MCOC MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: MONTANA CREDIT UNION
By Guy Gregory
MCDC Communications Specialist
In 1940, about 20 Montana men and women founded the Great Falls Cooperators Credit Union with a charter from the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions. Over the next several decades, the tiny credit union gradually grew and eventually became a community-chartered financial institution that would open up membership to anyone living in Cascade, Chouteau, and Teton Counties. In 80 years, the membership of Montana Credit Union (MCU) dramatically grew from less than one hundred members to over 22,000 members today.
A NEW LOOK AND EXPANDED HEADQUARTERS
In the past few years, MCU has expanded its headquarters in Great Falls and as well as rebranding its marketing efforts. “Part of the intent was to modernize the look and feel of our brand while also pushing for additional employee training, so, it’s not just the brand, it’s also the culture that we are trying to build to remain relevant,” said MCU CEO/President Steven King. Along with a new logo, MCU also dropped “Federal” from their name, however, King added that he wanted to make clear that MCU is “still a federally chartered and insured credit union.”
Construction on expanding MCU’s headquarters at their main branch building in Great Falls is nearing completion. King explained that the expansion was greatly needed. “We’ve been limited on adding products, services and staff. So, our goal was to create additional space at all three of our branches.” King added that the newly expanded main branch will free up more space at the other branches, allowing for more overall growth for MCU. King said the new facility will also provide space for improved training for employees. “We also wanted to create a better training facility to get our staff trained more efficiently and have them develop even more knowledge to share with our members.”
BETTER SERVING MEMBERS WITH CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY
Along with a new and improved brand, MCU also has recently replaced its Drive-Up systems with personal teller machines (PTM’s). King explained that the new machines allow members more options for services. “If you’re a member you can use your debit or ATM card to deposit cash and checks as well as withdraw money and most of the normal transactions that you would do with a teller after hours at the PTMs. During business hours live tellers will continue to complete your transactions for you through the interactive mode. He added that the new technology with PTM’s could allow MCU to expand its footprint. “So, in the future, we will be looking at how we deploy these machines to make it more convenient for more members, whether that’s in the small communities or other parts of Great Falls.”
MCU is also a member of the Co-op Network which helps them and other credit unions remain competitive with banks when it comes to withdrawing funds without being charged extra fees. “There are over 30,000 ATM machines across the country that are surcharge-free for our members because MCU is a member of the Co-op Network,” King said.
MCU has recently replaced its Drive-Up systems with personal teller machines (PTM’s) that allow members more options for services.
CREDIT UNION MEMBERSHIP CONTINUES TO GROW STATE-WIDE AND IN GREAT FALLS
King says growth in credit union membership is on the rise across the state, including MCU. “Our credit union continues to grow because members like what we do and they like that they have ownership in MCU,” said King. “People are learning and understanding about co-ops and the more they learn and understand co-ops, in my opinion, the more they want to be part of a co-op.”