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4 Solutions to Increase Credit Union Efficiency

by Darren Smith | Originally published by CUInsight

Credit unions across the country are facing several key issues impacting their efficiency and ability to serve members through traditional branch channels. Staffing remains an ongoing challenge, with many branches struggling to keep up with fluctuating labor needs. At the same time, costs for labor, equipment, utilities, and services continue to rise steadily. Compounding matters, foot traffic at physical branches has been slow to recover to pre-pandemic levels. 


Overcoming these hurdles will require credit unions to rethink certain aspects of their operations and member service models. Here are four solutions that can help increase efficiency while maintaining a level of service members have come to expect.

Implement Interactive Teller Machines

Installing ITMs is allowing many credit unions to streamline labor costs. ITMs can provide nearly all the same services as in-person tellers from a remote, centralized location. This lets credit unions keep selected branches staffed and members greeted by friendly faces, while adjusting labor levels across locations to match demand more efficiently.


ITMs essentially function as virtual branches, offering the convenience of personal teller interaction through video displays. Members can handle a full range of transactions from withdrawals and transfers to loan applications. Credit unions are then able to leverage the same staff to cover ITMs across multiple branches instead of keeping each location fully staffed regardless of traffic volume.

Outsource Your ATMs 

Partnering with a reputable ATM provider to outsource your network can significantly reduce equipment and labor costs. In addition to cutting capital expenses, outsourcing lets credit unions offload the hassle of maintenance, monitoring, cash management, and compliance responsibilities so staff can focus on other priorities – like taking care of your members.


A professional ATM operating company takes on the burden of keeping the machines up and running with maximum uptime. They handle cash loading, software updates, service calls, and supply management. Perhaps more importantly, they ensure the ATMs and ITMs remain fully compliant with ADA accessibility and PCI data security standards – a costly ongoing challenge credit unions no longer need to worry about.

Leverage Cash Counters and Teller Cash Recyclers

Today's advanced cash handling technology can deliver major efficiency gains for credit union branches still relying on traditional teller drawers and vault operations. Simple cash counters, for instance, provide faster, more accurate counting to speed up member transactions. This cash counting significantly reduces human errors, limits the amount of time staff members need to handle potentially filthy bills, and lets tellers spend more of their interaction focused on the member.


Teller cash recyclers (TCRs) take this cash counting a step further with integrated cash safes and digital reporting. This system helps automate cash dispensing and depositing within the teller line, reducing trips to the vault. In doing so, TCRs boost security by limiting the amount of time cash is exposed or even in human hands. Both cash counters and TCRs improve teller productivity while enhancing the member experience.

Utilize New Digital “Banking from Anywhere” Technology

The latest interactive video banking technology gives credit unions a powerful bridge between physical branches and digital channels. Members can initiate on-demand teller interactions from virtually anywhere using QR codes and links displayed on credit union ATMs, billboards, or other physical media – then scanned or clicked-through on their mobile devices. These sessions can support voice, video, text, and screen sharing directly with credit union staff so members can conveniently get live personalized service.


In addition, some of these systems have multi-language translation capabilities that let credit unions deliver the same high-touch assistance to all members, removing potential communication barriers. Even better, it’s usually possible to leverage the same centralized video teller infrastructure that powers ITMs. And, by implementing this remote technology, credit unions gain expanded remote service capabilities very cost-effectively compared to building stand-alone video branches or implementing ITMs in low-volume locations.


Using self-service tools and shifting to a digital-first banking model makes efficient use of resources across branch networks essential for thriving credit unions. Solutions like ITMs, outsourced ATM operations, cash automation, and integrated digital video banking can provide a strategic path to increase efficiency while keeping the premium service experience members value most.

Ready to Discover How Cost-Effective Tools can Increase Efficiency?

Darren Smith, Vice President, ATM Management  • 919-534-3232 • Schedule a Meeting 

Craig Helmers, Vice President, ATM Management


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