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As banking technology and strategy evolve, ATMs can provide consumers with all the conveniences of branch banking.

Credit Union ATMs Brought Up to Speed

Banks aren't the only ones anticipating a revolution in ATM functionality. Credit unions also are getting in on the act.

According to a recent announcement, Dallas-based TNB Card Services, which provides credit unions with back-room processing services, will offer STAR Network access to its more than 400 credit union users through First Data (Greenwood Village, Colo.). The arrangement will provide TNB customers with one solution for their ATM, debit and PIN-secured card-processing needs.

"STAR gives us the world leader in PIN and signature ATM-driving capabilities and integrates it under just one provider," says Glen Lee, first vice president with TNB. The deal, Lee says, will save time, improve efficiency and flexibility, and reduce the burden of back-office tasks involved with debit and ATM transactions.

TNB's relationship with First Data dates back 10 years, when the outsourcer decided to introduce debit services to its clients. TNB previously used the NYCE network, but moved to STAR when it was purchased by First Data. Those credit unions previously using the NYCE network already have been moved to STAR. Lee says TNB will migrate its other clients to the new platform but could not offer a precise time frame.

Access to the STAR Network opens the doors for credit unions to introduce a host of advanced ATM features, according to Lee. "The advanced ATM functions on the STAR platform are extraordinary in terms of what credit unions typically see, such as the relationship capabilities, where the credit unions can recognize and relate to members at the member level at the ATM - personalization," he says.

Lee asserts that these advanced features should be attractive to credit unions. In the past, he notes, "Credit unions have used ATMs mostly for the traditional services."

Going forward, it will behoove credit unions to ramp up the functionality of their ATM networks. With an increasingly competitive environment, credit unions are facing challenges for their members from banks, especially on the debit card side, Lee relates. They will need every advantage to maintain their edge. "The small institutions are looking for ways to protect their members and compete with the major institutions for business based on the features, benefits and capabilities they can deliver to members/customers," Lee explains. -M.B.

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