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The branch is becoming more consultative.

Before I sat down to write about the life changes of credit union branches, I had to do one thing I haven’t done in a very long time … visit a branch of my own credit union. As usual, the staff were great, it was painless, and I even saw some of those millennials that people say only do their banking through their mobile device. I was wondering how the branch would change in the next few years or how it will need to adapt to the changes going on in our industry, especially with the new Capital One commercial talking about its Capital One Café concept.

The primary way branches have been changing has been around becoming more member-centric. Which isn’t a big stretch of the imagination given that that is why credit unions exist. In talking with some credit unions, there’s been a move to be less formal when a member walks through the door – for example, having pods set up rather than the usual teller line that creates a barrier between the member and the employee; or having a “Wal-Mart greeter”-type set up at the door to direct where the member needs to go, who they need to talk to, or use a pad to check them in and have their information ready when they go talk to their representative. These little touches can create a point of interaction that didn’t exist before and allows more time to get to know the member on a more informal basis.

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