MADISON, Wis. (3/19/13)--A March 18 Bankrate.com article shatters the myth that switching to a credit union means sacrificing convenience.
Having a branch nearby is one of the most important criteria for many people when choosing a financial institution. A 2009 study by the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica, Calif., found that 59% of those surveyed ranked branch convenience as one of their primary reasons for why they choose chosen a financial institution.
The article also cites Credit Union National Association statistics in outlining how credit unions meet their members' expectations of convenience.
Credit unions have collaborated together to create shared branching networks, the Bankrate.com article explained. One credit union branch network, Credit Union Service Centers Network, has more than 5,000 branches nationwide and operates a 24-hour customer service call center.
Credit unions also offer access to an ATM network shared with other credit unions called the CO-OP ATM Network, which maintains nearly 30,000 ATMs nationwide, including more than 9,000 that can take deposits.
Also, some credit unions will waive out-of-network ATM fees and even reimburse members for fees charged by other ATM operators, Bankrates's 2013 Credit Union Checking Survey found.
Credit unions also leverage technology to offer convenience, said the article. About 85% of credit union members were satisfied with their access to online and mobile banking services, compared with 66% of customers of large national banks, according to 2012 survey by Boston research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey.