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WOCCU unites Mexico Canada CUs on managing ATMs
ALBERTA, Canada (3/16/10)--Caja Popular de Ahorros Yanga, better known as Caja Yanga, became one of the first rural Mexican financial cooperatives to launch surcharge-free credit union-owned ATMs, said the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).
Click to view larger image Aida Maceda, (left) information technology manager, and Liliana Gonzalez, ATM manager for Caja Yanga, are pictured next to a Servus CU ATM during a technical internship between Canada-based Servus and Mexico-based Caja Yanga that focused on ATM policies and procedures. Caja Yanga recently launched rural Mexico’s first surcharge-free ATMs. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
It turned to Servus CU in Alberta, Canada, for help. Caja Yanga and Servus established a relationship in 2009 through WOCCU’s International Partnerships Program, and the Mexican credit union asked about a technical internship. In March, Servus welcomed Aida Maceda, Caja Yanga information technology (IT) manager, and Liliana Gonzalez, ATM manager, to Edmonton to study the daily maintenance and operations of ATMs in Servus branches. “These technical visits really crystallize the value each party brings to the partnership,” said Vern Albush, Servus director of corporate social responsibility. “Our goal for this technical internship was to help Caja Yanga successfully launch its first cash dispensing ATMs and gain a better understanding of the process involved in making the IT and banking system expansion decisions necessary to address rapidly growing demand.” The two Caja Yanga delegates spent seven working days with Servus employees, learning to manage in-branch ATMs and discussing everything from proper balancing procedures and machine troubleshooting to the physical security of the ATM itself. Servus stressed the importance of dual custody of combinations and showed how proper security procedures for staff working with ATMs help boost confidence and reduce liabilities that employees shoulder when dealing with the machines. The pair also job-shadowed Servus employees during a typical daily ATM check and balance at a local branch. “Having access to Servus technical staff is extremely beneficial given their decades-long experience in administering ATM operations,” Maceda said. “I learned a great deal, especially why planning for growth is so important instead of simply concentrating on immediate needs of the ATM network and card services.” The Mexican credit union installed new computer servers in December and is updating many of its system. The visitors also looked at the credit union’s IT and communications infrastructure. Maceda took particular interest in server software and usage and commercial electronic messaging options. Maceda and Gonzalez identified areas in which Caja Yanga can implement some of Servus’ operating practices. Gonzalez will change the way ATMs are serviced and balanced and implement stricter policies and procedures, including surprise cash counts. Maceda will make changes when she reviews the new e-mail and communications infrastructure for the credit union.
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