ATLANTA – It's been eight years since Credit Union Service Corporation (CUSC) made the first interstate share draft transaction ever performed by a credit union shared branch network, but CUSC's Chief Operating Officer Scott McCall remembers the details of the historic event as if it happened yesterday. The first transaction was made shortly after CUSC opened its first location in Birmingham, Ala. in July 1993 At the time, CUSC was performing transactions for data processor EPL which represented about a dozen credit unions in the area. One month later, CUSC opened its second office in Savannah, Ga. and was certified to do business with Union Camp Savannah FCU, now called Georgia Heritage FCU. "We decided this was a good opportunity to make the first interstate transaction for a shared service center," said McCall. Implementation of the transaction necessitated CUSC contract with eFunds as a switch provider and draw up a set of specification that required every credit union transaction to have a code set to the specifications. CUSC also had to create a PC-based teller application that would allow the company to receive the transactions from the credit unions. After that, CUSC started expanding its operations throughout the U.S. McCall referred to the latter part of 1993 as CUSC's "growth period." In April 1994, CUSC created a link between the company and the California Shared Service Center, and CUSC completed the first coast-to-coast shared service center transaction. "Once we had the technology and foundation in place, it's been like stamping out like cookies," said McCall. Within the first two years, CUSC expanded to doing interstate transactions in seven states. It currently conducts transactions in 24 states. As the number of states the company does business in has grown, CUSC has added more locations. It currently also has branch connections with the Service Center Corp. in Dearborn, Mich. and financial Service Center Cooperative, San Dimas, Calif. In 2001, CUSC still uses a PC-based teller application. These days though, instead of the phone lines being connected to eFunds, they're connected to the Internet or directly to CUSC. For CUSC to perform interstate transactions for a credit union, it has to certify that the CU's data processor has one of two data switches capable of doing the transactions with the company. McCall said the certification process is the biggest part of the implementation process. CUSC performs 3.5 million transactions a month. "So many credit unions have expanded their field-of-membership or serve select employee groups that have gone through mergers, leaving the credit unions' memberships with dispersed employment bases. It would be cost prohibitive for even the largest credit union to develop brick and mortar branches in all the states they have membership in," said McCall. – [email protected]

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