Founded in 1938, GFA’s mission has always been to earn the position as a trusted financial solutions partner while remaining invested in the surrounding community. With nine branches, a robust online banking system, and ATMs, GFA serves over 29,000 members.
As a community-centered credit union, GFA Federal Credit Union is owned by the same people who bank with them. Every person with a membership account is an equal owner, which allows the communities of Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire to make decisions that are in their best interests. This is done without the potential pressures of stockholders or large corporations.
GFA member deposits provide loans for community members, enabling them to attend college, purchase homes, and grow their businesses – all at great rates. Likewise, members have access to low-cost services, which help people save for retirement. The Board of Directors, elected by members, are all volunteers with no compensation for their time or commitment.
As a financial institution established over 75 years ago, GFA has undergone a number of transitions within the realm of technology. The most recent shifts began when mobile solutions started becoming a growing need for many community financial institutions. GFA started working with a company to fulfill their online banking needs, but soon found that this vendor, along with other vendors needed for various systems and operations, did not satisfy their requirements.
GFA decided that they needed to implement a network that simplified operations and supported the needs of their evolving workforce and member expectations. GFA then set out to find a platform that would bring unity to their operations and reduce the number of vendors and disparate systems they were working with. A growing need to develop a more robust mobile solution was also a primary motivator for change.
COCC’s strong reputation for service and technology caught the attention of GFA early on. With a platform that integrates everything from online banking to core processing and member service systems, COCC offered GFA a solution to the ongoing challenges resulting from poorly integrated disparate solutions in a multi-vendor environment. By integrating four main systems into one platform, GFA would be able to access different channels of their operations from one controlled point. More importantly, COCC presented GFA with a true opportunity for a long-term partnership.
COCC’s vision for self service through a tightly integrated online and mobile channel meshed with GFA’s determination to enhance member experience. By running COCC’s iBanking platform, which was already mobile-enabled, GFA was able to integrate an online strategy into their overall environment flawlessly. This in and of itself was a huge value-add for GFA’s members who were looking to the credit union to provide them with access on their mobile devices.
In terms of in-house staff, COCC offered two integrated, intuitive, and easy-to-learn system options. Appealing to the newer generation of tellers, Insight, COCC’s core processing technology, provides a powerful database allowing for the full integration of the iBanking/iMobile platforms.
COCC’s ongoing support is something that GFA considers priceless. “Whether you have been with them 25 years or 25 days, you get the same support,” GFA’s Senior Vice President, Linda Carmichael, explained. “No matter who you are as a client, you can always get COCC personnel up to the senior most level on the phone. The support staff is excellent, and each of COCC’s support team members are subject matter experts in their respective areas.”
GFA is also a member of the COCC Strategic Development Council (SDC), a highly experienced and visible group of users of COCC technology. The SDC convenes on a regular basis to discuss new products and features they would like to see developed or implemented. In addition, they also review changes in compliance to ensure COCC products and systems stay in-line with industry best practices.
“If we are ever in need of a solution that we do not currently have,” Carmichael stated, “COCC works with us to make it happen. They are cooperative and a true partner.”
“COCC is an extension of GFA. They are the technology arm of any financial institution. We wouldn’t be as successful as we are today without them.” ~Linda Carmichael, GFA Senior Vice President
Thanks in large part to COCC’s extraordinary levels of service, GFA has been able to easily manage their technology and product requirements, which has led to better management of their bottom line. COCC’s iMobile and iBanking technologies have also supplied GFA’s members with a streamlined, more enjoyable self-service experience with GFA Federal Credit Union. Again – priceless for GFA and their members, and something that no successful credit union can do without in today’s world of financial services.
COCC’s iMobile solution has been a huge hit with GFA’s members. According to Carmichael, “iMobile has been tremendous for our members. All we get are raving emails about how much they love it.”
The ability to customize COCC’s core platform has enabled GFA Federal Credit Union build a solution to fit their unique needs. GFA has the ability to tailor their solution down to the product level and user experience. COCC’s entire solution has been branded and interfaced with GFA, which has been crucial to supporting a consistent member experience. COCC was willing to go above and beyond to deliver this customized solution to GFA, giving them an amazing experience that surpassed their expectations. COCC delivered what they promised to GFA and then some, which meant that GFA was able to realize greater success thanks to COCC’s efforts.
With COCC technology and solutions backing operations, GFA was proud to be the first credit union to:
Working with COCC for more than 25 years has allowed GFA to be a consistent innovator and leader in the financial industry. GFA owes their success and growth in large part to COCC, and is excited to have partnered with them.
We owe it to our members to be at the forefront of the financial industry and COCC has been instrumental in helping GFA achieve that goal. COCC offers true, comprehensive technology solutions. They are our partner, not just a vendor. – Linda Carmichael, GFA Senior Vice President
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