Solve your knottiest branching dilemma – and position your credit union for the future – with shared branching.
Successful businesses meet demand. But sometimes consumer expectations present demands that are difficult to satisfy. Consumer expectations are becoming increasingly complex, and therefore that much more difficult to deliver solutions that truly delight. Case in point: branch access. On the one hand, consumers are using and demanding out-of-branch services like mobile check deposit and person-to-person payments as never before. The future of banking is increasingly virtual. On the other hand, consumers want convenient branches. How convenient? Near their homes, near their offices and their mother’s houses, their vacation destinations, their favorite Starbucks – you name it.
The key is that consumers today do not want one thing or the other – remote services or more branches. They want both. It is understandable, and it is also a challenge. Even if your credit union built a branch on every street corner within your footprint you still wouldn’t have the nationwide coverage your members might ultimately require.
And the fact is that even your current members place a value on widespread locations that extends even beyond their ability to visit. That is, they like knowing they can access more than 200 branches in their hometown even if they make three branch visits a year – all at the same location.
So, credit unions must offer the largest possible branch network around town and across the country to cater to scattered, unpredictable demand. Quite simply, you can’t do it – at least not alone.
Now the good news: You can solve this problem cooperatively. Not only that, but you can solve it easily, affordably and in one fell swoop. Through CO-OP Shared Branching, you can offer your members access to the fourth largest branch network in the country, and you can do it for about the cost of a single teller’s salary. Shared branching solves your branch access problem at once – not incrementally, branch by branch.
Do your members really want cross-country access? Probably so and here’s why:
Members are mobile. “(Shared branching) provides the ability for members to affiliate themselves with a ‘PEFCU’ branch that is near them after they leave school.” – Heather Nally, Vice President, Retail Sales and Service, Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union.
“We have many members who travel or live wherever the work is. (They) have the ability to maintain their accounts and experience convenient service with us.” – Bill Lowry, CEO, Midwest Carpenters & Millwrights Federal Credit Union.
Access is marketable. “Our participation in shared branching has certainly made our credit union more attractive to members when we don’t have a proprietary branch in close proximity.” – Yvonne Bailey, Vice President, Marketing and Planning, Great Lakes Credit Union.
“Our members know they can be served in so many places, giving them one extra reason to do all their banking with us.” – Joe Tassano, Vice President of Branches, Denver Community Credit Union.
Life is unpredictable. “We were flooded from a local rainstorm and it affected us just as badly as a tornado or fire. Fortunately, our shared branch network was able to serve our members quite effectively during that time.” – Bill Kirby, CEO, Link Federal Credit Union.
Shared branching increases your brick and mortar presence exponentially, thus enabling you to attract convenience-minded members, retain members who are moving out of the area (or even just a few miles away from their current home base), serve members in the event of a disaster, and drive home the message that your credit union is part of a mighty cooperative.
Easier Than You Think
Opening new branches can be costly, even painful. Expanding via CO-OP Shared Branching is designed to be just the opposite. Obviously, tapping into the collective power of shared branching saves your credit union the time and resources involved in opening new branches. But CO-OP also offers established systems to help integrate shared branching into your operations, including locator services to help members find branches where they need them; a secret shopper program to ensure high standards of service; professional marketing support to build awareness; and disaster recovery assistance to enable you to serve your members in the event of a disaster.
Fitting shared branching into your budget may be easier than you think as well. Shared branching participants that offer to accept shared branch transactions from members of other credit unions (known as “acquirers”) can offset some of the cost of their program with revenue.
Credit unions that use CO-OP Shared Branching don’t have to choose between a massive branch presence and the virtual future – and that’s a good thing. Because demands don’t go away just because they’re difficult. They go away when they’re successfully met.
CO-OP Shared Branching By the Numbers
- 4,538 credit union locations
- 2,200 retail kiosk locations
- 1,750 credit unions participating
- 110.8 million transactions per year