Low Overhead Shared Branching Continues to be a Hit

For Xtend, Inc., a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based CUSO, shared branching has always been about peers helping peers, and the number of peers has grown to include credit unions in two regions and eleven states. At the end of December, the Xtend consortium had increased to over 160 locations that process nearly two million transactions collectively each year.

Despite its presence at credit unions nationwide, the network is very much a “regional service” says Scott Collins, President of Xtend. “Many of the credit unions we work with on a daily basis have been processing for each other for years, especially those within the same geography. It literally started with a group of partners looking for ways to address disaster recovery and evolved into a low cost, low overhead, self-governed collaboration. Although we have more wide-spread participation than ever before, we recognize that we are filling a niche, albeit an important one for many of our owners and partners.”

The technology behind the shared branching platform is CU*BASE, the flagship product of CU*Answers, a data processing CUSO and charter member of the Xtend cooperative. This core technology, brand recognition, and policies established by the network participants through an advisory council translate into what Collins describes as a “template for peer-to-peer success.”

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