MADISON, Wis. – Two California-based financial transaction technology firms have joined World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) as associate members, bringing to eight the number of organizations that function as non-voting associate members of the international credit union trade association.
The new associate member organizations include: CO-OP Financial Services, the parent company to CO-OP Shared Branching based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; and Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) based in San Dimas, Calif. Both firms were unanimously approved for membership at WOCCU’s recent board of directors meeting in Naples, Fla. Associate members enjoy all the benefits of WOCCU membership, including seats at the annual general meeting. However, associate members may not vote for members of the WOCCU board nor serve on the board.
CO-OP Financial Services is a credit union service organization (CUSO) that provides card services, ATM network services and shared branching for approximately 2,000 credit unions in the United States. The 25-year-old CUSO, owned and controlled by credit unions, supports the largest network of credit union ATMs with more than 25,000 installations in 10 countries. Through CO-OP Shared Branching, headquartered in Duluth, Ga., the firm offers the largest shared branching network with 80 percent of participating credit unions and 67 percent of all shared-branching locations.
“We’ve supported the World Council of Credit Unions for many years. In fact, we recently worked together to complete the first true international shared branch transaction in Ecuador using our Next Generation Network,” said Stan Hollen, president and CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. “Becoming an associate member not only expands our relationship with WOCCU, but it furthers the credit union movement on a more global scale.”
Financial Service Centers Cooperative, an 18-year-old CUSO, provides shared branching services at more than 5,000 locations in the U.S. and five countries. According to Sarah Canepa Bang, FSCC’s president and CEO, FSCC’s technology has enabled the CUSO to offer 24/7 shared branch access at more than 2,000 7-Eleven® stores. FSCC has been turning to WOCCU for a number of years for services and information.
“FSCC has maintained international branches for more than six years,” said Bang. “We’ve long used WOCCU resources and thought it was time to pay the organization back and support its good work by becoming more involved.”
The two new associate memberships signal a growing support for WOCCU’s mission, as well as indicate the increasing importance technology plays in serving emerging credit union movements, according to Pete Crear, WOCCU’s president and chief executive officer.
“We’re very pleased by the support both CO-OP Financial Services and Financial Service Centers Cooperative have shown by joining us,” said Crear. “Both organizations provide U.S. credit unions with electronic transaction services vital to their members’ success and we’ll look for synergies that will enable them to help more credit unions worldwide.”
Other WOCCU associate members include the National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies Ltd. (India); Cooperative Savings and Credit Union Mutual Insurance Society (Poland); CUNA Mutual Group (U.S.); and the International Cooperative Banking Association, the International Cooperative & Mutual Insurance Federation and the International Raiffeisen Union.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.