Having established a strong market base in the greater Wilmington area, Corning Credit Union is stretching its footprint across the border into Horry County, South Carolina.
Last March, the New York-based financial institution opened a service center in Surfside Beach, part of the Myrtle Beach market. And this week, CCU officially cuts the ribbon on that location as well as on its brand-new Myrtle Beach-area service center, located in the community of Carolina Forest.
“After six months, the Surfside Beach center has been welcomed with open arms,” said Robin Davis, Corning Credit Union’s vice president of market operations. “People are stopping by to say hello because they’ve seen our announcements. It’s been a great experience.”
Both centers, while lacking a traditional teller line, offer a full menu of products and services, Davis said.
“The service center concept is based on convenience,” she said Monday. “We have a very robust digital channel and full-service ATM onsite. Our Corning team members there can handle new accounts, consumer loans and mortgages. They can answer general questions and help with regular services like notaries. Members can use the full-service ATM for deposits, check cashing and payments. We’re online, on the phone, and in person.”
Corning, like financial institutions everywhere, is relying increasingly on its digital presence. Everyday transactions no longer need to be in person.
“We have a robust call center for accounts and loans,” Davis added. “Anybody can reach us 24/7, and online. We’re already [on the phone] in your pocket.”
Expanding to Horry County made sense for CCU, Davis continued.
“Horry County is adjacent to the North Carolina market and is one of the top-10 fastest-growing markets in the U.S.,” she said. “We’ve done significant research and are confident that we can offer all those products and services, along with exceptional service. With it being adjacent to the Wilmington market, it plays out so nicely to extend that footprint.”
Since credit unions are membership-based, who can join CCU in South Carolina? The official answer, according to Davis, is anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Horry County is eligible for membership and can take advantage of all the credit union’s products and services, including home mortgages.
What about South Carolinians outside the county?
“We certainly encourage anyone interested in joining to contact us,” said Beth Loesch, CCU’s manager of marketing and public relations in the Carolinas market.
That market now consists of the two Myrtle Beach service centers and five locations in the Wilmington market: one in Hampstead, one in Leland, and three in Wilmington itself. Davis said that, of Corning Credit Union’s 150,000 total members, about 35,600 of them are in the Wilmington market.