Small CUs Take Up Offer of Free Online Platform
A free online banking platform is raising the stakes at a $3.1-million credit union here.
"People are finding out that we're improving services without charging fees," said Faith Mitchell, CEO with Ketema
The number of new checking account openings has nearly doubled since the CU launched homebanking in February,
Meanwhile, the KFCU is paying nothing to offer the service. As part of a 'Free for 2003' promotion, Orlando, Fla.-
Members picked up on Ketema FCU's website banking presence right away-20% of the CU's 550 members have
For a credit union that serves aerospace manufacturing employees with little access to computers at home, the
"Homebanking is a really easy, vital tool for the members to use and access information," Mitchell added.
Internet banking has extended the CU's operating hours, as well.
"Members work on three shifts at the plant, and a lot of them can't get to the branch when we're open," Mitchell
About 30 CUs have taken advantage of the "Free for 2003" promotion, said Chris Pantaleon, vice president of sales
"A lot of CUs think it's too good to be true," he said. What's more, "implementation only takes an hour and a half,
It wasn't just the free price that convinced KFCU to offer banking online. "We would have gone with homebanking
Of course, the "free" part will soon end for the CU. Come New Year, Ketema FCU will start paying $99 per month
Mitchell isn't worried. "The fees are not cost prohibitive. It's an easy budget item and well worth the investment."
In fact, Mitchell is counting on homebanking to shoot the CU to the $4-million in assets mark. "We've got more
Even though Worldwide's service is free, it has bells and whistles, Mitchell said. "Members can send us an e-mail at
In addition, Ketema can e-mail promotions to its membership thanks to the homebanking email list. "Right now
The main challenge for Ketema FCU is in training members to set up log-in PINs, she said. "Members have to go to
Worldwide launched Ketema FCU's homebanking service in one week, she said. After a one-week test with the
Worldwide's Internet banking includes full transactional capability, an e-message center, account alerts, and account
Credit unions with fewer than 2,000 members pay $199 per month for unlimited service, whereas CUs with fewer than 1,000 members pay $99 per month.