After seven years of looking for a new location and working on redeveloping the interior space, CFCU Community Credit Union held an official ribbon cutting for their new transformation center on the Ithaca Commons last week.
The new center, located in the historic First National Bank Building, was a bit of a challenge to work with, according to President and CEO of CFCU Lisa Whitaker. Upon inhabiting the new space, she wanted to have the classic interior style with modern touches throughout the building.
“We started in 2017 and we had looked for about five years before picking this location,” Whitaker said. “Then the real work started in 2017 and we went through iterations of what layout was going to be like. There’s also a lot of elements inside that are historic and they were preserved, so we had to work with that as well. It’s balancing the historical features with state of the art technology, which was our goal.”
The opening was made even more special as the ribbon they were using had $500 in ten dollar bills spread across it, with that money being donated to a local charity. Whitaker was delighted by both the turnout and seeing all those years of hard work pay off in the end. Some of the new additions to the transformation center include the addition of a genius bar, which is designed to replace the traditional bank teller line.
“The genius bar allows members and our staff to have comfortable conversations that are instructive by using the equipment,” Whitaker said. “For example, if a member comes in and says I don’t know how to use this feature on home banking, they can go right over to one of the phones, either a Samsung or an iPhone; we have multiple types of phones.”
Whitaker also spoke about the new co-lab spaces that allow members who are unable to be helped by the staff of the transformation center connectivity to another location. Other features include regular automated teller machines (ATM) but will also feature Virtual Teller Machines (VTM) as well. These have the same functions as an ATM but will allow customers could use a palm print to access their account information instead of having to use a traditional pin code. This new feature will allow for members to have additional security.
Whitaker and her team had to address some of the difficulties inherent in moving to an older building and preserving the features it comes with.
Several local officials, including Mayor Svante Myrick, spoke about the benefits this new center will bring to downtown Ithaca. Whitaker said that while there are many things changing with CFCU, there are some aspects the community has come to know that will remain the same.
“Our fierce commitment to serving our members, providing them with a banking experience beyond their expectations from our helpful and friendly staff,” Whitaker said. “That means this new branch still offers all the same service options people have come to expect from many of our branches."