Free Consulting for FSCC

Dunkin' Donuts on TomTom GPSrThe following is an open letter to FSCC, the company coordinating shared branching among credit unions throughout the United States and internationally.

Drop everything you are doing, and run, don’t walk, to get every branch location and ATM into vehicle GPS navigators. Once you have recorded the latitude and longitude coordinates for all 4,000+ locations, make a deal to get it onto TomTom’s web site.

I’m serious. Do nothing else until you get this done. Be where your members are. When your member needs you, most of the time he/she is not sitting down with a laptop, looking up your nearest address. (Speaking of which, FSCC isn’t even providing a tool on its web site to locate the nearest branches TO YOU- just give an alphabetical listing by state. Most states are too big for this to be of real use.) The members who are using shared branching are ON THE ROAD, USING A GPS (if they don’t have a GPS yet, don’t worry, they will shortly.)

So advanced thinkers, like Dunkin Donuts (always known for their innovation, right?), have made all of their locations available for TomTom navigators. That means that not only can I look up the nearest Dunkin Donuts to me, I SEE AN ICON ON THE MAP EVERY TIME I APPROACH ONE. EVERY TIME. AS I AM DRIVING DOWN THE HIGHWAY. Can you see how this is serious coffee temptation? That I see a DD icon every time I get near one?? Holy cow! Pretty soon every national company will be doing this. I hope, for credit unions’ sake, that FSCC/CU Swirl is in the vanguard of this land rush. If they don’t get there soon, they’ll miss out on a big opportunity to leap frog CUs ahead of the game.

Can you imagine how much money credit union members will save on foreign ATM transactions if FSCC can get their shared branching (and ATM network) into vehicle GPS navigators? For that matter, all CU cooperative ATM networks, such as SUM et al., need to get into this game.

I originally wrote this blog entry in December of 2007, but have waited till now publish it because I knew that a photo illustrating this concept would be much more powerful than words alone. With nice weather having returned to New England, I’ve finally snapped a decent photo of this phenomenon.

The amazing thing about having the Dunkin Donuts locations on the GPS is that I can see that there is a Dunkin Donuts nearby on the navigator before I can actually see the real thing out of my car window. Wow. Imagine if that were happening every time anyone with a GPSr passed a CU ATM or branch. Welcome to World 2.0.

If you know someone at FSCC, please direct them to this blog entry. I would love feedback from them on this issue, and hope that they implement this before banks and other ATM networks beat them to it.

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12 Responses to “Free Consulting for FSCC”

  1. Matt Says:

    My credit union is an FSCC members and this would be an awesome feature, especially since most rental car companies are beginning to offer GPS devices in their cars.

    Keep up the good work Morriss.

    Matt

  2. Ginny Brady Says:

    Morriss, as usual you are ahead of the curve! This is technology that needs to be integrated with credit union ATM services – ASAP.

  3. Morriss Partee Says:

    @Matt – indeed. Not only do rental car companies offer GPS options, but people are purchasing them for their cars at a rapid rate. If you drive down any highway at night, look for the tell-tale glow coming from the middle of their windshield.

    If FSCC has the addresses of each of their member credit union’s branches and ATMs, they can actually do the work of figuring out the coordinates for each location using Google Earth. They can do it from the comfort of their own desktop.

  4. Andy Says:

    Awesome idea Morriss. I love it. It really is a huge pain to look up shared branching locations. I know we had to do it for a few members at the teller line and the best we could do was print off an alphabetical list and try to narrow it down manually to the ones around where they were staying. Not fun. This could be a great way to let people know where they can do their banking on the road as well as let people know that the service even exists.

    Three key words I’d use for this idea: Convenience, Convenience, Convenience. I know I’d use it all the time (well…as soon as I drop the cash for a GPS :P)

  5. Morriss Partee Says:

    @Andy, right it is all about the convenience and making it easy for your member. And that’s what Shared Branching and ATMs are all about. And also, GPSr are getting cheaper and cheaper all the time. The model I bought a year ago for $299 is now $199. And it’s a good little unit. You can probably get the same unit refurbished or on eBay for $99 now. One hundred smackers to never be lost again? Priceless!

  6. Lisa Hochgraf Says:

    CommunityAmerica CU in Lenexa, Kans., has its own GPS-based ATM locator (for Garmin brand units, though). This article has more details. (I’m a terrible coder, so I apologize for not embedding the link!)

    http://www.cues.org/pls/cuesp/!cues1.main?complex_id_in=3069666.3069668.3069996.11493146.page

  7. Sarah Canepa Bang Says:

    You all are right on the money — excellent feedback. For the past year FSCC has been attempting to work with the likes of Garmin, Esri and Magellan (We’ll add Tom Tom to the list) and Google Earth (we started with Google Earth three years ago, but we just can’t afford them). It’s been a slow go, but we aren’t giving up.

    Because this was harder than we thought, we took another route. It is not as good as the one you all suggested, but it is a start.

    When you dial our locator service 888/287-9475 using your cell phone, you can opt to receive coordinates via text to drop into your GPS system.

    It requires you to input the 3 digit exchange number of the area in which you are looking for a shared branch. From there it will give you the CU name, address, phone and the coordinates to enter into your GPS. If you don’t put in the 3 digit exchange, it will give you the closest location to the home base of your cell phone. If you are traveling you may have to look at signs on a building or in your hotel to get the 3 digit exchange number.

    I know it is not as elegant as your suggestion, but it got us a start. I promise we will continue to work on it.

    In the meantime, if you are like CommunityAmerica and use your own GPS locator, we can provide you with the coordinates of every shared branch everywhere. In addition, there are several CUs who have done mash ups of Google Earth using our coordinates to provide a similar service on their websites. Our Marketing folks can refer you to them if you are interested. 888/372-2669 Ext 1235

    Ok, I apologize for the length of this response. I hope this helps. Thank you for the great support and suggestions.

  8. William Azaroff Says:

    Thanks for the idea Morriss. There are similar things we could be doing up here in America’s toque.

  9. Tony Mannor Says:

    Morriss,

    You are right on here. Not only are more cars coming with this pre-installed, but so are many new cell phones. My wifes new phone has GPS with maps.

    If she is at a big outlet mall or in the next town over, she could easily use her cell phone to find a network ATM (and a coffee). With my kids in tow, it is also a safety issue. If she sees a dark or out of the way ATM that looks fine in the daytime but spooky at night – she could easily find the next one rather than risking it.

    This seems so obvious. I hope someone listens. This could be huge for CUs to get mindshare. It is almost mini CU advertising in the car (think about giving rides to your non-member friends)

  10. Adam Says:

    this is for specific SUM atm’s Morriss? My garmni Nuvi 250 already has a bank and atm locater on it.

  11. The car is about to go social « EverythingCU.com World 2.0 Adventure Says:

    […] I wrote about why the shared branching networks need to get their ATM and branch locations into the TomTom GPS navigation […]

  12. Geolocation, Geolocation, Geolocation « EverythingCU.com World 2.0 Adventure Says:

    […] are some applications of geolocation in the credit union world, in social media in general, and there are even more applications in the field of real […]

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