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Credit Unions: Advanced ATMs Offer Competitive Edge

Advanced ATM functions on the Star platform are 'extraordinary' in terms of what credit unions typically see, such as the relationship capabilities, TNB first VP Lee says.

Credit unions also are anticipating a revolution in ATM functionality. TNB Card Services, which provides credit unions with back-room processing services, will offer Star network access to its more than 400 credit-union customers through an arrangement with First Data Corp. The arrangement will let the credit unions provide their customers with one system for ATM, debit, and PIN-secured card-processing needs, and it also opens the door for them to introduce a host of advanced ATM features.

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

TNB's relationship with First Data goes back 10 years, when TNB decided to introduce debit services to its clients. The service provider previously used the NYCE network but moved to Star when it was purchased by First Data. Those credit unions that had been using the NYCE network have been moved to Star. TNB will migrate its other clients to the new platform, Lee says, but he couldn't offer a precise time frame.

The advanced ATM functions on the Star platform are "extraordinary" in terms of what credit unions typically see, such as the relationship capabilities, where they can recognize and relate to members at the member level at the ATM, Lee says. These advanced features should be attractive to credit unions, which mostly have used ATMs for traditional services.

Going forward, it will benefit credit unions to ramp up the functionality of their ATM networks. With an increasingly competitive environment, credit unions are facing challenges from banks, especially on the debit-card side, Lee says. They'll need every advantage to maintain their edge.

Says Lee, "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."

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