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Summit FCU launches virtual branch

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

The Summit Federal Credit Union (SFCU) on July 6 opened a new virtual branch, which the organization says is available “everywhere.” 

Using Zoom technology, branch “visitors” see and talk directly with a local relationship specialist and do just about everything they’d do at a physical branch, right from a mobile or electronic device, Summit FCU contends.

The credit union has three existing employees working on the initiative, including a virtual branch manager when needed, Cynthia Kolko, community and public relations specialist for the credit union, tells CNYBJ in an email.

The Summit FCU describes it as “secure,” “easy,” and “brand new” for Western and Central New York. 

“Many financial institutions use the term ‘virtual branch’ to describe their e-services: self-serve transactions like making transfers or deposits,” Cheryl Pohlman, VP of marketing and business relations for the Summit FCU, said in a release. “In contrast, The Summit’s virtual branch is just like stepping into a full-service physical branch, only a lot more convenient. You talk to a real, live person from wherever you happen to be.”

Visiting the Summit’s new virtual branch is by appointment, which can be scheduled by visiting summitfcu.org, the credit union said.

“Mobile users are growing, and we definitely wanted to use the technology beyond e-services so that members have more banking options. But truly, our Virtual Branch serves all our members — whether they are frequent users of our e-services or not,” Kolko adds.

The Summit FCU recently closed its brick-and-mortar branch office at Township 5 in Camillus as customers’ increasing use of mobile and online technology for their transactions led to declining traffic and fewer transactions for the past few years. The Summit FCU, which is headquartered in Rochester, still has physical local branch offices in Syracuse, Cortland, Clay, and Seneca Falls. The credit union serves about 15,000 members and 40 member companies in Central New York.

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