Kemba Financial Credit Union serves over 100,000 members across the central Ohio region. With over $1B in assets, the organization has been growing steadily since its founding in 1933. Coinstar for Financial recently piloted and rolled out a self-service coin counting solution for Kemba’s members that has helped improve member service and drive branch efficiency—both key components of Kemba’s branch strategy.
Kemba had been offering a self-service coin counting option for its members through machines it owned and operated internally. As the equipment began to age, downtime and maintenance needs were both increasing. This required employees to spend time coordinating repairs, which took time away from interacting with members and providing service. Also, due to downtime, members were unable to process their coin while the machines were awaiting repairs and maintenance—which often took several days because service technicians were not located within close proximity.
Because Kemba owned and operated its own machines, its branch employees were responsible for emptying the coin bags from the machines and transporting them to the vaults. Kemba’s coin intake volume is significant, so this practice required extra labor from branch employees—often requiring them to lift and carry bags weighing as much as 50 pounds.
Kemba was working to implement a new branch strategy that focused more on automating routine tasks, speeding up member service and allowing employees to focus more on meaningful interactions. The credit union’s leadership team began to realize that the old coin counting machines were getting in the way of the organization achieving its goals, so they began to explore a new solution.
Our team at Coinstar connected with Kemba’s leadership and shared our turnkey model—giving them the ability to provide a self-service coin counting solution for its members, while addressing the maintenance issues with the older equipment. The Coinstar solution would also drive branch automation by removing the need for employees to haul heavy coin bags or spend time coordinating repairs.
To alleviate Kemba’s fears about how the Coinstar solution would work for them, we offered to start out with a pilot program in their highest volume branch before proceeding with a full-scale agreement. While working to get the overall program ready for deployment behind the scenes, our team delivered and installed a Coinstar kiosk in one Kemba branch.
Before beginning the pilot program, Kemba’s Coinstar technician performed an onsite training for the branch employees and checked in twice per week to make sure the kiosk operated smoothly. We also provided data and reporting from the new kiosk to Kemba’s leadership team so they could conduct their own independent cost analysis that compared the Coinstar kiosk to its existing equipment.
Kemba’s cost analysis determined that the pilot program was successful in reducing costs. The Coinstar kiosk also earned positive feedback from branch employees, whose time and energy could now be spent focusing on serving members instead of managing coin. Their accounting team was able to expedite the depreciation of Kemba’s old coin counting equipment so they could redirect resources to bring in more Coinstar kiosks. The savings Kemba experienced with implementing Coinstar’s solution easily offset the remaining value of the old equipment.
Banks and credit unions across the country are looking more and more toward implementing automation that helps drive efficiency and improve the consumer experience. The turnkey solution that Coinstar provides accomplishes both of these goals and also proves to be a cost efficient alternative to in-house coin processing. Kemba Financial Credit Union has now established an ongoing relationship with Coinstar and plans to incorporate more of our kiosks into its plans for growth.