Symphonies and Check Processing: The Common Thread

Posted: Oct 31, 2023 | Author: Brad Ganey, Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union SVP/COO
Catalyst Corporate FCU  item processing 

Cello. Clarinet. Piccolo. Tympani. In the hands of a skilled musician, each instrument has the capacity to make pleasant music.

Bring them all together with a variety of other instruments under the guidance of a conductor, and the result can be even more beautiful – a harmonious symphony that is more powerful than the sum of the individual instruments!

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" is a concept often attributed to the philosopher Aristotle, emphasizing that when elements are combined, their collective impact can be more significant than what each individual element can achieve alone.

In the business setting, different departments and teams work on various aspects of a project or service offering. When these units collaborate effectively, they can achieve more significant results than if each team worked independently.

Another example comes from technology, where the components of a computer or smartphone – such as the processor, memory and software, work together seamlessly to provide a functional and powerful device that can perform a wide range of tasks. Individually, these components may not be as useful.

In the credit union industry – where we compete with for-profit financial institutions and fintechs that have deep pockets and agendas quite different from ours – the “whole is greater” philosophy often serves us well. Alliances of individual credit unions functioning as “chapters” or as trade associations can tackle and accomplish goals that would be more difficult to achieve as solo institutions.

So, what if credit unions came together under one umbrella to consolidate their item processing to achieve benefits that would not be available to them individually?

Aggregation of remote deposit services, share draft processing, settlement and liquidity, and back-office support could be centralized for volume economies of scale. Because when checks are on the decline, finding efficiency and cost-savings matters.

This is happening today with TranzCapture™, a powerful, all-in-one check processing solution that is a collaborative effort among five corporate credit unions – Catalyst Corporate FCU, Alloya Corporate FCU, Corporate One FCU, Vizo Financial Corporate CU and most recently, Volunteer Corporate CU. Representing more than 3,700 credit unions in 49 states, the partnership creates the largest credit union check processor in the country with volume of approximately 420 million checks each year. Credit union ownership allows for control over product design and enhancements. And, centralization of item processing tasks ultimately reduces credit union staff workload, allowing staff to reorient to more meaningful tasks.

Synergy, cooperation and the collective effort of diverse elements can lead to outcomes that are not only greater, but also qualitatively different from what can be achieved individually. It turns out the power of collaboration can be found in more than music, business teams and technology. Aggregation of item processing benefits credit unions across the nation.

For more information on TranzCapture or any of the services Catalyst has to offer, contact us today.


Brad is a member of the Catalyst executive management team. He oversees all payments operations, member services and operations analytics for Catalyst Corporate. Payments operations include: faster/real-time payments, ACH, remote deposit services, item processing and support services, research/adjustments, wire transfers and card services.


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