A financial institution can be an intimidating place. Movies portray vaults loaded with cash and violent robberies carried out in ridiculous costumes. But this is not the case in the real world. Most financial institutions probably have more paper-pushers and back office staff than they do folks who process money. In fact, I can tell you as someone who started as a Member Service Representative that eventually those stacks of twenty-dollar bills become paper and nothing else. But what about the inner-workings of a branch? What are some of the cooler things we can share? Read on for an inside look at an RMCU branch.
How many Dum Dums (suckers) do we go through? A quick trip up to the teller line and the Member Service Representatives were happy to share. We go through about 75 a week and seem to refill the lobby faster than our drive-thru area. I am guessing this is due to kiddos seeing the suckers in the lobbies. We also switch to candy canes during the Christmas season.
Dog treats? Not as many as the Dum Dums, but Bozeman is the exception. We have tons of canine parents in the Gallatin Valley and love to give out treats to our furry friends.
The question asked most in our drive-throughs is “why do you need to see my I.D.?” It is incredible, we can offend someone by asking for their I.D. but we must have it to allow members access to their funds. I personally look at it as protecting my funds not as an inconvenience, but then again, I don’t sign the back of my credit card in the hope that I will get asked for my I.D.
The most common type of transaction in the drive-through is a check deposit with cash back, but we do get a loan and Visa payments, address changes, and other requests in the drive-through as well. Generally, folks who are using the drive-through are in a hurry and we like to get them taken care of as soon as we can.
What are all those people doing at their desks all day? Well, it depends on which branch you are in, but for the most part, the folks you can see in the lobbies are branch managers and loan officers. Our branch managers keep our branches running. They oversee everything from staff, to safety and security, as well as member experience and supplies It is a HUGE job, and all our branch managers do a wonderful job. The loan officers are the ones making sure members get the loans they need and handle everything from auto and home loans to signature loans and credit cards. Not every branch has a Real Estate Lender, but ours are willing to travel to make life a bit more convenient for members. Loan officers are also responsible for quality control on their loans, so even if they do not have someone in their office, they are most likely working on a loan.
What about other support staff? I see people all over the credit union, but I am not sure what they do. RMCU has an incredible back-office team making sure members needs are met to the best of our ability. We are a team doing everything from in-house accounting, loan processing, training, public relations and community development, human resources, indirect lending, and IT in any branch on any given day. We also have several members of Executive Management. All these folks are in place to make our members’ financial lives safe and secure. For example, our accounting team is constantly verifying transactions and protecting our members from fraud.
Another question we hear regularly is “where is my deposit?” when a member is expecting his or her direct deposit pending in an account. On the day of deposit, the ACH (automated clearing house) file has until 9 a.m. to post to a members account. Our AMAZING accounting staff usually have them posted right at 8 a.m. so if you are expecting a direct deposit, wait until after 9 a.m. to panic. Don’t fear, our awesome staff will take care of your transaction.
One of our favorite branch stories comes out of the North Montana Branch. This past December, a member noticed his account balance wasn’t right. After alerting a Member Service Representative and doing some research, it turns out there was some fraudulent activity going on with a debit card. Not the member’s fault, but, this can stress someone out quickly, especially around the holidays. Because this member brought the situation to our attention in a timely fashion, we could credit the account within a few days and file a fraud claim with MasterCard. I cannot share how much was taken from the account, but I can tell you if the member had not received provisional credit from the credit union his financial world would have been turned upside down.
Another great story happened recently. A member messaged us via our Facebook page on a weekend that their debit card was not working. We went through the traditional avenues of what could be causing the malfunction and nothing seemed to be working. One of our branch managers went into the office on a Saturday, logged into the system and could fix the member’s debit card issue within a few minutes. The member was incredibly grateful and it makes us proud to work for an organization which goes above and beyond for their members.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the RMCU routing number?
What are your certificate rates?
Depends on term.
What are your loan rates?
Depends on credit report, credit score, term, collateral, etc.
What is my account balance?
We offer a mobile app, online banking, and phone banking for convenient access.
Why is the ATM is not working?
Often, it has to do with the EMV chip card. The process is a little different and requires you to leave the card in the ATM for the entire transaction, not just a swipe.
When is my next payment due and how much is it?
Again, the mobile app, online banking, and phone banking are great options for this information.
Why did you hire new tellers?
RMCU is an organization which likes to promote from within. Most of our Member Service Representatives are promoted to work in other areas of the credit union, it is a wonderful problem to have.
Why can't I can’t access my online banking?
All our Member Service Representatives will be happy to walk you through your online banking in branch or over the phone.
Why is my debit card not working?
There are several reasons a debit card will not work, but the most common is no funds in an account. A late loan payment (really late) can affect your debit card. If you don’t let us know you are traveling, merchants can have issues with the EMV chip cards.
How much is a box of checks?
Around $16 but let’s work together on finding better/safer options for you than checks.
What is this fee?
As a not-for-profit financial co-op, we only charge fees to cover the expense, not for a profit but it still leaves some questions. The most common fee we get questions about is the Excessive Withdrawal Fee. This happens when you withdraw or deposit into your savings account more than six times in a month. A savings account is not a transactional account and therefore should not be treated like one.
Why do you have to update my information?
We are constantly in the process of making sure member information is correct. This is a requirement of the NCUA (our regulator).
I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into a credit union branch. There are a lot of moving parts and the person you interact with while doing your transaction is not the only person involved. Weird to think about, right? What are some of your questions about branch life?
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