MADISON, Wis. (10/30/14)--Two CUNA councils have teamed up to help redefine what, exactly, a credit union branch needs to be these days.
In a paper called "Re-Imagining the Branch: Optimizing your Brick-and Mortar for Sales, Services and Branding Strategies," CUNA's Operations, Sales and Service Council and the Marketing and Business Development Council dig into trends in the evolution of the branch.
What they found is that it's becoming more common than ever to encounter branch facilities that are designed with members' needs in mind first.
"Historically, branches were developed from the credit union's perspective, with the credit union considering ease of operations, efficiencies, security and things like that before anything else," said Raja Bose, vice president of branch transformation and advisory services for Diebold, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.
"Now, more enlightened credit unions are starting by looking at things from the perspective of their members, which is key because doing so changes the resulting branch experience and makes it more intuitive and even enjoyable," Bose said.
Despite the migration by members from the physical branch to the convenient mobile channel, Bose says it's still vital that credit unions maximize their branches, as he says 75% or more of all new financial relationships begin at the branch.
"While branches are expensive and are becoming increasingly less relevant to customers and members, they're still where banks and credit unions get most of their sales," Bose said. "That's still where most accounts are opened."
That's why reimagining the credit union is a must, the paper argues.
The paper details several examples of how several credit unions are doing just that:
CUNA Council members are eligible to receive free copies of the white paper, which can be found at www.cunacouncils.org/site/info/research.html.