Credit Union 24 has shortened its name to CU24 but broadened its vision of what it can offer an already-crowded payments market.
The credit union owned ATM and POS network with more than 500 participating credit unions in 30 states and the District of Columbia changed the brand on April 24 with no formal press announcement.
CEO Mansel Guerry explained that the phrase “CU24” was already the most common usage and that changing to the pithier name will help the CUSO launch its transition from being a CUSO offering primarily ATM and POS access into being an organization that still offers those things but also a host of other services.
Currently, the organization is developing a service that will allow it to deploy and drive ATMs on behalf of client credit unions as well as a full suite of prepaid card offerings. The CUSO is also developing a mobile app that will allow members of participating credit unions to make paperless deposits, among other things.
Guerry, who served as executive vice president for the CUSO before taking the helm on Jan. 1, explained that the CUSO’s changes came about after the leadership met with executives from participating credit unions. The meetings allowed Guerry to both explain changes the CUSO would like to make and to hear about the changes the executives thought the CUSO needed to make.
“It helped that I was a credit union CEO for over nine years when I came to CU24, so I have that additional perspective on the challenges credit union face as they fight to better serve their members,” Guerry said. During the listening sessions, as he called them, he both laid out a vision for the possible changes the CUSO could make and then listened for feedback from the executives. “I think it’s fair to say they were both cautious and enthusiastic,” Guerry said, observing that people often both want change but need to feel reassured about it.
Some of that spirit characterizes the note from Guerry that CU24 added to its Website home page.
“We know that change can be scary,” the note reads. “But that’s only when change is made for change’s sake. Here at CU24 we’re changing things not to be different, but to make the changes that need to be made. Over the coming months you’ll see just how serious we are about our renewed sense of purpose. We will be the cooperative that small to midsize credit unions can count on for services and expertise to help you compete and improve your members’ lives. Our priority is serving you in ways that make it clear: we’re on your side, we’re on your team, we believe in you. Believe in us.”
CU24’s first change will be the roll out of what it is calling the EasyATM program. Guerry described EasyATM as akin to an agent-issuing ATM deployment program for credit unions that will allow an interested credit union to sell its existing ATMs to the CUSO and let CU24 deploy and manage them for a fee.
In the credit card industry, an agent-issuing program is one where an outside party issues and manages credit cards for the credit union but keep the credit unions name on the cards. In EasyATM, the ATMs CU24 deploys for the credit union will still carry the credit union’s name and branding. The CUSO will also purchase and manage ATMs for participating credit unions who don’t yet have them.
“We think this will be a very good opportunity for small and medium-sized credit unions that want to deploy ATMs but don’t necessarily want the problems of deploying them,” Guerry explained.
CU24 said what the program will cost each credit union participant will depend in large part on the needs of the credit union. A portion of the ATM management support fee will be paid through the transaction fee structure, the CUSO said. “In almost all cases, whether via the monthly maintenance fee and/or through diversion of interchange, the credit union will reduce its overall ATM management expense,” explained CU24 spokesman Allyson McKee.
The CUSO said it will announce the availability of the EasyATM program next month and hopes to get the prepaid card and mobile banking programs up and running in the next 18 months.
CU24 currently has about 375 shareholding invested credit unions.