Leveraging Shared Banking Resources
May 15, 2012
Credit unions, community banks and other small financial institutions increasingly are thinking outside the box as they search for ways to broaden their reach and increase the availability of their products and services to members and customers.
At the center of this issue is a desire to reach members and customers on the go, particularly those who often travel outside their home market for business and pleasure. These customers desire the availability of their banking networks at all hours, whether through online and mobile banking or through an extended network of branches and ATMs. They also desire access and services on par with large national banks.
It is in this latter category that the availability of collective resources, such as shared branches and ATMs (most of which are surcharge-free), offer significant value. These networks offer customers the use of thousands of branches and well over 100,000 ATMs across the United States and in select international markets. In most instances, users also have access to all of their accounts, much as they would in their home market.
With such widespread access, customers and members of these smaller institutions need not worry about access to their accounts or with being saddled with soaring and/or unexpected fees when traveling. This increased access makes it easier for small-to-midsized financial institutions to compete more effectively with the large banks on scale, while still allowing them the ability to differentiate themselves on personal service and the development of products and services tailored to local needs.