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When Bonnette Dawson, CEO of Old Hickory Credit Union, was looking to expand her credit union's ATM network, one of her first thoughts was to place units in local Food Lion grocery stores. Food Lions are very popular in her home state of Tennessee, and throughout the Southeast for that matter, so it seemed like a natural choice to establish a convenient presence where Old Hickory's 28,000+ members could get ready cash. When Bonnette approached Food Lion about the placements, they immediately referred her to their partner - Nationwide Money Services . What has resulted is a long-term relationship between the credit union and NMS and what Bonnette calls "a wonderful program that allows us to expand our presence in high quality locations within our marketplace for a fraction of what it would cost to do it on our own.
Nationwide Money Services (NMS) a Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl-based company, is a subsidiary of Global Axcess Corporation and offers their credit union clients a program that brands the machines with the credit unions' name and logo and manages all aspects of the purchase, installation, hardware maintenance and processing of the ATM transactions. As far as CU members are concerned, these conveniently placed units that are part of the NMS Branded Cash Program look to be owned and operated by the credit union. Even better, members are never charged a convenience fee - a feature that Bonnette says is a "nice deal for our members". She also points out that their NMS Food Lion locations offer excellent foot traffic, high security since they are inside the stores and tremendous accessibility since many of the 19 Nashville area grocery store locations she brands are open 24 hours.
However, $131 million asset Old Hickory was not content in just offering the benefits to their members; in the true spirit of credit union cooperation, they have partnered with several other Tennessee credit unions to share the benefits of NMS Branded Cash Program. AEDC Federal Credit Union, Southeast Financial Credit Union, Educators Credit Union and US Courthouse Credit Union now enjoy the convenience and marketing opportunities of the program as well. The five credit unions have joined together to form the Choice Network that provides members of any participating credit union use of these ATMs as well as all of the proprietary ATMs of the other participating credit unions. All member transactions are surcharge free. Old Hickory and the other four credit union members are hoping to expand the Choice Network and add smaller credit unions to their network. Partnering with NMS and their Branded Cash Program should certainly be a very appealing enticement to other CUs that cant afford or dont want the burden of their own ATM program.
Bonnette and her staff at Old Hickory Credit Union have served as both the focal point and driving force behind the Choice Network, but it was their relationship with NMS and its Branded Cash program that made it possible. Their hard work and dedication have made the program very successful. Close ties with NMS senior management and a steady increase in the programs size and recognized value to members have characterized the four-year relationship with NMS Branded Cash program. Of course, NMS' real world experience as the owners and operators of well over 1000 ATM terminals throughout the United States gives them a unique insight into the needs and requirements of managing an ATM program. NMS believes that open communication and their highly effective, turnkey ATM management program is the key to expanding their Branded Cash Program within the credit union environment. Look for more credit unions like Old Hickory to partner with NMS on implementing this innovative program that is designed to better serve credit union members.