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PERTH, Australia and CLONMEL, Ireland – Hungry? Too busy to shop? StateWest Credit Union members have an advantage. They can do their grocery shopping at the same time they check out their credit union’s Web site. On-line grocery shopping may not be unusual, but the convenience of doing it from your credit union Web site is. Of their 40,000 members 10,000 have registered for the service and of those about 15% use the service weekly. To Manager Greg Wall’s knowledge no other credit union is doing that, although they have sold their software to other credit unions which want to duplicate the service. Called Electrolley, Wall says, it “is one of the innovative things that we have introduced on our Web site.” The system has been in effect since June 2000. Not only that, the site offers entertainment called “Footy Tipping” tied in with local sports (`footy is an Australian term for Australian Rules Football which Wall claims is the toughest game in the world.) Wall says, “The footy tipping has been an enormous success in this area, and we have in excess of 10,000 members who visit our site on a weekly basis. This gives us the opportunity to market our products and services to regular users (weekly).” Members tip the winners of the Australian National football League games weekly. StateWest gives prizes, and the winner gets travel, accommodation and tickets to the grand final in Melbourne. StateWest also offers a wine club and budgeting help on line. The credit union has access to the Australian Bureau of Statistics data on average spending patterns for various salary levels, which helps the process. StateWest has assets of AUS $405 million (US$216 million). One hundred twenty staff members work in the nine branches and a call center. StateWest considers the unusual Web features as part of their service positioning. Wall says, “Banks continue to upset customers, and this is the major difference of CU’s. However the banks continue to grow market share while many CU’s are not. StateWest has grown in excess of 15% per annum for the last five years. We believe that it has been the service and innovation that we have been able to deliver that has generated a growth level in excess of the market.”

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