Online banking accessibility is a valuable convenience for members, but credit unions have not abandoned reaching members through branches. In fact, over the past year, credit unions over $100 million in assets have increased the number of branches by 5.5%. Many of these new branches are a result of credit unions expanding their fields of membership to serve a broader market. Beyond fulfilling the need to serve their current members, credit unions are finding that these branches also are an important component of a “brand awareness” campaign in their communities. The physical presence provides a way for consumers to access credit union services.
Recent branch designs have included many creative ways to serve members, such as incorporating online banking stations in the branch, stationing branches in supermarkets and even creating a CU Mall. The CU Mall is a variation on shared branching, with Call FCU, Connects FCU and Richmond FCU each managing separate branches within one building . These new branching strategies are proving to be successful as credit unions look to better reach and serve members.
Branch development is a challenging task. Identifying optimal locations, determining whether to go with a free-standing storefront or supermarket facility, selecting design elements, and incorporating multi-media channels are all part of the process. However, as these members indicate, credit unions continue to consider branches a critical piece of their member service network.
Callahan's can help you become visible to credit unions that are reviewing their branching strategies. For more information on how to do this, please contact Felicity at 800-446-7453.