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Credit Union Upgrades to Make Ethical Borrowing and Saving More Efficient

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A Welsh credit union has been totally modernised to make the process of ethical borrowing and saving faster and safer than ever before for its 10,000-plus members.

Celtic Credit Union is emerging from the pandemic after an “overwhelming” project to streamline all IT and telecom systems, debit card, savings accounts, website and social media platforms.

Despite the lockdown restrictions they also managed to open a new branch office in the centre of Port Talbot.

Julie Mallinson, Strategy and Business Development Manager of Celtic Credit Union, which operates across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, said the overhaul was an incredible challenge due to Covid-19.

“Without doubt we had a lot of challenges to face, but we’ve managed to future-proof our credit union by introducing even more secure services for the benefit of our members,” she said.

“I think we’re coming out of the Coronavirus pandemic bigger and better than we’ve ever been which is something to celebrate”.

The introduction of a new digital telecom system made it easier for staff to work from home during lockdown.

They changed their banking platform and accounting system which meant transferring 8,500 adult and 2,500 junior accounts to a new, streamlined system.

Staff worked together to develop their website and embark on a digital marketing campaign to encourage new members.

Celtic Credit Union became the first community bank in Wales to introduce the Optimus Debit Card for its members.  The card is branded as the ‘CCU Debit Card’ and is directly linked to members’ CCU account so there is no need to upload funds via a third-party payment processor.  The card offers many features and benefits, including use abroad but is blocked from use on gambling websites.

“It’s been a hugely challenging and wide-ranging upgrade project, but as more and more banks and post offices disappear from our high streets, and with high-interest lenders popping up everywhere, the time is right for credit unions to branch out even further”, Julie added.

“We are now concentrating on making our presence felt in Swansea while also maintaining our strong position in Neath Port Talbot. In the spring we will relaunch our school saver scheme across both county boroughs.”