The 119,000-member, $1.8 billion Navy Army Community Credit Union has found adding ATM check imaging a key part in its battle to gain control of its teller lines.
The Corpus Christi, Texas, credit union has a membership which has tended to prefer using tellers, particularly for making deposits and cashing checks, according to its chief operating officer, Dana Sisk.
“It's just what they like,” Sisk explained. “They like using the tellers even though that means sometimes having longer lines than we would like.”
The credit union has 12 branches and is on target to see more than 2 million teller transactions at those branches this year, Fisk reported.
“It's not that we don't want to see our members,” Sisk said. “We love to see them. We would just rather see them for other, different, transactions and business other than cashing checks and making deposits.”
To try to take some of the burden off the branches, Fisk said the credit union has been implementing a digital strategy over the past 24 months that includes having 12 of its 14 proprietary ATMs accept imaged deposits as well as, eventually, having members be able to make deposits over their mobile phones.
Navy Army also has an arrangement that gives its members fee-free access to ATMs at a regional convenience store chain, but those ATMs do not accept deposits.
Sisk said the credit union has had to overcome some obstacles on its way to interacting in a more digital way with its members. First, it didn't roll out the ATM imaging capability to members until it was on all 12 of the machines, a development that took some months, and then they had to get members to use them, Fisk explained.
She also said that many members were unused to making deposits through ATMs at all and that, in one particularly busy branch, credit union staff rolled ATMs into the lobby and invited members to leave the line to receive a guided first session with the check imaging machines.
“We found the biggest hurdle was getting our members to just try it for the first time,” Fisk said. “Once a staff member showed them how and once they saw their receipt had a copy of the deposited check posted on it, I it got easier.”
Sisk said Navy Army was still rolling its effort out to members but added that the credit union had already decided to use the number of teller transactions per member per month as the standard by which to judge the program and not just the number of transactions overall.
“We are a growing credit union so our transactions per month is always going up,” Fisk said. “The number I want to see drop is the number of teller transactions per member per month.”
She is optimistic about the program's success though, pointing out that even with only minimal marketing, Navy Army had already seen the numbers of deposits made through ATMs climb from 3,465 as of the end of June 2012 to more than 8,300 as of the end of June 2013.