Branches Remain a Valuable Component of Member Service

Branches are not going away, but they are changing to suit the omnichannel access demands of today’s consumer.

The shared branching concept is not only on a course for future growth, it is ideally suited to help credit unions meet many of today’s business challenges.

Earlier this month, CO-OP reported that the credit union industry’s shared branching network surpassed Chase in number of branches, making CO-OP Shared Branch the second-largest financial services branch network in the country.

“In many ways, shared branching is powering the growth of the Credit Union Movement — it’s the purest expression of coast-to-coast collaboration,” said Craig Beach, Chief Operating Officer of CO-OP Shared Branching. “It’s a key element in the credit union industry’s initiative to extend convenient services to all members regardless of where they are.”

Focus on Community Presence

The branch isn’t entering an end cycle; rather, it is evolving with more of a concentration on sales than service. As technologies such as mobile and mobile remote deposit capture contribute to the decline of basic branch transactions, the value of the branch channel remains significant. In fact, shared branching is becoming more important than ever. As the number of individual credit union branches decreases, the nationwide network of shared branch locations will enable credit unions to maintain their community presence.

For credit unions considering closing branches — who are rightly worried about how that will play for members who like branch service — their solution is to join shared branching. The concept provides a smooth transitional path for lowering branch count. No matter what your branch strategy is — adding branches, transforming them, closing them — your members are still going to need locations everywhere, and shared branching is the solution.

Branches and Gen Y

And, the fact is, branches continue to be attractive to a new generation of members.

“In spite of their virtual-world reputations, Gen Yers like the touch and feel of the real world, and the proof is in their preference for branch services,” said Beach. “Gen Yers prefer to conduct transactions in person at branches at a rate of two and a half times greater than consumers over the age of 65.”

If your credit union is ready to adopt or expand shared branch participation, CO-OP Financial Services can provide expert guidance on best the methods of implementation. Click here for more information.

Questions about our Strategic Link partnership with CO-OP Shared Branch? Contact Kaitlin Ramos, NWCUA’s Strategic Partnerships Manager, at kramos@nwcua.org or 503.350.2208.