Have you listened to your data lately? What stories are being told? Perhaps you’ve noticed a change in the way money is moving through people’s lives? Maybe even the way it moves through your credit union? Have you taken the time to truly contemplate the future of your community’s commerce, and what that means for your branch strategies?

From the origins of the very first credit union, belonging, membership and stewardship have been industry principles. Co-workers became more than colleagues, bonded beyond the workday to pool their resources, make loans and produce organic growth, creating and exchanging value. People helped people financially flourish. Capitalism turned into collaborative community. From the very beginning, building and nurturing community defined the credit union movement.

Fast-forward to the present day and credit union missions remain the same. They still remember the noble ideals of democratic access to financial products and services, financial literacy and local equity. Yet, an all-new playing field has arrived. Community now coexists within the digital dimension, alongside our familiar physical one. Just think about the metaverse, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and digital money outside banks. These phenomena raise challenging questions: How can traditional branches remain relevant? Are they needed? Are they wanted? As currency becomes digital too, will you be ready for that transformation? How are your branch and operational strategies informed by these tectonic shifts in the marketplace?

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