Branches Are Now as Useful as a Dead Parrot
This opinion piece is half of a new Credit Union Times feature Forum Focus, which will comprise opposing viewpoints on key credit union issues.
While most of us were busy dealing with regulatory assessments and fiats, an unrelenting onslaught of new consumer protections and compliance mandates, our business was changing. We used to be in the banking business (because credit unioning doesn’t roll off the tongue very well).
Banking has evolved in a similar way. We don’t handle much currency any more (our VHS). We handle payments (our digital content). We try to establish relationships with our members to give them a reason to contact us and trust us to handle their payments. We try to become their trusted resource. What we do now can no longer be considered banking in the traditional sense. Rather, we now engage in financial services.
Financial services by its very nature requires a completely different mindset and approach to member service fulfillment, yet most of us still try to deliver financial service through the old retail branch cash-distribution model. That model was inefficient and expensive on a good day.