Chaco: A Telhio Credit Union recently opened its newly remodeled branch location at 601 Park Avenue in Hamilton.
The credit union invested $1.4 million in upgrading the branch, which now features a more open layout, as well as updated furnishings and décor.
Replacing the traditional bank teller window are six “dialogue towers” where credit union members can walk up a teller. After either handing over information securely or inserting their debit card directly into a card reader, members then identify themselves with a PIN number. Cash — including coins — is then distributed from a dispenser.
“There’s no open cash,” said Telhio Credit Union spokeswoman Jessica Bing. “She doesn’t have a cash drawer. It’s very secure. You really can’t remove any money from our bank unless you have an account that’s associated to do so.
“It’s very personalized and eliminates security issues.”
Self-service stations allow members to sit down and check their balances before they get to the teller.
Four financial service offices are dedicated to new account openings, loan officers and regional sales and a larger management and business office is reserved for mortgages, closings and other matters. A members-only coin counting machine counts large volumes of change, then prints a receipt that can be taken to a teller and turned in for cash or deposited into an account.
The merger between Hamilton-based Chaco Credit Union and Columbus-based Telhio Credit Union, which went into effect last October, make the new institution one of the five largest credit unions in Ohio.
The renovation is intended to revitalize the highest volume branch in the city and further the introduction of the Telhio brand into the new market, Bing said.
“Park is really our busiest location (of the five branches surrounding Butler County) and so, as a result, it was the one that we wanted to see the most effort put into to start, because we have so many members at this branch and wanted to give them the opportunity to do a little bit more self-service option,” she said.
Plans were in place to begin a renovation even prior to the merger, which Bing said granted the opportunity to take the renovation a step further by introducing dialogue banking, which Telhio adopted in its branches starting in 2009.
By merging with Telhio, the members of Chaco also received other Telhio member benefits, such as mobile banking, access to competitive-rate mortgages, home improvement loans and auto loans, she said.
The remodel, which lasted from January until this month, saw existing staffers reassigned to support the increased traffic that was sustained by Chaco: A Telhio Credit Union’s downtown Hamilton location as a result of the Park Avenue closing. All staff have now returned to the Park branch, including one new teller, who trained at another location.
Small renovations are planned for next year for the Park branch parking lot to provide a better parking experience for members, as well as system upgrades that will offer Hamilton area members upgraded features like Mobile Check Deposit, starting in October, Bing said