CU To Market Fujitsu ATMs In Hawaii; Macy's Signs On

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A visit to a trade show has started a chain of events that led to an unusual partnership-Honolulu City & County Employees FCU is marketing automated-teller machines manufactured by Fujitsu Transaction Solutions to other CUs in the state of Hawaii.

Emilie Herr, account representative for Dallas-based Fujitsu, told The Credit Union Journal that the relationship follows a visit by Keoni Ahlo, chief information officer for HCCEFCU, to BAI's Retail Delivery Show, where he was investigating the newest ATMs.

Honolulu City & County EFCU CEO Wallace Watanabe said the Fujitsu 8010 ATM, which features two monitors and is web-enabled to provide news, weather reports and advertising on one screen while the member's transaction takes place on the other, impressed him immediately.

Watanabe said HCCEFCU intended to install one of the dual-monitor ATMs in the busiest Macy's store in Honolulu for use by its members, but "once Macy's saw it, they wanted the ATMs for all 11 of their stores in Hawaii, not just the busiest. The looks alone sold the them."

The reaction by Macy's representatives gave Watanabe the idea to partner with Fujitsu to sell the ATMs. HCCEFCU already had a CUSO in place-which it uses for its mortgage origination, loan participations and servicing business-so the deal was "a natural" for the CU, he said.

Only One Vendor

"In Hawaii, there is primarily only one vendor that sells ATMs, so most credit unions have gone into partnerships with banks so their members can have ATM access," said Watanabe. "We decided to market ATMs as a favor to other credit unions, because either they can buy them from us for less than our competitor charges, or the competitor will have to lower its prices."

HCCEFCU buys the machines from Fujitsu, then marks them up to make as much, or as little, profit as it sees fit, he said.

"We are trying to start a credit union ATM network in the state of Hawaii, so we might sell them at our cost," Watanabe said, adding he has price quotes out to two credit unions that have expressed interest in the machines.

David Haigh, director of sales for Fujitsu, said the partnership with HCCEFCU is unusual in several ways. For one thing, it is the first time the company has partnered with a credit union. Also, most of its local sales affiliates are equipped to service the ATMs in the field.

"The Hawaiian Islands are a little unique, so we were willing to take on a partner with connections to the credit unions there," said Haigh. "The credit union sells the ATMs, and Fujitsu services and maintains the machines."

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