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Community Choice Credit Union was founded in the home of its originators, Arthur and May Jenkins, in 1935 and remained there for 25 years. From these humble community-oriented beginnings, the Farmington Hills, MI, credit union has grown tremendously. Today they are climbing towards $1 billion in assets and have over 78,000 members that are served by fifteen branches and a wide range of convenient digital channels. Helping to fuel this impressive progress is Member Driven Technologies (MDT) which is a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) that provides credit unions with seamless, top-to-bottom IT solutions and hosts the powerful Symitar Episys core platform.
Dan Munro, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Community Choice Credit Union, is uniquely qualified to comment on credit union operations and technology due to the fact that he has worked in the credit union movement since 1980. He states that “MDT is a great partner for us – they offer us a high level of knowledge and expertise.” MDT has partnered with Symitar to offer their Episys suite of products for over thirteen years. The Symitar Episys core deploys browser-enabled technology, an intuitive GUI, drag-and-drop transaction functionality, user-friendly toolbars, context-sensitive help files, wizard-based assistance and many other features and functionalities. According to Munro, “the Episys system is great and MDT’s around-the-clock support team really allows our IT team to focus on supporting our Members and Team Members.”
Disaster recovery is also extremely easy for the credit union since MDT has highly secure and mirrored redundant data centers. “We experience virtually zero downtime in their service bureau environment,” confirms Munro. Community Choice also enjoys higher bandwidth capacities and access to newer technologies as part of their relationship with MDT. Munro points out that “MDT makes excellent investments in their technology partners and then passes the savings down to us and all of the other MDT credit unions.” MDT utilizes their customers’ large membership numbers to negotiate discounted pricing on a wide range of services such as hardware, check/statement printing, bill pay, credit reports, BSA/Compliance, and much more.
Looking at Community Choice’s technology partnership with MDT as an owner credit union and client at a larger level, Munro explains that “it has freed us from many tedious day-to-day activities and allowed us to move from being in operational mode to being in a more strategic and tactical mode. We are able to concentrate on serving our members as best as we can, and we can use the strengths of the system to our benefit without getting bogged down in the nuts and bolts.” His analogy is quite interesting: “MDT prepares our race car for us and we drive it.” Munro adds that “MDT is extremely proactive in their support and they are a collaborative organization that is very mindful of customer service.” He concludes that “I can’t recommend them enough – they are true credit union people and their business model is perfectly suited to credit unions of all sizes.”