PLEASANTON, Calif. (7/21/14)--Thirty-nine member service fees erased. Balance transfer: gone. Card replacement: gone. Early mortgage payoff: gone. It's all part of $4.1 billion-asset Patelco CU's mission--to remove any barriers to creating a great experience of banking for its members. And it's a mission driven by Erin Mendez as she closes in on her first anniversary of being president/CEO of the Pleasanton, Calif., credit union.
"We are returning Patelco to its roots of being a credit union that stands behind the credit union member and does what's best for the member," Mendez told
"The majority of our members are just middle-class people from all walks of life," she said. The fees--which created a "bill environment"--were a nuisance to members and to the staff tasked with collecting them.
The one fee that has been most obvious to members is the plastic card replacement fee, Mendez said. The credit union's branches are equipped with instant issue systems for ATM, credit and debit cards, which means no mailing costs. "That's the one members say, 'Oh my gosh, thank you,' when we can hand them their new card without charging them," Mendez said.
Some might wonder how Patelco will recoup the $800,000 reduction in fee income. Mendez said it will be balanced by deepening the relationships with their members. "We believe in 'banking on trust'--we won't nickel and dime our members," she said.
"To me it's critical to have enriched our members' lives and provide them with service and value," Mendez told
. "We are rallying to do the right things for the members."