Low Overhead Shared Branching Continues to Grow

For Xtend, Inc., a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based CUSO, shared branching has always been about peers helping peers at the lowest possible collective cost, and the number of peers has grown to include credit unions in two regions and eleven states. At the end of April, the CUSO reports that the self-managed shared branching consortium carrying the Xtend brand now represents ninety-seven (97) credit unions and more than two hundred (200) locations nationally.

Despite its presence at credit unions nationwide, the network is very much a “regional solution’” 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 local geography. It literally started with a group of partners looking 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 our owners and partners.”

The consortium is governed by a volunteer nine-member peer Advisory Council led by Chris Cross, Operations Manager at AAC Credit Union based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cross says, “Our primary goal is to ensure that the Xtend network reduces the overhead as much as possible for each credit union. Since all of us use the same CU*BASE core data processing solution (from CU*Answers, Inc.), the job of the council is easier than you would expect. We have worked hard to establish a common set of rules that everyone is able to play by, but in a manner where the credit union is able to maintain control of how their members are serviced by the shared branch. From member privacy to supported transactions to easy monthly settlements, our network continues to work collaboratively in support of our members as a whole.”

Collins reports that nearly 2.5 million shared branching transactions are processed annually by credit unions that participate in the Xtend network.