EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – For the past 18 years Royal Credit Union has been redefining the work week by keeping some of its branches open even on Sundays. “Our branches with the highest activity are the ones that are open seven days a week,” said RCU President/CEO Charles Grossklaus. Built near residential communities and shopping malls the two Sunday locations have been very successful with a 70% household penetration. According to Grossklaus, the seven-day work week decision came about after conducting surveys within a 60-70 mile radius of the branches. Turns out most members and non-members who used other institutions did so because the $532 million credit union’s hours weren’t convenient. “Basically we felt that we weren’t able to really help the single parents and working families”, said Grossklaus. “They just couldn’t make it into the credit union during the day so we decided to extend our hours of operation.” Early on, Grossklaus knew that for the extra hours to benefit everyone the branches would have to offer the full array of services found during the week. In addition, the drive-up lanes would have to be designed in such a way that the maximum amount of members could be served. Within each lane there are two tube stations available to make handling traffic easier. Now a standard RCU four-lane drive-thru efficiently serves eight cars instead of only four. After mass on a typical Sunday approximately 40-50 cars pass through each branch. Ready to jump on board and extend your branch’s hours? Grossklaus cautions credit unions to do their homework first. “It is expensive and staffing those branches is difficult,” said Grossklaus. From the daily branch maintenance, wages including offering premium pay rates for those working weekends or evenings, to investments in training- it all adds up said Grossklaus. As far as staffing, Grossklaus came to the realization that college students were best suited for that type of schedule. He suggests that credit unions evaluate their members’ needs, determine the credit union’s goals and research what opportunities such a move might present. He adds that they should look at the branch square-footage and calculate what the total cost will be including benefits, supervision and wages. In addition, he says such branches do well when individuals who live or are a big part of that particular community manage them. “Our goal was to increase household penetration in that area,” said Grossklaus. “And we’re doing that because traffic in those branches has increased every year-but this solution is not for every credit union.” [email protected]

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