Ohio-based Pathways Financial Credit Union has turned over management of much of its fleet of ATMs to Dolphin Debit, the full-service ATM management company. Pathways Financial, founded in 1973, has grown organically and through a series of mergers that has built it to a $405 million credit union with more than 39,000 members and 14 branches. Headquartered in Columbus, it serves a wide area of central Ohio.
The credit union initially dipped its toe in the water of ATM outsourcing a few years ago, explained Michael Shafer, CEO.
“We found that it was inefficient and cost-prohibitive for us to try to keep up with compliance changes, increasing maintenance costs, cash replenishment, and software upgrades,” Shafer explained.
After seeing the benefits, Pathways Financial decided to broaden its use of outsourcing, evaluating Dolphin Debit and another vendor before making the decision to go with Dolphin.
“Dolphin Debit has a lot of experience in managing outsourced ATMs. We were impressed with their ability to service ATMs throughout Ohio and nationwide,” Shafer noted. “We felt that their outsourced ATM program fit well with our goals and objectives, and their competitive pricing and revenue sharing program made it an easy decision for us to partner with them.”
So far, Pathways Financial has turned over management of half of its fleet of 20 ATMs to Dolphin Debit, and plans to turn over more as current contracts expire, Shafer said.
With its ATMs strategically located at branches and SEG sites, Shafer sees them as an “important tool for us to provide 24-by-7 access to cash to our members.” With that in mind, he emphasized the importance of working with the right partner.
“As an organization we have found that outsourcing our ATM business with a good partner allows us to deploy and operate more ATM machines at a lower cost than we could if we were to own and operate the machines,” Shafer said.
“For credit unions large or small, turning management over to us can deliver tremendous benefits,” said Gary Walston, CEO of Dolphin Debit. “We either purchase brand-new machines for the credit union or purchase their existing ATMs and upgrade them so they don’t need to invest any more capital in them. Most find – as Pathways Financial has – that they can enjoy both greater efficiency and lower costs.”