The $11 million CalPoly Federal Credit Union would have been powerless from Dec. 27 to Dec. 30 this past year, but it was saved by some of the relationships it has made throughout the years.
CalPoly, located on a Pomona, Calif., university campus that was re-wiring and shutting off electricity while students were home on break, was expected to be open for business – even if the university was not – over those few days by its faculty, staff, students and former students.
“It was an interesting problem,” said CEO Barbara Bean. “Not everyone is eager to go the distance for you during Christmas week when there are so many other things going on.”
Instead, she said, the CU’s data processor, CU*NorthWest, was there to offer a seamless transition of technology. The campus police – most of whom are members of the almost 3,000-member credit union – had an emergency generator and offered the five-person staff a home for the holidays.
Nearby Inland Valley CU also offered a workstation at their facility and since both credit unions use the same core processor, it was simple.
“We both use CU*NorthWest for data processing and the software lends itself to these kinds of collaborative efforts,” said Chuck Papenfus, CEO at the $37 million Inland Valley. “There was no moving of computers or re-loading software or anything like that. They just came and logged in through the network community.”
Because they had effectively gotten the word out about the temporary relocation, members made an extra effort to check it out, Bean said.
“That Friday was payday and we had lines,” she said. “Even people who normally use our online banking features from their computer or smart phone, stopped in to see us. I think everyone enjoyed the novelty of visiting their money at the cop shop.”
“The Christmas spirit brought out some really good collaboration,” she added with a smile.