In the call to bring out your dead, don't be so quick to toss branches on top of the heap of abandoned projects.

"If you look purely at the number of credit union branches in operation, there has been a steady decline that is likely to continue into the future. This is being driven by an increase in the number of banking channels to which members have access, including online banking, mobile banking and peer-to-peer lending," said Michael Downs, vice president of marketing at Momentum, a design firm based in Seattle and Pittsburgh. "However, the branch is far from dead."

Rather than going away, Downs said branches are evolving in how they're used by credit unions to deliver services. There are numerous surveys that demonstrate that members prefer to use a branch for certain types of interactions, and in fact, would change institutions if their branches went away, he added.

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