When Dade County Federal Credit Union in Florida chose Dolphin Debit in 2018 to provide 15 ATMs at key Special Employer Group (SEG) locations, it turned out to be the seed of a relationship that has grown and broadened since then.
Now Dolphin Debit manages 47 ATMs for Dade County FCU. Every one of its SEG-located or off-premises ATMs is handled by Dolphin for the credit union, which has more than 100,000 members and assets of more than $785 million.
As Dade County FCU saw the benefits of outsourcing ATM management with Dolphin, it began adding ATMs as previous contracts with other vendors expired. The most recent wave of expirations doubled the number of machines that Dolphin manages, services, and maintains.
The credit union initially opted to go with Dolphin Debit so that it could avoid a major capital invest-ment in a 2018 expansion of its ATM fleet, but quickly recognized the many advantages. For Dade County FCU, one big concern was ATM downtime, and that problem has been solved thanks to Dolphin Debit’s close monitoring and quick response.
“Compared with our downtime in the past, there is a significant difference with Dolphin,” said George Joseph, CEO of Dade County Federal Credit Union. “That is our foremost advantage. When a machine is down, especially during the day, it can cause a lot of frustration for members.”
Joseph admits he was initially reluctant in 2018 to give up control over the credit union’s ATMs when Robert Plasencia, Vice President of Fraud and ATM Services, proposed the move. But now he says it was “absolutely” the right strategy.
Plasencia says the Dolphin service commitment has been exceptional. “Whenever we have an ATM issue, they’re out sooner than we could even pick up the phone and call them. They already know and they’re ready to dispatch a technician. We have been more than satisfied with their support,” he said.
Dolphin Debit has also exceeded expectations when it came to installing machines in the promised timeframes, Plasencia adds.
“They have always met deadlines, and often been ahead of the game. They may promise three months, but then are able to turn around a project in 60 or 65 days. That has been a huge benefit for us, being able to tell our SEG groups that we’re getting that ATM in there sooner than they expected.”
With Dolphin Debit in charge of the majority of the Dade County FCU’s ATMs, the credit union’s staff doesn’t have to focus on the usual day-to-day management and maintenance concerns.
“It can be time-consuming for the staff to have to deal with all of the concerns of an ATM fleet,” Plasencia says. “The way I see it, we can continue to grow our fleet with Dolphin Debit and maintain the staff that we have because it doesn’t draw on their day to day operations as it would if we had to manage all of these in-house.”
Amid an ever-changing banking environment, CEO Joseph says ATMs will remain a cornerstone of the credit union’s marketing plans.
“ATMs have been and always will be a strategic part of our plans for growth,” he says. “There will always be a segment of the membership that prefers cash. And ATMs play a signifi-cant role in how we approach our SEG groups. We make a commitment to those groups that our ATMs will perform at a certain level, and Dolphin makes sure we meet those commit-ments.”