Video Guidance helps growing Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union continue to put people above profits

by | Jul 10, 2013 | UC

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (July 2013) – Already the largest credit union in Minnesota with state based assets, Affinity Plus continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  The not-for-profit cooperative continues to grow and expand its number of statewide branches in order to reach more communities throughout the state.  As it grows, Affinity Plus is well aware of how critical communications is…and will become.  To help effectively reach its members as well as its employees, the credit union has enlisted Video Guidance to include video conferencing as an important component of its communications strategy.

Video conferencing has revolutionized the way people connect and as a result, organizations around the world are making visual communications a strategic priority.  In addition to managing 27 branches in all corners of Minnesota, Affinity Plus has just completed the acquisition of the Minnesota-based branch of Oak Trust Credit Union located in Eagan, which will add more than 4,000 members and nearly quadrupling the staff in its Eagan branch alone.

“Through video conferencing, we are able to connect with members and employees throughout the state, making a huge difference in our ability to put people above profits,” said  Keith Malbrue, CIO of Affinity Plus, which for the second time has won the Minnesota Business Ethics Award, and the only time a credit union has won the prestigious award. Through this award, Affinity Plus has been recognized for its commitment to serving its members, communities, and people across the state in an ethical manner.

Affinity Plus works with Twin Cities-based Video Guidance to manage its video conferencing programs through its cloud-based video service — VG Connect™.  VG Connect is an integration of video conferencing tools that combines desktop, mobile and room systems with HD video, voice, multi-point bridging, streaming and gateway programs. Video Guidance has deployed systems in several of Affinity Plus’s numerous statewide branches, stretching from its St. Paul headquarters to Grand Rapids, and from Moorhead to Rochester.

“We are saving time and money from the exorbitant costs of traveling all over the state, and investing those savings in programs and services that benefit our members,” said Malbrue.  “In addition, we are greatly improving our ability to communicate with our employees and connect our investment advisors and financial experts with our members.”

Video Guidance provides its User Adoption Program to help Affinity Plus employees and members easily manage a video meeting.  The industry-unique service trains the trainer to make sure the users are comfortable, confident and capable, making video conferencing easy to use.

Affinity Plus recognizes the role technology can play when making banking even more convenient for its members, and as a result has begun to research options that may allow members to continue to build their relationship with Affinity Plus from their home.

Putting people first is central to Affinity Plus’s mission.  In addition to using video conferencing to maximize internal communications, the credit union also understands how it is helping to build other relationships.  Utilizing its large Roseville facility, Affinity Plus hosts member and community events and seminars, including seminars hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce.  Affinity Plus also allows small businesses located in the communities served by its branches to utilize its video conferencing system at no cost.

“We are a member-first organization with a strong commitment to our communities.  We’re proud and honored to welcome people into our doors every day, whether that is for personal financial reasons, or community events,” said Malbrue.

With more than 80 percent of its business coming from referrals, Affinity Plus understands the importance and responsibility of being an ethical leader the community.

Malbrue says, “It’s always the right time to do what’s right.”

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