The Evolution of an ATM Network

CO-OP Financial Services CEO explains the firm's consultative role in today's dynamic payments environment.

April 30, 2013
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +


As CO-OP Financial Service's THINK Conference kicks off in Chicago this week, President/CEO Stan Hollen reflects on how the company has evolved since he took over more than seven years ago.

"We were an ATM network and debit processor, and we were just starting to get into shared branching in Michigan," Hollen says.
"But we've changed a great deal since then," he adds, noting the diverse products the company features, all delivered through increasing numbers of new channels. CO-OP is the largest U.S. credit union service organization in terms of credit unions, members, and assets.
Critical growth areas for CO-OP Financial Services and its more than 3,500 credit unions, according to Hollen:
  • Image processing, including ATM image capture and remote deposit capture;
  • Credit cards, enhanced by CO-OP's strategic relationship with The Members Group to bring full-service program options to credit unions;
  • Shared branching, with the goal to become the largest branch network; and 
  • A member center that provides outsourced call center and lending services.
Beyond products and services, credit unions turn to CO-OP Financial Services for our consultative role, Hollen says, especially in today's incredibly dynamic payments environment. 
"They look to us as an R&D arm,"  he explains. "We look for innovative tools and products that we then can partner with and bring to other credit unions."
Business leaders speaking to credit unions during THINK this week will address the conference theme, "Disrupt Business as Usual." Certainly, Hollen has his own list of disruptors the movement faces:  
  • Mobile. It's a "huge disruptor," he says. But keep in mind it's also just a channel, no different than the ATM or telephone. What are you trying to do through that device? Mobile and the trend toward it are significant, nonetheless.
  • The branching revolution. It will mean more automation and the deployment of technology at the teller windows, Hollen points out. It will mean the same number of teller windows but perhaps fewer tellers as self-service kiosks supported by video become more widespread.
  • EMV. The move to EMV chip cards will be a huge change, but a good change. It will reduce fraud even more. But it's a big undertaking for the movement, affecting merchant terminals, and all ATMs. CO-OP is part of the Secure Remote Payment Council that's addressing EMV standards and solutions to the Durbin Amendment's debit transaction routing requirements.
Credit unions are thriving, Hollen says. All the more reason to monitor emerging threats like the unregulated financial services sector, referring to entities such as Walmart, PayPal, and others who offer products and services geared to the "unbanked." These firms are a concern, especially in how they take transactions away from credit unions and reduce their interchange income. 

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive