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Branch transformation is currently the subject du jour. Branches are not only here to stay, but in fact represent an opportunity for credit unions to strengthen connections with members, as well as engage and attract the next generation of accountholders. According to recent numbers released from the FDIC, branch closures have slowed and in some circles, the rate of new branch openings has risen. And while it may be true that the branch of the past is dead, the new technology-driven branch model remains essential for credit unions and an important, physical reminder to the communities they serve.

Credit unions face competition from non-traditional sectors of business. Online-only financial institutions and non-bank financial technology organizations are raising the bar for the consumer experience. This is a driving force behind the evolution of banking and a reason the branch model must adapt. In fact, it was just reported that Square is becoming a bank. According to an article on inc.com, “By becoming their own bank, they do not have to seek out a separate institution as a strategic partner.”

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