June 01, 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – June 1, 2015 – Source Technologies' VP of Marketing, Suzi McNicholas, was featured on CUNA Councils' blog discussing the changing appearance and functionality of credit union branches. CUNA Councils is a professional development organization focused on the improvement of credit unions in all areas of business. Read the full article below.
It is clear that today’s credit unions must continue to evolve in order to build and maintain engaging relationships with their members to remain competitive, and as a result, many institutions have incorporated innovative new technologies into their digital banking platforms. As the popularity of online and mobile banking continues to increase, some industry experts question whether branches are even necessary, since it appears that more activity occurs outside of the actual branch.
However, studies show that the smartphone-dependent, remote deposit-capturing, online-researching “Consumer 3.0” still visits and values the physical branch, especially when it comes to opening a new account. The truth is that the branch is not dead, however, it looks and operates much differently than it did just a few years ago. It is also important to note that not all high-tech consumers are Millennials. Consumer 3.0 actually encompasses individuals of all ages who are digitally engaged, highly informed, socially active, hard pressed for time, price sensitive and security conscious.
Credit unions now face the challenge of servicing these digitally-driven members inside the branch with the same seamless, quick and convenient experience they have grown accustomed to on the digital channel. With effective online and mobile strategies already in place, transforming the branch into a high-tech, high-touch retail environment is the next step in delivering a quality member experience.
To better engage members, credit unions are undergoing major branch transformation projects including rebranding, open floor plans, beverage stations, digital displays and most notably, self-service kiosks. While they may look similar, self-service kiosks are much different than traditional ATMs. These kiosks are located inside the branch and enable members to handle all of the routine transactions historically completed by a teller. This new model is similar to that of the grocery store self-checkout, where a branch staffer could quickly and easily step in and complete the transaction if a member needed assistance.
This new branch concept combines a personal human touch with advanced technology to create a thoughtful brand experience for the member. Self-service kiosks enable members to conduct their own transactions, and not only does this save time, but it also provides the member with more independence – improving their overall experience within the branch. Additionally, the credit union’s staff is now able to better assist members and provide financial advice.
The branch must no longer focus purely on transactions, but encourage quality interactions between the institution and its members. While the industry is rife with talk of the “branch of the future,” the reality is these changes need to happen now, and credit unions that choose to neglect their branches will fall behind.
Suzi McNicholas is the Vice President of Marketing for Source Technologies, a leading provider of integrated solutions for managing financial transactions and other secure business processes. McNicholas can be reached at email@example.com or 704-969-7592.
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