. So the shared branching element came in right on time, really," she added.
Because the credit union's one branch is in a KONE facility and thus not open to the public, the credit union will only be a shared branching issuer, meaning that its members will make shared branching transactions in other credit unions and not accept transactions from other credit union members.