MT. PROSPECT, Ill.-Credit unions should increase their electronic deposit capabilities in 2013, according to Curtis Hallowell.

Hallowell, VP of product management for Cummins Allison Corp., a provider of money handling equipment, told Credit Union Journal that CUs should consider in 2013 adding services such as electronic deposits for check processing to commercial depositors. "Many credit unions' growth strategies include expansion by reaching out to commercial depositors to add to their existing member base."

Electronic deposit with check scanning comes in two varieties: remote deposit capture (RDC) and image cash letter (ICL). Hallowell said both are viable forms of electronic deposit, easy to use, and save both depositors and financial institutions time and money.

"Despite these positives, however, electronic deposit as a whole is severely underutilized," he assessed. "This gives credit unions an excellent opportunity to offer a robust service that is attractive to members while still maintaining the sense of community important in a credit union."

Hallowell said CUs are being challenged to offer more or better products and services to members while still running a leaner operation. As a consequence, more and more growth strategies aim to accomplish both points by carrying out by a single action, he noted.

"Another way to foster growth is to increase foot traffic using lobby engagement tools, such as self-service coin counters," he said. "Members can count their loose coins quickly, accurately and without standing in line. This frees up the tellers to perform other, more worthwhile tasks, and when the member redeems the receipt, the teller can cross-sell other products and services the credit union offers."

In addition, Hallowell said the branch can use the self-service coin counter for other needs, making double use of the equipment.

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