How Some CUs Are Adding ATMs Without Cost of Machine

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HOUSTON — More credit unions are adding ATMs — without adding the cost of a new machine.

The CardTronics ATM Branding Program allows credit unions to place their name on existing ATMs — and their transaction screens — in popular stores such as Walgreens and CVS.

Carl Osterlof, CardTronics SVP of financial services, explained the program allows CUs to spread their name and reach cost-effectively, and also lets members use the branded ATMs surcharge-free.

CardTronics operates the Allpoint ATM network, and Bethpage FCU, Bethpage, N.Y., and VyStar CU, Jacksonville, Fla., are among a number of credit unions taking advantage of a program that Osterlof said is gaining attention.

"We have offered this program to banks for a while, but we believe this may be equally compelling to credit unions as it has been for banks."

According to CardTronics, the program takes away the burden of finding a location and then obtaining and managing a new ATM. "This is a turnkey service," Osterlof said. "We manage the ATM for the credit union, but the consumer and member sees the ATM as being owned by the credit union."

Osterlof said the cost is a monthly fee that's based on transactions, the credit union's size, ATM placement, and how many branded ATMs the CU uses.

Tapping Into National Brand

According to the 378,000-member VyStar Credit Union, the move not only extends its reach but allows the credit union to "tap into one of the nation's most recognized retail brands, Walgreens," said Judy Walz, SVP of marketing and strategic planning."

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