Credit Unions Launch New Branch Strategies that Boost Membership

Innovative branch design concepts helped two credit unions, Call Federal in Virginia and Community in Texas, facilitate membership growth and reduce overhead expenses.


Fresh ideas in branch design are fueling at least part of the continued growth in total credit union branch volume. Volume at branches was up 4.25 percent overall over the over the 12 months through second quarter 2004.

Experiences at two credit unions in Virginia and Texas show what credit unions can do to keep branches the thriving financial services delivery channel they still are.

Call Federal Credit Union in Virginia and Community Credit Union in Texas used different approaches, but both reduced overhead costs and helped ensure their success through a proactive member relationship approach.

Partnering to Develop a Credit Union Mall
When Call Federal Credit Union had outgrown its Richmond, VA, branch a couple years ago, President Roger Ball knew it was time to expand. Instead of securing a larger building for just Call Federal, Ball reached out to two other area credit unions, Connex and Richmond Federal Employees, inviting his smaller neighbors to share space in a new, larger branch.

The result was CU Mall, a storefront-style building housing the branch operations of three credit unions, two of which had lacked the resources to maintain a branch independently. CU Mall exemplified the cooperative nature of the credit unions. The mall approach enabled Connex and Richmond Federal Employees to expand their operations through a non-competitive, mutually beneficial arrangement while saving Call Federal on overhead expenses.

Network Expansion Through In-Store Locations
Community Credit Union in Texas significantly augmented its branch network, adding 18 in-store locations over the past three years. Each location features an advanced remote teller system (RTS) that enables a single teller to efficiently serve two members simultaneously. The RTS systems worked so well that Community integrated them into its brick-and-mortar branches.

Community employs a "high-tech, high touch" approach throughout its branch network. Credit union staff actively engage members to educate them regarding proper use of the RTS machines or to direct them to more appropriate channels. Community also actively markets itself to store shoppers through customer interactions, live promotions and public address announcements.

Join us on September 29th at 2 p.m. EST for the webinar, Innovative Strategies in Branch Design, as experts from three credit unions discuss their innovative branching concepts.




Sept. 13, 2004

More On:

Feature Article


  • Very interested in new and emerging branching strategies. Where is the industry going? Will the stand alone brick and mortor branch continue its fast paced trend or is it changing? How big should a branch be? What should it look like and how can it become profitable? These are the "hot" questions every credit union is diligently seeking to answer. If your articles can help - then more power to you!