Recession Shaping Consumer Choices For Personal Finance Tools

Contact: Bill Prichard
Public Relations Manager
CO-OP Financial Services
800.782.9042, ext. 3450
or Dave Boulé –

After more than 18 months of reading headlines about bank failures and buyouts, consumers are more than ever evaluating their personal finance options. Weighing safety, convenience and services, many are taking a closer look at credit unions and discovering that these once small, locally focused institutions are rapidly changing the way people manage their money.

“For years, studies have shown consumers consistently rank credit unions ahead of banks in terms of service,” says Stan Hollen, President/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services, a credit union-owned cooperative based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. “With an ATM network larger than any bank, the fourth largest branch network and sophisticated payments tools like mobile banking, contactless payments and remote deposit, consumers are finding that credit unions bring them inventive technologies with unprecedented account access and convenience.”

Building on their core values of cooperation and service to members, credit unions are able to offer increasingly technologically-advanced financial tools by operating in an un-bank way. They share ideas, aggregated services and cooperate through credit union service organizations like CO-OP Financial Services. Among the newest innovations offered are mobile banking accessed through basic phones or iPhones, home check scanning and deposits, debit card services, reloadable prepaid cards, kiosks offering many branch-teller services, member call centers providing access around the clock and the latest in ATM and branch locator technologies accessible via text, smart phones or GPS.

“These are times when people are looking to get the most from their time and money, and they’re actively looking for alternatives to for-profit banks,” says Hollen. “Credit unions are non-profit institutions, owned by their members. Resources are returned to these member/owners in the form of superior rates, lower fees and high quality, forward-thinking products and services.”

Another way credit unions are expanding convenience to their members is through shared branching. This concept builds on the credit union philosophy of cooperation by sharing facilities between credit unions, which greatly expands members’ options and access. CO-OP Financial Services pioneered this concept, bringing credit union members the largest shared branching network with more than 4,000 locations nationwide. 

“Interestingly, younger credit union members are not only early adopters of credit unions’ advanced electronic channels, but are also the largest member segment to use brick and mortar shared branching,” says Hollen.

In addition to shared branching, credit union members can also access their accounts via the CO-OP Network of 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs – 9,000 of which are take deposits. Through the CO-OP Network shared system of ATMs, credit unions can bring members more ATMs than any national bank. They are located at credit union branches, but also available at a host of retail locations like 7-Eleven, Costco, Walgreens and Publix, and downloadable through iPhone apps, GPS devices and Twitter.

“In addition, through credit unions’ core products of savings and money market accounts, auto loans, IRAs and mortgages, these institutions give their members the most modern tools for managing their personal finance,” says Hollen. “It’s really the best of all worlds, modern convenience and anywhere, anytime access.”

About CO-OP Financial Services

Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., CO-OP Financial Services is the industry leader in access and convenience products for credit unions. Nearing 30 years of credit union service, CO-OP connects credit union members to their accounts through network services, payment processing, e-commerce, CO-OP Shared Branching and call center services. With a total of 3,000 credit union members, 30 million cardholders, 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs, 4,000 shared branch locations and 160 million-plus monthly transactions, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation’s largest credit union service organization, offering the tools, counsel and leadership to help credit unions prosper. To learn more, visit Follow CO-OP on Twitter at: and keep up with industry issues via the CO-OP Insight Vault blog at:


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