To foster its student members long after they graduate and relocate, along with its members who reside in 11 southern Illinois counties, SIU Credit Union ($249 million; 29,365 members; Carbondale, IL) has added shared branching to its offering signing with shared branching vendor Credit Union Centers (CUC). The signing adds five new branch locations in southern Illinois to CUC’s network. As a result, SIU student and alumni members and southern Illinois resident members can receive face-to-face service just about anywhere they reside nationwide, while CUC expands its network’s footprint in southern Illinois.

According to SIU’s Marketing Director, Karli Feldhake, the credit union has been part of the CO-OP ATM network for many years and saw how beneficial it has been for its members. In addition, the credit union’s CEO, Dennis Schaefer, experienced the advantages of shared branching at his previous credit union in Houston, Texas – which resulted in pursuing the service when he came to SIU.

“I think the benefits of shared branching are twofold for us,” Feldhake says. “Our members can now get that face-to-face service that they may need and we can provide the same to other credit unions members as an acquirer. It also comes down to members not wanting to do everything by mail and hoping their deposit gets here on time. Shared branching eliminates that.”

Along with providing nationwide coverage for relocated alumni and other members who have moved elsewhere, CUC’s shared branching allows the credit union to offer services to students attending SIU-Carbondale who belong to other credit unions. Southern Illinois residents who are members of other networked credit unions can also use SIU’s branches. SIU discovered this need, as many other credit union members have stopped by its branches and asked if SIU was part of shared branching.

“Making this service available to our members and members of other credit unions was an economic consideration due to the expense,