As the number of ATM and shared branch networks have grown, credit unions often find themselves scrambling to keep their members up to date about their own ATMs and branches as well as the ATMs and branches tied to fee-free networks such as from CO-OP Network and Allpoint. Often this involves credit unions providing links on their Web sites to ATM or branch locator sites sponsored by the ATM or shared branch networks. But in the last 18 months, credit unions around the country have opted to start using a service which allows their members to get the locations of ATMs (both deposit taking and non-deposit taking), as well as branches and shared branches from a page on their own CU's Web site. The $1.3 billion Affinity FCU, a 116,000 member CU headquartered in New Jersey, took that approach. Now its members can visit one page on its Web site to find the locations of all of the credit union's branches, shared branches, general ATMs and deposit taking ATM anywhere in the country. "At Affinity, we want the member experience with us to be as easy as possible," said Peter MacDonald, vice president for the CU. "The new LocatorSearch service will give our members a convenient way to locate facilities and interact with us near their homes, offices, schools, and vacation spots." McDonald was unclear how he discovered LocatorSearch, LLC, the firm with offices in both New York and Los Angeles that provides an aggregator service which will allow members to type in their zip code and find all the ATM and shared branches, along with a network brand, right on the CU's Web site. Since the credit union had begun to expand its offerings in ATMs and shared branching, McDonald said the aggregator seemed like a good way to keep their members up to date on locations where they can do their banking. Members have reacted very strongly, tapping into the locator site 4,100 times since the CU began using it on Nov. 7 and usage of the credit union's locator page increased by 43% over the same time period. Karl Kraus, president of LocatorSearch, founded the company after leaving his post as a vice president of technology with the $548 million Quorum FCU, formerly Kraft Foods FCU. Kraus said with the increasing diversification in the member service arena he saw an opportunity to help CUs present all their different ATM and branch options to their members in one place. "Our goal is to help credit union members find their credit union's ATM and branch locations quickly, and we offer comprehensive, full-service solutions and support for Web-based location services," Kraus said. Affinity is the latest of over 20 credit unions to have started using the service since he founded the company more than 18 months ago. [email protected]

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