Credit unions offer customer services rivaling those of big banks

October 31, 2011

I read with interest Gregory Karp's article discussing the relative advantages and disadvantages of credit unions and banks ("Crowning a banking champ," Oct. 23). As the article correctly points out, both banks and credit unions offer consumers distinct benefits.

Ultimately, however, banking today is all about getting services to customers, rather than the other way around. Consumers now want convenience along with stability. They want to make transactions quickly, get accurate and timely answers to questions and conduct business whenever it is convenient for them.

Financial institutions have responded to these changing consumer demands by adding electronic services like online, mobile and text banking, remote deposit and imaging ATMs. Once the sole domain of big banks, these services are now readily available at credit unions, many of which are also using social media to help customers ask questions and enhance their financial literacy.

In fact, we are seeing instances where credit unions are introducing innovative technological solutions more quickly than banks.

Of course, it is up to each individual to determine which financial institution best suits his or her needs. For credit unions, members always come first.

We remain committed to doing what it takes to make our members financially successful and to improve the financial well-being of the communities we serve. That includes offering advanced technology and convenient banking options.

Rod Staatz

The writer is president and CEO of SECU, Maryland's largest financial cooperative.

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