CUNA: Counting Coins A Change To Consider

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Despite an estimated $10 billion in change sitting in American households, just 25% of credit unions offer automated coin counting services for their members, according to a new white paper from CUNA and De Le Rue.

The paper, "Credit Union Coin Counting Services: Changing Attitudes About Change," examines a number of trends pertaining to the state of credit union automated coin counting services, which includes data by region and asset size.

This study of 2,000 credit unions shows only a small percentage that offer the service and many more requiring members to roll their coins before they will accept them for deposit, opening the door for higher priced competition from non-financials. The biggest competitor- Coinstar-offers more than 10,000 self-service coin counting machines at supermarkets and other stores, charges 8.9%, and has processed more than $8 billion coins since its inception.

"It is surprising that more credit unions don't take advantage of this convenience service to attract deposits, build member relationships, and differentiate their financial institutions," says John W. Smith, senior VP-marketing for De La Rue, "This can result in lower-quality member service and lost opportunities."

Wes Millar, vice president of strategic alliances for CUNA, added, "Among the many benefits of offering this service, perhaps the most important is that it entices members to visit their credit union more often and see first-hand the top-notch service that comes with membership."

In addition to trends and statistics, the white paper examines the benefits of offering automated coin counting services, suggests ways to overcome obstacles to the service, includes a pro and con analysis of teller-based versus member self-service coin counting, features advice from credit unions on how to best provide the service, and looks at improvements among credit unions that currently offer the service. The study also includes surveys and case studies, as well as commentary by industry experts.

For info: www.alliances.cuna.org and click on "De La Rue Money Handling Equipment" or call Doug Tangwall, product manager for CUNA's strategic alliances, at (800) 356-9655, ext. 4073.

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