FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Member credit unions that belong to the ENCORE Electronic Service Cooperative have voted to merge the cooperative with CO-OP Financial Services. CO-OP Financial Services is the parent cooperative of the nationwide surcharge-free CO-OP Network. ENCORE reported that 80% of the cooperative's members voted by the Nov. 30 deadline and that they all voted in favor of it. "Financial services are a very competitive category. Joining CO-OP Financial Services gives our members more fire power as they compete with banks for new members," said Tom Reed, president/CEO of ENCORE. "CO-OP is thrilled to welcome ENCORE's members. ENCORE and CO-OP Financial Services were both founded by credit unions banding together to offer more and better access to credit union services," said Jim Hanisch, executive vice president for CO-OP Financial Services. "Our credit unions all share a total commitment to bringing their members the best and most affordable financial services products and services. Joining forces makes us more competitive–and ultimately credit union members reap the benefits."

The two cooperatives had been of like mind for many years and have been discussing merging off and on. The merger will bring ENCORE members access to wide variety of CO-OP's services and will bring CO-OP access to the credit card processing and ability to offer merchant accounts that ENCORE has been offering.

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