With the soft opening of Hawaii State Federal Credit Union's Salt Lake Shopping Center branch this week, the credit union will not only be the first in Hawaii to utilize integrated teller machines but it will be the first in the nation to utilize them with biometric authentication, better known as palm vein scan.
"People have heard of fingerprints and facial recognition but the vein pattern in your palm is the most complex biometric distinction to date, so it is very secure," VP of Branch Experience Aaron Vallely said. "It was a big investment for the credit union but a big factor was how it could change the experience for customers."
These machines are capable of doing everything an ATM can and more.
"The ITM can do 80% of the transactions that a normal teller can do," Branch Manager Micah Yoshimura said.
Unlike ATM's, the integrated teller machines, or ITMs, can dispense coins, vary the denomination of dollars withdrawn as cash, print out bank statements and even access all Hawaii State FCU accounts, allowing members the ability to pay on a loan or mortgage from the teller machine.
"It's a blend between what an ATM and online banking can do," Vallely said. In July Hawaii State Federal Credit Union reported Monday that it exceeded $1 billion in loan balances, making it the state's first billion-dollar credit union lender. Over the last five years Hawaii State FCU increased its loan portfolio — doubling from $509 million in June 2014 to more than $1 billion in June 2019.
Hawaii State FCU's CEO and President Andrew Rosen told PBN in April that its member growth, which has averaged 6% annually, is what prompted the need for a new branch. Five employees were brought on for this location.
The Salt Lake branch will be a "test lab" for new banking tech. Hawaii State FCU will be monitoring the success of the tech integration before incorporating the same tech into its other branches.
The Salt Lake Shopping Center branch was chosen because of a gap in coverage between Downtown Honolulu and Pearlridge. This 1,700-square-foot location is smaller than the credit union's other 2,500 to 3,000-square-foot branches.
Among the latest innovations at the new location include two "touch tables," which are essentially two giant tablets that double as tabletop counters for customers to browse credit union offerings, a rolling barn door that transforms a private consultation room into an additional teller line, and a check in system that queues members in line and lets tellers know what the customer's needs are.
"We wanted our members to have options, so we built it into the design as a way to combine traditional transactions with this technology," Vallely said. There is one more branch that Hawaii State FCU is finalizing and hopes to open by the end of the year.