New Cashless Branch Enhancing Member Relationships

State Employees Credit Union in Michigan had discussed opening a non-traditional branch for several years, but they were looking for the right opportunity in order to move forward. According to Jane Kile, vice-president of Branch Services at the $594 million credit union, the concept of a cashless branch was attractive primarily because of its lower cost structure; it was also perceived as an effective way to build relationships with members and educate them on the use of electronic services.

 
 

State Employees Credit Union in Michigan had discussed opening a non-traditional branch for several years, but they were looking for the right opportunity in order to move forward. According to Jane Kile, vice-president of Branch Services at the $594 million credit union, the concept of a cashless branch was attractive primarily because of its lower cost structure; it was also perceived as an effective way to build relationships with members and educate them on the use of electronic services.

Internal and External Consultations Formed Concept of New Branch

As support for launching this new branch concept, the credit union learned from its branch managers that over half of all teller transactions involved cash withdrawals. They also consulted other credit unions for advice and learned that it would be difficult to convert an existing full-service to a cashless type; it would be much easier to open a new cashless branch. They considered the various definitions of a ''cashless branch'' and decided it would be better for the credit union to accept cash deposits but not allow teller withdrawals.

It was eventually decided that the new branch should be modeled after the type implemented by Telesis Community Credit Union in California, which has operated all cashless branches (cash in only) since its inception in 1966. Branch representatives handle sales and service functions and accept cash deposits, but withdrawals must be done at the ATM. In addition, operational activities such as ATM balancing, general ledger and NSF check reports are handled through headquarters.

Staffing Considerations Considered Crucial to Success

State Employees Credit Union was careful to staff the new branch with the right people. Because of the emphasis on sales and service, it was important to hire seasoned, well-trained employees who would be able to provide demos of electronic services and build relationships with members. As a result, two rounds of lengthy interviews were conducted with internal candidates. Four Financial Services Representatives and one Senior Representative were hired, along with a branch manager who also oversees another location. At any given time, there are usually between two and four employees on site.

So far, State Employees has seen growth in the number of debit cards, home banking accounts, ATM cards and direct deposits from this new branch. Loans are gradually increasing every month. ''We're looking at opening new branches like this one in the next two to five years. We need to give it another eighteen to twenty months to see how this new concept works.''



Find out how your credit union's branch performance stacks up against its peers - and how others are changing aspects of the traditional branch in order to meet the needs of current and potential members. Click here for more information.

 

 

 

March 31, 2003


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  • Branch diagram or size would have been helpful.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
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