Environmentalists and fashionistas alike embrace the idea, and now shared branch networks are hopping aboard the creative reuse bandwagon, expanding the reach of their network switch to offer mobile banking with emerging capabilities for members.
When Credit Union Centers surveyed its participating credit unions about what services they would like to see offered alongside shared branching, mobile access topped the list. The Indianapolis-based shared branching CUSO serves 80 credit unions, primarily in Illinois and Indiana.
In response to those survey results, the credit union service organization (which is independent of CO-OP Financial Services, below, but uses CO-OP Financial Services’ network switch) has introduced CO-OP Mobile to give members account access from their smartphones via SMS texting or an Android or iPhone app.
A separate app powers remote deposit capture from mobile devices. The mobile apps are branded with the participating CUs’ names and logos and can be downloaded from Google Play or iTunes, explains Chuck Barr, senior division officer for Credit Union Centers.
The connections that make shared branching possible can also facilitate account access and transfers via mobile device—and power such services as remote deposit capture. It’s also set to support person-to-person payments, if members belong to more than one credit union on the shared services network or want to transfer money to a member of another participating credit union.
All this can be done simply by helping members get the right apps on their phones; no additional back-end integration at the CU is required, since the CU is already part of the shared branching network.
Five CUs have signed up so far to offer CO-OP Mobile, taking advantage of the network connections and imaging capabilities already available through the shared branch system.
“The (imaged deposit) service (in CO-OP Mobile) is the same service you see advertised by large regional banks—taking a picture of a check with your phone to deposit it or sending a text to check your balance,” he says. “We utilize the interface credit unions already have for their shared branch connection to their core systems, so they don’t have to establish a new connection, and we can accommodate the smaller transaction set of mobile within the larger arena of shared branching.”