Q: What is a Shared Branch?

  • A Shared Branch is a credit union branch that is equipped to accept transactions from members of other credit unions. When members use a Shared Branch, they'll find the person-to-person service with the added convenience of new locations. Participating credit unions display the distinctive CO-OP logo ensuring that members can quickly and easily identify locations that offer shared branching. Members can also find a participating credit union or kiosk by calling 888-SITE-CO-OP, visiting co-opsharedbranch.org or using a free iPhone or Android app.

Q: How does a member perform a transaction?

  1. Members go into a participating shared branch location and provide their home credit union name, account number and photo ID to access their accounts.
  2. The teller at the Shared Branch (or Acquirer) processes a member verification, sending a message through a data switch to the member's home credit union (the Issuer) or its service bureau. The Issuer's data-processing system (or service bureau) sends the member's personal and account information back through the switch to the acquirer. This process takes approximately five seconds.
  3. Members then have access to all their accounts and can make deposits, withdrawals, transfers and loan payments as if they were at their home credit union. When transactions are complete, the Acquirer sends information back through the switch to the issuer credit union or service bureau, and the account information is updated immediately.
  4. The Shared Branch network uses an online require-and-reply system, which essentially asks permission of the Issuer to complete a specific transaction. If the transaction falls within the Issuer's parameters in the interface, the transaction will proceed; otherwise, it will be declined. In other words, the transaction will occur only if the member's credit union allows it. Otherwise, the transaction will be declined.
  5. Every night, all transactions and fees are settled automatically through the data switch and the Issuer's settlement account. To help with daily balancing, informational reports are available in a format that best suits the Issuer's needs.

Q: Do my members have to become a member of the credit union hosting a Shared Branch?

  • No. In fact, the rules of the CO-OP Shared Branch Network state that the hosting credit union should not solicit visiting members to join their credit union. The UsNet's shared branching network is built on the concept of cooperation and provides a neutral environment in order to benefit credit union members nationwide.

Q: Is there an additional transaction fee to members for using a shared branch?

  • No. Members do not pay for transactions made through MSRs at a Shared Branch.

Q: Is there anything members can't do at a shared branch?

Members can't:

  • Join the credit union.
  • Correct errors on an account.
  • Open, close or make changes to an account.