Sunday Hours Gaining Steam

June 12, 2006
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MUSKEGON — Didn’t get a chance to cash your paycheck on Friday or Saturday?

Now Family Financial Credit Union members can do their banking on Sunday at the new

1798 Holton Road
location in North Muskegon

The new location is open from to on Sunday, as well as Monday through Friday and on Saturday.

Sally Messner, vice president of marketing, said the decision was made simply to offer better service to the credit union’s members.

“We can’t compete monetarily with banks because they have a lot of money and we don’t, but we can compete in the service area,” Messner said. “We’re always looking ahead to try and figure out what will make us first in the area, what will keep us ahead of the game and what will be good in that community.”

The 62-year-old credit union, formerly Sealed Power Employees Credit Union, serves Muskegon, Mason, Oceana and Newaygo counties.

So far, extended hours and loan specials have been good for the credit union’s third branch, Messner said.

“The first week we were open, we opened 400 accounts,” she said. “It was absolutely insane — it was wonderful, really.”

Messner said though Sunday hours are new to the area, the response has been positive.

“I don’t see that it’s going to be a problem,” she said. “We’re so busy — that must mean something.”

Being busy is one of the reasons Messner said she believes members like the Sunday hours.

“We’re all overworked, we’re all busy,” she said of society in general. “Running through the drive-through on Sunday is just really nice.”

The new hours are not an imposition for employees who might prefer to have Sunday off, Messner said.

“We hired people that have volunteered to work the Sunday hours,” she said. “We’re not going to force people into Sunday hours.”

Messner said though the Sunday-hours trend has not caught on quickly throughout the financial services industry, she believes it is the wave of the future.

“I think we all know that’s what we’re going to be doing: better hours for people,” she said.

Lori Bahnmueller, spokeswoman for the Michigan Credit Union League, said many credit unions are surveying their members to see what hours are preferred. While only a few are adding Sunday hours, many are opening earlier or staying open later on other days.

“There’s so much competition in financial services that if you’re not responding to your customer, then they will go elsewhere,” she said. “They’re really trying to make them as accessible as possible.”

Charlotte Birch, spokeswoman for the American Bankers’ Association, said that for larger banks, adding Sunday hours is a growing trend.

“I think what we’re seeing more and more is banks are adapting to meet their customers’ needs,” she said.

Birch said that according to a retail bank survey that the association conducted, 18 percent of banks with a billion dollars or more in assets have Sunday lobby hours at a traditional branch, and 53 percent offer Sunday hours in a supermarket location. For those banks with less than $500 million in assets, only 3 percent have Sunday hours.

A 2006 survey of community bank CEOs found that 8 percent offered Sunday hours, Birch said.

“It’s not surprising that it’s increasing,” she said. “We’re finding more banks are offering services that are more convenient for their customers.”

Birch said that while she doesn’t see banks moving to Sunday hours en masse, she acknowledged that Sunday hours and extended hours in general are becoming more prevalent.

“I think it’s recognition that customers are busy, and in the modern marketplace a lot of businesses are offering their services over extended hours.”    

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