National Credit Union Innovation Award
Virtual Technology Connects the North
What is the key to innovation? Answer: to find a need and fill it! That’s
exactly what North Peace Savings and Credit Union (North Peace Savings) did.
North Peace Savings has blended innovation and community service in a unique
fashion with the introduction of Personal Teller Machines (PTMs) to their
members. While PTMs and videoconferencing aren’t new to the financial world
-- North Peace Savings has leveraged this technology to bring a full suite
of financial services to remote and underserved communities of Northern
British Columbia. By connecting members to a virtual teller through a video
screen – they can now offer all the transactions & services found in a
traditional branch, to those in the most remote of locations.
They began by installing PTMs in Fort St. John and Fort Nelson, Canada’s
most northerly credit union location and shortly after installed a PTM and a
‘virtual office’ in Taylor - a town that was managing their finances through
‘white label’ ATMs that were not affiliated with any financial institution.
People and businesses in Taylor went from having no personal financial
services -- to twelve hours of service, six days a week.
An aggressive marketing campaign introduced staff and members to this
exciting new concept.
Employees were kept fully informed of the program through a fact sheet, face
to face meetings with managers, weekly updates in the employee newsletter
and incentives for achieving targets.
To reach members, North Peace Savings utilized various communication methods
along with newspaper, radio, airport, theatre and online ads. As further
incentive, members were eligible to win an iPad just for using Face to Face
video banking. A featured article in Enterprise magazine shared North Peace
Saving’s innovative program with a larger audience.
Survey results show PTMs and the virtual smart office in Taylor -- are clear
winners with members. North Peace Savings has higher member satisfaction
and grew their membership by 5.7 per cent in their first year. Currently,
PTMs are being used for an average of 2500 sessions each month. And North
Peace Savings was able to deliver these services at one tenth the cost of a
By addressing the needs of under-served communities through cutting edge
technology, collaborating effectively, and sharing their experience with
credit unions across Canada, North Peace Savings and Credit Union is the
recipient of Credit Union Central of Canada’s 2013