NEW YORK – Four months into its experiment to allow their members to make deposits through three Manhattan check cashers, Actors Federal Credit Union reported that its members have responded enthusiastically. Beginning in May, the $68 million credit union accepted 184 deposits through the check cashing outlets and the numbers have climbed from there, said marketing director Steve Sobotta. June saw 295 deposits, July 397, and August 485, he said. The success of the experiment has encouraged the credit union to proceed with the experiment's second phase, which the credit union has come to call the "full enchilada" Sobotta said. In the second phase an Actors' member will be able to use the check casher to deposit cash, against which there will be no hold and no fee. Or the member can cash a check using the check casher and deposit the cash. This will involve a fee to the check casher, but the credit union won't hold the funds, Sobotta said. Credit union members will not have to pay the full check-cashing fee for that service, Sobotta said. The primary things Actors' members liked about being able to make deposits through check cashers, Sobotta said, were the increased hours the branches have been open for deposits and the ability to more easily make deposits without having holds placed on checks. Sobotta also reported the New York State financial regulators have approved the relationship with the check cashers and that the only obstacles remaining were primarily technical.

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