May 17, 2013

Shared Brancing, Shared Ideals

Comment May 17, 2013 by Triangle Credit Union

When I joined Triangle, as a member and an employee, I thought for sure that I wouldn’t be able to fully “bank” at a credit union. I truly believed that I would have to sacrifice some of my “Big Bank” conveniences. All of my fears were quickly assuaged, however, when upon preparing to make the switch, I sat down to compare services.

Astonished, I found everything I was looking for, online banking, bill pay, remote deposit, mobile banking, and debit card rewards. I felt compelled to shout it from the rooftops and share it with anyone who would listen: “You can bank at a credit union!”. Often though, my enthusiasm was rebuffed by the comment “…but, there are no branches near me”. I would argue that with online and mobile banking with remote deposit, you don’t need to be near a branch. My argument wasn’t winning any converts as I realized that there is some level of comfort in having a branch nearby. So, I conceded defeat, but only temporarily. You see, credit unions are financial cooperatives and cooperatives work together. When credit unions join forces and unite, big things can happen.

Recently, a big thing did happen. Triangle Credit Union entered into an exciting cooperative partnership with Credit Unions in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. This partnership, called Shared Branching, allows our members to conduct transactions at almost 6,700 credit union service centers! If any credit union’s branch is displaying the CU Swirl, you can enter that branch as a guest member and make deposits (cash or check), withdrawals (cash or check. checks CANNOT be cashed.), loan payments, loan advances, account inquiries, and transfers between accounts. You can also purchase treasurers drafts, request fax/ photocopies, and get documents notarized. One of the other benefits is that we are in agreement with other credit unions not to sell to guest members. So, you can be assured that when you enter another credit union as a guest member you will not be told to leave your credit union to join theirs. You will be given courteous and efficient service just as would receive at any of our branches

With one fell swoop shared branching extended Triangle’s branch network beyond that of the biggest banks (the #1 bank by branches in the US operates 6,337 branches to our now 6,700!). I have good friends who live in Los Angeles and I have always been concerned that when I visit, I might need to do some banking. What if I lost my debit card and needed to withdraw cash? Or forgot to schedule a loan payment? I considered re-opening a big bank account for when I traveled. But, punching their zip code into shared branching locator I find that there are well over a dozen credit union branches near their home that I could bank with if I needed to

The credit union shared ideal of cooperation is beautifully evidenced in this shared branching partnership. I am sure now to be able to convince my friends and family that cooperative banking is the way to go, and it’s only going to get better.




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