West Union Street’s latest addition is an Ohio University Credit Union storefront.
The soft-launch was Monday, Oct. 24 to allow the employees to get accustomed with the new space and make sure the systems are running properly, Laura Pratt, the marketing manager of OU Credit Union, said a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, Nov. 4.
The idea for an uptown storefront came after the 2014 West Union fire. Because many buildings were destroyed and gutted. OU Credit Union staff had the opportunity to design the space and build from the ground up, Pratt said.
The uptown storefront offers convenience for students, staff and other credit union members who work around the West Union location, Pratt said. One of those students with an OU Credit Union account is Nicole Rhoads, a junior studying strategic communication.
“It’s a great location,” Rhoads said. “When I was a freshman, it was hard to get to the Credit Union because I didn’t have a car so I had to walk there or I just didn’t go.”
Gabrielle Shipta, a senior studying nutrition, has a credit union at home, but uses OU Credit Union while on campus. The West Union location will improve her banking while she’s at school, she said.
“It’s good. It’s right near the university,” Shipta said. “People can walk in easily. … It’ll be beneficial.”
The ATMs scattered across campus are useful, Rhoads said, but there are some things a storefront will be more useful for.
“You can’t do some things through ATMs so having that right near Court Street is super convenient,” Rhoads said.
Those services include opening new accounts, applying for loans and setting up meetings with investment centers.
Pratt said the OU Credit Union is implementing new technology to assist in those services. Members will enter glass booths and speak with a teller through a screen and carry out all business through a machine. That process, Pratt said, will provide members with more privacy than traditional teller lines.
“It allows efficiency and security for a member and the credit unions,” Pratt said. “Because it is a narrow space, an open teller line wouldn’t have that privacy. … There’s a whole bunch of options for the customer.”
Pratt said the location could benefit students who don’t have cars.
“This location offers a lot of convenience to our membership,” Pratt said.
Published for The Post on October 30, 2016.