In Texas, credit union members make wide use of online services but they also like their branches, and the $957 million A+ FCU of Austin said Wednesday it was taken aback by the results of one of its surveys.
“We were astounded,” said Kerry Parker, president/CEO, of the results of a Raddon Financial Group survey of its members showing 65% of more than 3,000 members that responded had visited one of their branches in the past 60 days.
While members “do all of their direct deposit and home banking electronically” they still want to come into the branches to handle financial transactions and seem to prefer the personal contact, said Parker adding she was basically “surprised” at the findings.
Parker said she was making her comments in connection with a ribbon cutting ceremony for a opening of a new branch Thursday in Hutto.
“Needless to say, physical branches are still a part of our strategic plan” with plans to open two more next year in central Texas, she said, declining to name specific locations for now.
“Over time, the footprint for a branch has changed—smaller, more efficient, more technology—but branches still play a vital role in building the member relationship,” she said. A+ currently has 15 offices.
On another topic, Parker, who has played a leadership role in helping guide the formation of Catalyst Corporate FCU from its Southwest Corporate origins, said she remains encouraged by its transformation in the merger with Georgia Corporate.
“We are excited about the prospects,” Parker said, adding that new CU members have signed up with Catalyst from California.
The old Southwest membership had been concentrated in the mid-South and Texas/Oklahoma/New Mexico with some penetration in the Portland market. Parker is the current chair of the Supervisory Committee of Catalyst.