Credit Union Delivers — and Keeps — Curbside Service

Curbside service at Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union

By Roy Urrico

Curbside service not only proved effective for many restaurants during the pandemic, but also for the $88-million Petersburg, Va.-based Peoples Advantage Federal Credit Union (PAFCU). The credit union found so much success with curbside banking as a new way to interact with and assist members, it has no plans to cease the service, even as pandemic restrictions ease.

Curbside banking started with the help of Farmington Hills, Mich.-based CUSO Member Driven Technologies (MDT) out of the need to provide socially distanced member interaction during the pandemic.

Patsy Smith, PAFCU President/CEO

“As the pandemic lingered, we strongly sensed the need for creating a more personal, yet safe, manner to serve our members other than lobby appointments,” Patsy Smith, president and CEO of Peoples Advantage Credit Union, said. She added, after a short brainstorming session, the PAFCU team quickly launched curbside service in 2020. “It has allowed us to provide our members a responsible way to still interact with live humans and receive that personal service and support that sets our credit union apart. We might be small, but we’re innovative.”

Rain Tents

“Like Chick-fil-A’s drive-thru, curbside is quick, efficient and extremely member friendly. We even bought plastic tents for employees to make sure that inclement weather did not interrupt our curbside service,” Smith noted. “Our members have shared positive feedback on this service model, so we have plan to continue this as an option even after the pandemic subsides.”

Help from MDT

While smaller in asset size than many of its competitors, PAFCU knows it needs to work closely with partners, such as MDT, to innovate quickly and implement up-to-date technology. Smith said the credit union also recognizes that in order to successfully scale, it cannot go back to how things “used to be.”

PAFCU implemented Symitar’s Episys core processing system hosted by MDT in October 2020 during the pandemic. The credit union also leverages many of MDT’s complementary solutions, such as the Banno Digital Platform. “As a smaller credit union, we work closely with MDT to help us evaluate and launch modern technology. This contributes to our ability to innovate quickly,” Smith said.

Matt Kosciolek, MDT

Matt Kosciolek, PAFCU’s client relationship manager at MDT described how MDT provides a private cloud alternative for core processing and IT needs. In addition to the Episys core platform, the CUSO also hosts dozens of seamlessly integrated solutions and supporting services to help run the entire institution, such as digital banking, payments, lending, cybersecurity and imaging.