Canadian CUs' ATMs go 'ding-free'

Jan. 14, 2013

A new multi-credit union program in Canada means that CU members have expanded access to ATMs across Canada that won't "ding" them for a surcharge. They also have access to a downloadable smartphone app that tells them exactly where they'll find the nearest ding-free ATM. The app is available for iPhone, Android Windows and BlackBerry smartphones.

Paul Kelly, president and chief executive of First Calgary Financial, told the Calgary Herald that the new service comprises 2,400 participating ATMs across Canada. The service is being publicized with a multi-media advertising campaign. 

First Calgary, a CU with $3 billion in assets and 7,000 members, has found success in removing the pain point of service fees for its members.

In May of 2012 the FI launched its "No Fees for Me" checking account, which dispensed with the most common fees associated with everyday personal banking. The program resulted in the opening of 13,000 new checking accounts at First Calgary.

"We've taken a pretty strong philosophy to say 'we're just not going to play in that game,'" Kelly told the Herald. "And frankly we're going to make our money by you taking a mortgage with us or you deposit money. That's how we're going to survive."

So far, the CU is surviving just fine, enjoying a 40 percent increase in profits in 2012. 

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Topics: Bank / Credit Union , Retail / Off-Premises , Transaction Processing

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