CREDIT UNION JOURNAL

October 25, 2004

CUs ACROSS WORLD MARK INTERNATIONAL CU WEEK
Study Examines Pilot With Check-Cashers


NEW YORK, NY -- October 25, 2004  --Two area credit unions are slowly expanding their membership and providing members with new outlets through a three-year-old pilot program with New York City check cashing chains, known as PayNet.

But several barriers are preventing Bethex FCU and Actors FCU from greater membership growth and participation, including limited marketing budgets and lack of staff training, according to a new study issued last week by the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

The program allows credit union members to make withdrawals, deposits and transfers through point-of-banking machines at check cashing outlets operated by Rite Check Cashing, Pay-O-Matic and several independent check cashers.

Bethex FCU added 167 members in 2003, and recorded 127 deposits in June 2004 through PayNet; while Actors FCU reported more success, 919 deposits in June 2004.

The PayNet program is currently offered at 500 New York City outlets. The check cashing chains involved in the program are currently negotiating with other credit unions to join and are exploring expanding the program to other states.

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