By Janet Stoica
The Webster First Federal Credit Union’s prominent location at 1 North Main Street has served its members well since 1967, but come January, the branch will be moving.
“We’ve opted to build a new Webster facility,” said Michael Lussier, President of Webster First Federal Credit Union. “The town was selling the former Filmer School building last year and it was the right location, not too far away from the current site.
The North Main Street location last saw major changes ten years ago. Management had determined that the Webster site, which housed their operations center, was not large enough. Consequently, they opened a new 90,000 square foot operations center on Greenwood Street in Worcester. The operations center personnel moved to Greenwood Street, but the Webster branch continued to serve the local community.
Mr. Lussier said the new, energy-efficient building at 41 East Main Street will feature a full inside teller line, two drive-up windows, a state-of-the-art outdoor ATM machine, and a night drop box for local businesses. The safety deposit boxes will be retained.
“The new building will be more customer-oriented and member-friendly. It will include individual private offices for member confidentiality and easy access to our branch manager. All staff will remain the same,” said Mr. Lussier.
He also explained that new cash transaction technology will be installed, including recycling machines for large cash deposits. The tellers will not have to handle the cash. The currency will be inserted into the recyclers, which take photos of each bill counted.
“Our goal is to continue to grow within Worcester County. We look for branch locations that are situated in bedroom communities. We’ve really grown our footprint and have acquired many other credit unions,” said Mr. Lussier.
Mr. Lussier is the author of The Credit Union Merger & Acquisition Handbook, an insider’s guide to credit union mergers, which became a sellout publication. “Because of our efficient operations, our return on assets is one of the highest in the entire credit union industry, which again results in the ability to provide the most technologically advanced services being offered by credit unions today. We’re constantly advancing our technology,” he said. “In addition, all of our services are free, and we can share branching services with over 6,300 locations. It’s a great feature for college students where their parents might make deposits to the student’s credit union account.”
Halina Jachimczyk, assistant vice president and branch manager at 1 North Main Street, commented on the impending move as well. “This new building will be ideal for our customers. We’ll have an improved customer transaction flow and it will be a much better customer experience. Our members deserve this new facility to enjoy their visits here. It will be a good reflection of how they are appreciated.”
Ms. Jachimczyk, who’s been with the credit union for 12 years, said “It has not been determined yet what will happen to the location at 1 North Main.”
Founded in 1928, Webster First Federal Credit Union is fully insured with the NCUA, an arm of the U.S. Treasury, for deposits up to $250,000 and additionally insured with the MSIC for deposits over $250,000 unlimited. Webster First Federal Credit Union, 1 North Main Street, Webster; Phone: 508-943-1433. www.WebsterFirst.com.
The credit union’s other Central Massachusetts branches include Auburn, Charlton, Douglas, Dudley, Spencer, Whitinsville, and Worcester.