GTE Financial CU Launches Virtual Branch

CU aims to create a completely new online experience.

December 28, 2015

In evaluating financial services websites—including its own—management at GTE Financial Credit Union in Tampa, Fla., issued a challenge: Why can’t we create a completely different experience?

That question spawned GTE 3D, a full-fledged “virtual refresh” of the online banking experience that blends the feel of visiting a branch with the capabilities and interactivity of video reality games.

Members of the $1.7 billion asset credit union can create an avatar that interacts with GTE staff and other visitors while accessing 10 service and product areas—such as auto and home loans, investments, and insurance—and a host of financial education resources.

Nonmembers can apply for membership, open an account, and apply for loans.

“At GTE Financial, we constantly challenge ourselves to reimagine financial services and create engaging, informative ways to serve our members,” says president/CEO Joe Brancucci. “That was our objective in creating GTE 3D.”

GTE staff—dubbed “virtual advocates”—can respond to questions and guide visitors through the experience via live chat.

A virtual auditorium offers live events, seminars, and webinars, as well as on-demand services. Visitors can download “library” content, and chat with other members.

“GTE 3D is a huge step forward in the evolving virtual financial services world,” Brancucci says. “We strive to make members’ relationships with us more convenient, personal, and informative.”