Smart Phone App Helps Credit Union Members Across Canada Find Ding-free ATMs

Credit union members in Atlantic Canada can now use a smartphone to download a locator app and find surcharge-free ATMs anywhere in Canada.

The smartphone app comes throughCredit Union Central of Canadain an initiative called the ding-free ATM locator.

“Members can obtain cash from a connected ATM without getting dinged with a surcharge,” spokesman Paul Paruch said Wednesday.

Paruch is withAtlantic Centralin Halifax, which represents more than 57 independent, co-operative credit unions in the region, with about 335,000 members and more than $3.9 billion in assets.

“Credit unions across Canada have banded together to promote the feature and the connectivity of these organizations coast-to-coast,” said Paruch.

Most credit union members in Atlantic Canada have had surcharge-free access to ATMs for about a decade.

This marketing effort, and the development of the ding-free ATM locator, is intended to show how credit union members can use any participating ATM without paying the fee typically charged when using an ATM their credit union does not own.

“Atlantic Canadians visiting western provinces can use the locator app to find a nearby ding-free ATM in just about any neighbourhood,” said Paruch.

Credit Union Central of Canada, the national trade association for the Canadian credit union system, had the locator app developed to promote the connectivity of its network, which includes a variety of non-credit union financial institutions.

“Our links with credit unions across Canada provide a level of surcharge-free connectivity that exceeds that of some banks,” said Paruch.

Credit union members have downloaded the locator app in significant numbers for the iPhone, Android, Windows and BlackBerry platforms.

“We are currently ranked the 13th most popular free financial app, and just last week were on the list for What’s Hot in financial services downloads on iTunes,” said Paruch.

Obtaining cash from an ATM that is not linked to the credit union network can cost at least $2.

Rather than paying that $2 fee, the credit union member can fire up the trusty ding-free ATM locator app to obtain a neighbourhood map that shows the location of various surcharge-free machines.

Credit unions across Canada are linked to both the Acculink and The Exchange networks, providing members with access to more than 2,400 surcharge-free ATMs.

“Members had the access but were perhaps unaware of the feature. We thought the ding-free promotion would promote the connectivity of the credit union network,” said Paruch.

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