InRoads Credit Union Adopts Video Banking to Stay Relevant in the Digital Landscape

9/1/2020

Before the pandemic, many traditional financial institutions’ greatest concern was remaining relevant in their communities. Today, credit union executives are focusing on delivering touchless service to members while managing new concerns about employee safety, loan losses, and capital.

InRoads Credit Union is a $288 million community-chartered credit union headquartered in St. Helens, Oregon, a town of approximately 13,000 people. President and CEO, Brooke Van Vleet, who began her credit union career in the marketing discipline, recognizes the value of continuing to evolve a strong brand with the times. She and the InRoads team knew the credit union needed to continue investment into their digital services to remain relevant in their marketplace and ensure a sustainable future.

In 2019, InRoads went all-in on ITM drive-thru teller services and POPio’s video banking solutions for both mobile and in-branch video consultations. The goal was to provide members with a combination of digital convenience and face-to-face service to meet members’ needs. In the very early stages, member response to the new technology was lukewarm — that is, until COVID-19 forced InRoads to close all of its branches. Suddenly, video banking became the only way to get face-to-face service, and adoption quickly grew four times over.

InRoads LIVE Manager, Kimberly Preston, said the response to video banking has grown exceptionally positive, even by members who previously rejected digital delivery. She recalled one member who was resistant to video banking, asking instead to see someone in person. A branch teller eventually convinced him to give the service a try. “Bye, see you later!” the teller called out as the member emerged from the video banking office and headed for the lobby door. “No you won’t,” the man replied, “I’m using this from now on.”

InRoads Chief Experience Officer, Ron Winter, explained that rolling out new technology and asking a small town community to adopt it doesn’t always lead to a smooth transition. However, when the pandemic hit and InRoads already had a solution that was not only safe but also maintained face-to-face service, perception of the credit union shifted in Columbia County. InRoads became the most relevant game in town.

“It certainly positions us differently than six months ago,” Winter said. “We’ve talked a lot about what traditional used to mean, and I don’t think we’ll ever build another branch the way we used to. Yes, we will have brick and mortar, but it will be different. Video banking will allow members to speak with a subject matter expert from anywhere. Even if you visit a small location, we can connect you to a commercial mortgage loan officer or whomever you need. That’s the vision.”

POPio’s video banking solution perfectly complemented the new branding initiative InRoads began in 2018 and has become a cornerstone of how InRoads plans to serve members in the future.

To learn more about POPio, visit its virtual booth at the Strategic Link Trade Show open now and accessible 24/7, or contact the Strategic Link team. On Sept. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. PDT, visit POPio’s booth to chat directly with staff.