Pine Bluff, AR (PRWEB) December 03, 2013
This week HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation and Hope Credit Union), a regional community development financial institution, expanded its presence in Arkansas by opening a new branch of the credit union in Pine Bluff. The facility is located downtown in the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Economic Research and Development Center, and emphasizes the extensive use of technology to meet the financial service needs of area residents.
“The world of banking has changed dramatically in recent years,” said HOPE CEO Bill Bynum. “We are very excited to partner with UAPB to bring the latest technology to ensure that Delta residents have access to the financial tools needed to support their families, businesses and communities.” The Pine Bluff branch helps HOPE’s meet its goal of doubling the number of people and places it serves by 2016.
In addition to UAPB, HOPE’s Pine Bluff branch is supported by several organizations that recognize the vital role that development financial services play in fostering broad economic prosperity. These groups include the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Delta Regional Authority, and NeighborWorks® America.
“The University is proud to be part of this community-building collaboration and we look forward to the economic opportunities it will create for people,” said UAPB Chancellor Laurence Alexander. “UAPB knows that strong communities lead to better educational opportunities.”
The innovative branch model incorporates numerous technology features that allow residents to make use of an array of services, including online and mobile devices to access and manage their accounts whenever and wherever they want. Using an ATM, computer, or smart phone, people can become a HOPE member, open a new account, check account balances, transfer funds, and even pay bills.
“More and more people are turning to smart phones as a way to manage their financial relationships,” said Bynum. “They can perform almost any function they could at a branch, including making a deposit simply by taking a picture of a check.”
The branch will be staffed by UAPB students who will help members navigate the technology to address their financial needs. The students will also do outreach to connect residents and businesses with HOPE products and services, and build partnerships with local organizations.
In addition to loan and deposit products, HOPE members can also benefit from free financial education and counseling. Financial workshops will be conducted at the branch, and members can also benefit from budgeting, foreclosure prevention and other counseling services provided over the telephone or online.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on December 3 at 9:30 a.m. at 615 Main Street in Pine Bluff. On Saturday, December 7, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., residents can enjoy a community fair featuring free food, entertainment, financial education seminars, health screenings, giveaways, and fun activities including face painting and space jumps.
HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation/Hope Credit Union) is a community development financial institution, community development intermediary and policy center that provides affordable financial services; leverages private, public and philanthropic resources; and engages in policy analysis in order to fulfill its mission of strengthening communities, building assets, and improving lives in economically distressed parts of the Mid South.
Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $1.7 billion in financing and related services for the unbanked and underbanked, entrepreneurs, homeowners, nonprofit organizations, health care providers and other community development purposes. Collectively, these projects have benefitted more than 400,000 individuals in the Delta, Katrina-affected areas and other distressed communities throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. This impact has been substantially multiplied by HOPE’s policy and intermediary efforts, which have informed and influenced the flow of public and private resources to assist disenfranchised people and places across the Mid South and nationwide.