In 1962, the employees of the Yankton State Hospital organized and chartered the Yankton State Hospital Employees Federal Credit Union. As the name implies, the Credit Union was open only to employees of the Yankton State Hospital.
Over the years there have been numerous and monumental changes. For example, the name has changed several times. Just after the Yankton State Hospital changed their name to South Dakota Human Services Center, the Credit Union changed their name to the South Dakota Human Services Center Federal Credit Union. The name was finally shortened to Services Center Federal Credit Union in the early 1980's.
From 1962 to 1975, the Services Center Federal Credit Union was operated out of the personnel office on the grounds of the Yankton State Hospital. Starting in October 1975, the Credit Union employed Dave and Ila Wright to manage the Credit Union. The first non-personnel office was located in the basement of the Administration building under Ward 1 and was open just 3 days per week. The first office was probably about the size of the vault that we have today. Next, the office was moved to the old barbershop and was twice as big as the first office. The third office was located again in the Administration building, this time below Ward 4.
Over the years, the Services Center Federal Credit Union grew dramatically. One of the reasons for the growth was the fact that once someone became a member of Credit Union, they could remain as a member for life as long as they maintained their minimum membership. This is usually referred to as "Once a member, always a member". Another important factor in the growth of the Credit Union was a change that allowed family members to become members of the Credit Union.
In the early 1980's it became very evident that most of the membership in the Credit Union did not work on the grounds of the Human Services Center. In 1981, the Services Center Federal Credit Union applied for and was granted a "community" charter. This meant that we could now provide credit union service(s) to anyone living or working in Yankton or Bon Homme counties.
Also in 1981, the Credit Union decided that in order to be able to serve the new field of membership a building off the campus of the Human Services Center would have to be built. The core 40' x 40' structure of our current building was moved into on October 26, 1981. For a short time, a branch office and the main office were both operated.
In 1987, the core structure became crowded and a small addition was made to the east. Just two years later in October 1989, ground was broken on an addition which would double the size of the Services Center Federal Credit Union.
Services Center Federal Credit Union has also completed two mergers over the years. The first one was completed shortly after the move to our new building and was with Dale Sioux Federal Credit Union. The second merger was with the Sacred Heart Employees Federal Credit Union and was completed on January 1, 1989.
In 1994, Services Center Federal Credit Union purchased the Parkston branch office assets from Metz-McKennan Federal Credit Union. This office is staffed by one full-time employee and one part-time employee but offers the full range of services to our members in the Parkston area. At the time the Credit Union purchased the assets from Metz-McKennan Federal Credit Union, NCUA also allowed a change in the field of membership. They allowed us to add Douglas and Hutchinson counties, which allowed Services Center Federal Credit Union to serve those counties in addition to Yankton and Bon Homme counties. Employee Policy Manual for Services Center Federal Credit Union 9.
In 1996, the Credit Union decided it was time to open an office in Springfield, South Dakota. Our first office was a rented facility on Main Street. The first office was inadequate to serve our members' needs. Groundbreaking for a new facility was held in the spring of 2000 and the grand opening for the new facility was held on September 25, 2000. The new office features a drive-up window and a night depository.
On November 1, 1997 the Services Center Federal Credit Union started offering data processing for Vermillion Federal Credit Union. This is a unique situation, but one that has worked well over the years. On August 1, 2011 the Services Center Federal Credit Union started offering data processing for Sisseton Wahpeton Federal Credit Union.
In 2001, Services Center Federal Credit Union and Vermillion Federal Credit Union have started a program whereby the two credit unions share branches. This means that Services Center Federal Credit Union members can transact basic financial business at the office of Vermillion Federal Credit Union and vice versa.
In October 2003, the Credit Union installed our first ATM in Casey’s Convenience Store on Broadway in Yankton. Today there are 21 ATMs spread across Yankton, Parkston, Springfield, Vermillion, and Crofton, NE. Of the 21 ATMs, the Services Center FCU owns 16 and Vermillion FCU owns 5. The cooperation of shared branching also extends to the ATMs owned by the two credit unions.
In 2005, we began the implementation of what is known as Check 21 or check processing for the 21st century. Services Center Federal Credit Union was one of the first financial institutions in the country to implement this new technology in which paper checks are converted to electronic images. This allows checks to clear much faster and more reliably than the old method of actually transporting physical checks around the country by plane and courier. In 2006, we further enhanced our Check 21 capability by accepting an electronic transmission from the Federal Reserve of our incoming check file. This has reduced to almost zero the number of checks that we are storing onsite. Before this conversion, we stored over 900,000 checks in paper form at the Yankton Office.
In the winter of 2009, the Operations Center was completed. We have installed a state of the art computer room with climate controlled room temperature and a fire suppression system. These changes and many others have been installed because the member is using the Services Center Federal Credit Union 24 hours a day 365 days a year. We need to be able to provide members with the ability to transact their business and get their financial information virtually any place in the world.
In the summer of 2011, Services Center Federal Credit Union started the formation of a CUSO (credit union service organization) called Site-Four, LLC. Site-Four will provide data processing and disaster recovery services to other credit unions and CUSOs. Once Site-Four is fully operational, it will provide the data processing for Services Center Federal Credit Union, Vermillion Federal Credit Union, and Sisseton Wahpeton Federal Credit Union.
As mentioned at the outset of this brief history, there have been many changes at the Services Center Federal Credit Union. Probably the biggest change has been in the level of service provided to the members. In 1962, a member could make a deposit to a savings account and a member could apply for small loans. Today, the Credit Union offers savings and checking accounts, share certificates, IRA (traditional and roth) accounts, loans for almost any purpose, night depository, safe deposit boxes, CU*TALK, ItsMe247, online bill pay, mobile banking, MasterCard Debit cards, MasterCard Credit cards, ATMs and two branch offices.
The past 45+ years have been exciting. The goal of the next 45+ years will be to continue with the progress that has already been made.