How FirstOntario Credit Union stays safely connected to members

Published September 8, 2020

As financial institutions adapt to banking in a changing world, they’re looking for ways to enable their customers to bank safely without sacrificing personal service. To find out how our customers are staying safely connected to their customers, we spoke to Colin Grant, Associate Vice President of Infrastructure & Security at FirstOntario Credit Union. Below, Colin explains how they’ve evolved their business to continue to keep Members at the centre of everything they do.


NCR: How have you adapted in light of COVID-19 restrictions?

Colin Grant: Throughout the pandemic and local lockdown, we remained committed to ensuring that our Members were able to access the financial services they needed – with the utmost protection in place to ensure the safety of our Members and employees. We’ve implemented new technologies in branches, fast-forwarded digital technologies and added anti-microbial coating to all our ATMs and ITMs across our 31-branch network to enable Members to feel safe, reduce face-to-face contact and bank in a way that suits them best.


NCR: What has changed at the branch?

CG: We found that some of our Members still wanted to be able to come to the branch and have that face-to-face connection. So, we have added a lot of safety precautions in branch, such as additional screens, lots of signage and new ways of interacting with Members. We also mandated face masks ahead of it becoming part of the government regulations. We believe that the branch and that customer connection will always be at the heart of FirstOntario Credit Union.


NCR: How has your technology supported you at this time?

CG: We were beginning to roll out Interactive Teller technology across our network – and we ramped up the timescale to have an ITM at every location by May. At the same time, we moved all our interactive teller staff to working remotely. So, it was trial by fire with moving to home internet, but it actually went very smoothly and from a business continuity perspective it was business as usual for our Members. 


NCR: Did you know you’re our first customer to add anti-microbial coating to all your ATMs and ITMs?

CG: That’s great to hear. Our senior leadership are focused on the ongoing safety and protection of our Members and our team, and when we heard about the new solution NCR was offering, it was the perfect choice to help protect our Members further and give them that additional confidence when using the ATM and ITM. The fact that it can coat all touch points, not just the screen, is really beneficial.  The added fact that it’s fast, doesn’t put the ATM out of action for more than 30 minutes and lasts at least six months makes it a strong operational choice too.


NCR: Have you seen much change in consumer behaviour over the last few months?

CG: The pandemic has certainly driven more of our Members to use our digital banking services and transactions at the ITMs have increased. This drive to increase in digital and self-service use is allowing our branch staff to focus on our Members who prefer that face-to-face connection in branch.

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