Just-The-Right Present: Financial Products and Member Services


A ‘mega’ credit union that offers financial counseling, mobile baking and bill-payer service might be a member’s perfect gift.

By Sharon Sweda

Gift-giving poses a dilemma for most shoppers. Oh sure, every now and then you know just the right gift to purchase for someone’s birthday, graduation or Christmas, but odds are, unless you are one of those naturally gifted givers, your gift is rarely “just right.” Girls love clothes, but sizes are an issue; guys love gadgets, but price can be the problem. Children love toys, but even if you are familiar with the latest fad, you do not know the current inventory of the child’s toy box.

Wescom Federal Credit Union recognized the challenge along with the “one size fits all” gift card phenomena has been a Godsend for many, but mostly the recipient. Wescom FCU, which has branch offices spanning from Oxnard, Calif., south to Mission Viejo and east to Palmdale, is assisting members with the daunting task of gift-shopping with their quick and easy gift-card purchase service that scrolls across their homepage. Just a couple clicks eliminates the burden of driving to a mall or shopping center to browse for ideas while debating selections and finally purchasing a gift that now requires gift-wrapping or bag. The choice is clear for those who hate gift shopping.

Wescom is one of the nation’s largest credit unions, which explains why they would be more apt to tackle innovative ancillary products. Size does have benefits, and often those benefits include the time and resources to initiate and implement products and services that otherwise would not merit the manpower or time in a smaller operation.

The interesting history of Wescom defies the growth and size of today’s credit union. For 40 years, the credit union served employees of Pacific Telephone where 13 original members combined $13 as start-up capital for the original Telephone Employees Credit Union. The goal was similar to the vast majority of credit unions where employees joined together in an effort to provide banking alternatives and greater ability to borrow.

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