Then & Now

Savings Withdrawals


John Macdonald joined the credit union in 1994, when working for Greater Manchester Buses North at the Queens Road Depot.

“When the credit union came to Queens Road, 5 Reps from the trade union worked as volunteers” remembers John.  “If you wanted to make a withdrawal from your credit union account, you had to find a Rep (if they weren’t on the road or on holiday!), complete a withdrawal form and then wait until the following week for a volunteer to come with a zipped folder with your cheque inside! Once you received your cheque you then had to find a National Westminster Bank to cash it – our nearest was at Cheetham Hill, and the traffic could be a nightmare!”


How things have changed!  Instead of waiting a week to cash your savings cheque, transfers are in your bank account within two hours, thanks to online banking.

Applying for a Loan


Voyager Alliance’s longest serving employee, Maria Hughes remembers the loan application process being very long winded and the office being a hive of activity every Friday! “Members would complete a paper loan application and send it to the office along with a recent payslip. Any loan over £4,000 had to be approved by the loans sub-committee, who probably only met once a month! All approved loans were issued as cheques on a Friday, which the Depot Reps would collect from the office and issue to members. A receipt would be issued, that the member would sign to say that they had collected their cheque from the Rep,” remembers Maria.

From application to the cheque clearing in a member’s bank account, it typically took several weeks to receive funds!


How things have changed!  Most members now apply for a loan in minutes on their smart phone using the Nivo App and can even take a photo of their payslip using Nivo! Alternatively, members can complete an online loan application.  

Nowadays, we are required by our regulators to include affordability as part of the loan assessment and do this by reviewing bank statements.  However, most members consent to Open Banking instead, speeding up the loan process and saving members’ time.  In most cases decisions are made within 3 working days, with many loans being issued on the same day as the application!



“When we started, everything was recorded on big paper ledgers”, remembers founder Martin Logan.  “Membership grew quickly, and I remember a group of us were given time off to go on a course to learn about computers!”


Having invested in a sophisticated credit union system, members can manage their Voyager Alliance accounts at anytime from anywhere! From the Voyager Alliance App, a member can do almost all day-to-day tasks including transfer money instantly, check balances and view mini statements.  And… our friendly Customer Services team are at the end of the telephone to help members too!

Find out more…