Ten Strategies for Living in the Past

These tongue-in-cheek tactics are your ‘road map to irrelevance.’

August 23, 2013

My son goes to college in Montana, where the state motto is: “Home of the 10 mph RV.” We also have family there, so summers are often spent driving from one end of the state to the other. In Montana— like most states where cattle outnumber people—distances are vast. You can cross three time zones just to find good coffee.

But that’s Montana.

How do credit unions deal with distances where the only reasonable mode of transportation is an airplane? How can credit unions provide any sort of service when a trip to the mailbox means filling up the tank and packing an overnight bag?

The answer, contrary to conventional wisdom, is: You don’t. That’s right. Forget about delivering products and services to members. Make members come to you—just like in the good ol’ days. After all, this is what members deserve if they choose to live in the middle of the map labeled “Nowhere.”

Here are 10 low-tech strategies to make sure your credit union lives in the good ol’ days. These strategies will keep your members living close to you and prevent them from wandering away like feral cats:

If, however, you decide to reject these 10 low-tech strategies and go with a strong surcharge-free ATM network, shared-branching access, and world-class remote services, then be prepared to kiss your nice empty parking lot goodbye.





JAMES COLLINS is president/CEO at O Bee CU, Tumwater, Wash., and Credit Union Magazine's humor writer.