The Sunmark Federal Credit Union branch in Delmar is expected to open for business later this year at its newest location on Delaware Avenue. (Submitted photo)
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DELMAR — The new Sunmark Federal Credit Union branch set to open on Delaware Avenue will offer 24-hour services unmatched by most financial institutions in the Capital District, according to Sunmark CEO Frank DeGraw.
The new Delmar branch will offer ITMs—”We call them MyTMs,” said DeGraw-—that features significantly more functionality than traditional ATMs and will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The machines, already in use at the Rotterdam and Broadway, Schenectady branches, can be used by members and non-members.
Sunmark was established in 1937 by GE as Schenectady G.E. Turbine Department’s Federal Credit Union #1884. As a credit union, it is different than a traditional bank in that it is a non-profit institution that passes profits on to its members. But, according to DeGraw, Sunmark’s most important defining characteristic is its employees.
“It’s pretty evident from the feedback we get from our membership,” he said. “Even though we have a lot of similar products and services, it’s all about the experience the person has when they’re doing business with us that counts.”
DeGraw cited a recent employee meeting, during which employees were asked to stand if they had contributed time, resources or money to any one of the charities supported by the Sunmark Foundation (Albany Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and Capital Roots among them). “Every single person stood up,” he said with pride. “One hundred percent of our employees, even the newest ones, had gotten involved in some way.
“We take pride in being part of the communities that we serve,” he said, explaining that the decision to open the Delmar branch was a direct result of member requests. “That’s what our members asked us to do.”
Acknowledging that a full 93 percent of Sunmark transactions take place online, DeGraw said it was still important to the credit union to provide physical banking branches for those who prefer to see a face, have a question or need to complete a transaction not yet provided by the new ITM machines.
“Our vision is to be the trusted financial partner that provides value and convenience to our members,” he said. “There’s more to service than just a transaction. Members like to know that they have somewhere close to their job and home where they can just walk in and talk to somebody.”
Sunmark now has nine branches in six counties, and plans to continue opening branches—with smaller physical footprints than a traditional branch building and ITM machines—to accommodate current and potential members. DeGraw, who has been with the institution since before it rebranded, said that the business philosophy has remained unchanged.
“We didn’t change our philosophy of people helping people, which is the credit union philosophy,” he said. “We just made our services available to a broader spectrum of people.”
The Delmar branch will be 2000 square feet, with a gabled exterior design and two drive through lanes, equipped with the new ITM machines. Inside, the building will be staffed by a manager, two consultants, and two “concierge” positions to help members who may need assistance with one of the four interior ITM machines.