Credit unions, community banks and othersmall financial institutions increasingly are thinking outside thebox as they search for ways to broaden their reach and increase theavailability of their products and services to members andcustomers.
At the center of this issue is a desire to reach members andcustomers on the go, particularly those who often travel outsidetheir home market for business and pleasure. These customers desirethe availability of their banking networks at all hours, whetherthrough online and mobile banking or through an extended network ofbranches and ATMs. They also desire access and services on par withlarge national banks.
It is in this latter category that the availability of collectiveresources, such as shared branches and ATMs (most of which aresurcharge-free), offer significant value. These networks offercustomers the use of thousands of branches and well over 100,000ATMs 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 thesesmaller institutions need not worry about access to their accountsor with being saddled with soaring and/or unexpected fees whentraveling. This increased access makes it easier forsmall-to-midsized financial institutions to compete moreeffectively with the large banks on scale, while still allowingthem the ability to differentiate themselves on personal serviceand the development of products and services tailored to localneeds.