In my opinion, one of the great differentiators for credit unions is access. On the surface, most folks in our communities probably would not agree with this. After all, doesn’t a person have to belong to something or work somewhere special to be a part of a credit union? Whether your shop has a community charter or is SEG-based, access is still something that any credit union can embrace and promote.

The other day, my younger brother emailed me asking me to recommend a Houston–based credit union where his son and future daughter-in-law can join when they move there. I told him that 3Rivers FCU has locations in Houston. “No, you don’t. You’re here in Fort Wayne.” I explained the shared branching network as well as the ATM networks we participate in (CU24, Alliance One, CO-OP). Funny thing, my nephew already banks with another local credit union that participates in some or all of these networks, but my brother’s family was unaware of this. I had no problem in promoting what we could do for them.

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