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
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