The potential to help member credit unions attract more customers was a key driver behind Co-op Financial Services' decision this week to renew its ATM agreement with Cardtronics Inc., according to the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based credit union service provider.

Under the five-year agreement, participants in Co-op-member credit unions will continue to have surcharge-free access to Cardtronics ATMs housed in 7-Eleven convenience, Costco warehouse and Walgreen drug stores. The two companies initially began working together November 2005; the new agreement expires in July 2014. 

Cardtronics owns 5,500 ATMs in 7-Eleven stores nationwide, 340 ATMs in Costco stores and 670 ATMs in Walgreen stores. About 2,200 of the machines in 7-Eleven stores accept deposits. The contract renewal is good news for Cardtronics, Kate Monahan, an analyst with Aite Group LLC, a Boston-based consulting firm, tells ATM&Debit News.

"Any time you add new business and get a multiyear contract on the books, it's a good thing," Monahan says.

Convenient access to surcharge-free ATMs gives Co-op-member credit unions a competitive edge in attracting new participants, contends Stan Hollen, Co-op president and CEO.
"7-Eleven is a large chain store, so having Co-op Financial in these locations is a great benefit credit unions can offer their members," he says. "Co-op drives a significant amount of transaction volume for Cardtronics' 7-Eleven ATMs."
More than 3.2 million Co-op transactions occur each month at ATMs deployed in the convenience-store chain's stores, up 6.7% from an average of 3 million in 2008, a Co-op spokesperson tells ATM&Debit News.

Before Co-op signed its initial agreement with Houston-based Cardtronics, members of Co-op credit unions initiated fewer than 1 million transactions per month at 7-Eleven ATMs, a Co-op spokesperson tells ATM&Debit News, noting Walgreen and Costco Co-op ATM transaction data were not available.

Co-op's logo appears on ATMs where its members' cards are accepted surcharge-free. Co-op Network, Co-op Financial's proprietary network for its credit-union members, provides surcharge-free access to 28,000 ATMs, primarily housed in buildings owned by Co-op member credit unions. The credit unions own the ATMs. ATM

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