ATMs are part of an effective customer engagement strategy
Credit unions, like other financial institutions, are going through a period of great change, and effective use of ATMs can help them emerge stronger than before. The way members interact with credit unions is changing, with decades-old preferences about the frequency of visits and the need to even make a regular stop at the closest branch undergoing a major shift.
Credit unions have some advantages during this time of adjustment, as they tend to enjoy strong bonds with the communities they serve. To build on that relationship, credit unions need to consider how and where they utilize ATMs. With the right strategy, the self-service options and convenience offered by these machines can extend the effective reach of a credit union and play into member preferences.
ATMs support the community-based nature of credit unions
For prospective members - especially those that haven't used the services provided by a credit union before - the allure of not being only a customer, but a partner in the institution, is attractive. On a more practical level, access to a number of different financial services and credit lines with terms that can be especially beneficial are powerful motivators. These positives are useful ways to entice potential members, but credit unions also have to address misconceptions about their limitations and demonstrate their ability to provide a high level of service.
As The Chicago Tribune pointed out, there's a feeling among some members of the general public that credit unions are less convenient because they don't have a wide network of ATMs. While that's no longer the case for the majority of credit unions, it's critical that such institutions emphasize the availability of their own ATMs and machines locally and nationally inside a shared network. It's also important that credit unions make sure they have modern ATMs in place that offer a number of convenient options for members.
The right placement of ATMs that offer a wide range of self-service option, both inside and outside of branch offices, extends the reach of credit unions and gives employees tangible proof to share with potential members about the convenience of joining. When security features like anti-skim protection are included, the safety of their use can be emphasized as well.