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The COVID-19 crisis has had a major impact on credit unions and other financial institutions. More than two years after the pandemic reached American shores, some institutions are just beginning to reopen physical branches and welcome members back for daily face-to-face financial services. The pandemic spurred a massive increase in demand for drive-thru, ATM and mobile transaction options – and even as physical locations reopen, these alternative options have all remained popular. Why?

The truth is that, while pandemic closures certainly accelerated the process, the shift away from face-to-face financial transactions had already been underway for some time, driven in large part by younger generations more comfortable with smartphone apps and online services. Recent research from Ipsos-Forbes Advisor showed that 76% of Americans now use their bank or credit union’s mobile app for everyday tasks like depositing checks – tasks that just a few years ago required a trip to a physical location. This has resulted in a drop in traffic to those locations, which has in turn led many financial institutions to rethink their approach to physical security. Fortunately, modern security technology has evolved alongside consumer preferences, ensuring that all financial institutions still have the resources they need to remain secure.

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