USA Federal CU deploys 'envelope free' ATM deposit system

Source: USA Federal Credit Union

USA Federal Credit Union announces San Diego's first credit union ATMs with "envelope-free", advanced check imaging technology.

This state-of-the-art ATM was unveiled at the new Eastlake branch located at the Shops at San Miguel Ranch in Chula Vista on April 9; and two more ATMs were added on May 17 at their Escondido and Lake Elsinore branches.

"This technology takes ATM convenience and safety to a better and higher level," said Mary Cunningham, President/CEO of USA Federal Credit Union. "Your cash is counted and validated, checks are visually displayed, and you get a receipt showing the actual checks. Members now have an even higher confidence level when making deposits at these ATMs."

What makes these new ATMs better? The new ATMs allow for faster availability to funds because checks are cleared and posted faster. When a deposit is made, each check is fed into the machine without an envelope. The check is imaged and printed on the member's receipt and the member now has an actual picture of the check just deposited. The member can even deposit a stack of cash with the bills facing in any direction. The new ATM reads each bill and gives a breakdown on the receipt of each denomination. For example, a $40.00 cash deposit might be recorded as: 2 x $5.00, 1 x $10.00, 1 x $20.00.

The new ATMs are popular with everyone, particularly younger members. According to research from Javelin Strategy & Research, one of the most requested ATM enhancements from younger members is the "envelope-less" check or cash deposit. Javelin says that 42.00% of 18-24 year olds would like the ability to deposit funds at their ATM without the bother of an envelope.

There are also cost savings benefits. USA Federal Credit Union is the first credit union to provide a fully integrated "envelope-free" ATM technology, which includes immediate electronic funds processing and handling. The check images are processed through the Federal Reserve System instead of cumbersome paper checks. This saves the credit union by allowing less frequent physical removal of paper checks, envelope processing, and courier costs.

"These savings help the credit union deliver more services and keep costs down," said Dave Sigal, USA Federals' Vice President of Finance. "The savings can also be reinvested and allows us to deploy more of these ATMs, providing better service to our members."

Fraudulent deposits are significantly reduced too. "Another benefit is that ATM fraud is nearly eliminated with this system," says Dave Sigal. "Nearly half the ATM fraud is from empty envelopes being deposited. The 'envelope-free' ATMs eliminate this costly practice."

USA Federal Credit Union is the first credit union to successfully implement this technology in conjunction with CO-OP Financial Services, the nation's largest credit union electronic funds transfer processor. They are the first and only ATM processor to offer credit unions an integrated system to capture, proof, and clear digital check images from ATMs.

CO-OP is a cooperative of its member credit unions and provides a surcharge-free network for ATM withdrawals and deposits. Utilizing this cooperative, credit unions compete with large banks for surcharge-free access to over 24 million card holders at its network of over 25,000 ATMs. This applies to the more than 6,000 CO-OP Network ATMs that take deposits.

"Now, nearly all of the CO-OP member credit unions can deposit at our ATMs," Sigal explained. "This gives over 1,900 CO-OP affiliated credit unions and their membership new access through our ATMs. This is a big improvement in credit union customer convenience."

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