Following a thorough review of Queensland Country Credit Union’s branch network, the organisation has decided to close its Mission Beach branch on 28 June 2019.
According to CEO, Aaron Newman, low transaction volumes in the location means it is no longer viable to provide a full-service branch offering.
“Branch delivery continues to be a vital part of Queensland Country’s offering for Members. Unfortunately though, our analysis shows that over the past six months, 94% of Members in Mission Beach used the branch on average less than once a month. As with other financial institutions, the organisation cannot continue to provide a full-service branch offering at locations where demand is low,” he explained.
Services will continue to be provided to Members via Queensland Country’s nearby Innisfail branch, our Contact Centre, via the national network of ATMs and point-of-sale terminals, internet banking and phone banking.
Additionally, Queensland Country’s association with the [email protected] scheme will allow Members with an eligible card that require face-to-face banking transactions to continue to do so in both locations.
Members in the Mission Beach area have been sent correspondence regarding the change. In addition, further information can be provided by calling 1800 075 078 or emailing [email protected].
Why is the Branch Closing?
- Queensland Country has proudly operated in Mission Beach for many years.
- In recent years, conditions within the community and a trend towards banking via point of sale transactions (EFTPOS), ATMs, phone banking, internet banking and our banking app have contributed to a decline in branch usage.
- In the past six months, only 6% of Members in Mission Beach have used the branch more than once per month. This level of transaction demand cannot sustain a full-service branch presence.
When is the branch closing?
- It is important to Queensland Country that we give Members and staff time to prepare for these changes. Therefore these changes will not come into effect until Friday 28 June 2019.
What alternatives to closing the branch were considered?
- Queensland Country is committed to the communities in which we operate. We only consider closing a branch as a last alternative.
- Queensland Country has looked for ways to cater to the reduced demand we have experienced.
- Despite our best efforts, the demand is not sufficient to sustain a branch presence.
What does this mean for my accounts and membership?
- The management of your accounts and membership will be transferred to Innisfail Branch
What do I need to do?
- Accounts will automatically be transferred to Innisfail Branch. This will not affect how you use your accounts or any of the details specific to your account. You can continue to use any of our branches right across the State.
How Can I continue to operate my account with Queensland Country?
- Many Queensland Country Members live outside our branch networks and easily manage their accounts with us through a variety of channels. You can continue to operate your Queensland Country account via the below methods:
- Internet Banking
- Phone Banking (Landline: 1300 722 812 / Mobile: 07 4728 2666)
- [email protected] – access via most Australia Post locations
- Our Queensland based contact centre 1800 075 078
How can I deposit funds into my Personal account?
- You can continue to transact at our Mission Beach branch as normal up to and including Friday 28 June 2018.
- You can arrange to have funds directly credited to your account by providing your BSB (704-640), account number and account name to your employer or anyone who you expect to receive funds from.
- Cash and Cheques can also be deposited to your personal account using Bank @ Post. A card (excluding Business Visa) must be present to authenticate the transaction. These transactions are free for holders of All Access, Earners and Learners, Pension Plus, Ultimate Package, Mortgage Offset and Line of Credit accounts. For other accounts, a $2.65 fee applies to cash/cheque deposits and for deposits containing additional cheques, a $0.50 fee applies.
How can I withdraw cash from my personal account?
- You can continue to transact at our Mission Beach branch as normal up to and including Friday 28 June 2019.
- After this date, cash can be withdrawn from any ATM or point-of-sale terminal using your CueCard, Visa Debit Card or Visa Credit Card.
- Alternatively cash can also be withdrawn from your account using Bank @ Post. A card (excluding Business Visa) must be present to authenticate the transaction. These transactions are free for All Access, Earners and Learners, Pension Plus, Ultimate Package, Mortgage Offset and Line of Credit accounts. For other accounts, a $2.50 fee applies to cash withdrawals.
Can I still operate my business accounts?
- Accounts that have a CueCard, Visa Debit or Personal Visa Credit Card attached can use the Bank @ Post facility to deposit both cash and cheques. Withdrawals can also be performed through this facility.
- Accounts that are operated using a Business Card facility i.e. Business Visa will not be able to use the Bank @ Post facility as the Credit Union’s agreement with Australia Post only permits personal banking and does not extend to business banking.
- The Credit Union offers business banking solutions such as merchant facilities and Bpay Biller to assist your cash flow requirements. Additional information on these facilities can be obtained by talking to your local staff or calling our contact centre staff on 1800 075 078.
Can I still purchase a corporate cheque?
- Yes, Corporate Cheques can be purchased from any of our branches across the state. In your case, the nearest branch is Innisfail.
- An alternative to purchasing a Corporate Cheque is to purchase a Money Order through any Australia Post location. For more details on this service contact Australia Post or view the below link: http://auspost.com.au/personal/sending-money.html
- You can also transfer funds using our online internet banking facility.
How do I arrange cash floats for my business?
- Members requiring cash floats are welcome to use the nearby Queensland Country branch at Innisfail.
Will the ATM continue to operate?
- No, the ATM will be removed. However there are other ATMs close by and Woolworths will allow cash out from any of their check outs.
How do I manage my health fund claims now?
- You can easily manage your health fund claims online via our Online Member Services, via the Health Fund app or by calling our Health Fund Contact Centre on 1800 813 415. Ensure you have your health fund card with you when you use your benefits, as most providers can swipe your card to retrieve your benefit immediately.
What does this mean for local staff?
- Queensland Country’s staff are our greatest asset.
- As a people focussed business, they are an important part of the broader Queensland Country family and their wellbeing is important to us.
- We are currently working with the Mission Beach branch staff to determine the impact of the changes on their individual circumstances and determine how best we can support them.
What does this mean more broadly for Queensland Country’s operations?
- Queensland Country is currently in a strong financial position.
- However, low transaction volumes and low opportunities for growth have placed increased pressure on our operations in some of the communities where Queensland Country operates.
- Like any business, we are constantly monitoring the market for any changes or disruptions that may have an impact on or provide an opportunity for the business. This is how we have managed to be successful in Queensland for over 45 years.
- While localised branch services continues to be a vital part of how Queensland Country delivers its business, increasingly we are seeing Members choosing to access our services via other delivery channels.
- Queensland Country is therefore evolving our business delivery methods to match this demand and follow changes in consumer behaviour.
- Queensland Country will continue to be strong by adapting our business for the future.
Would Mission Beach have closed if the merger between ECU and Queensland Country did not occur?
- One of the challenges that ECU faced prior to the merger was a high cost structure.
- Had they not chosen to merge with Queensland Country and remained a standalone organisation, they would have been required to make decisions that reduced their costs.
- Based on current usage rates, it is likely that closing Mission Beach would have been one of the cost-saving initiatives that ECU would have considered.
If business members can't deposit funds through [email protected] what do you recommend regarding banking cash for my business?
- Cash deposits can be made at any Queensland Country branch. Your closest branch is located in Innisfail.
- Queensland Country can work with business owners regarding options that encourage less people to pay by cash. Such options may include point-of-sale terminals or the New Payments Platform (NPP) that allows immediate transfer of funds.