Shared branching offers service excellence,
How shared branching works
But shared branching lets them stay with your credit union by allowing any of 5,000+ other CU shared branch offices nationwide to complete routine transactions (see "How," right).
Rick Hagopian, President of Wisconsin Credit Union Shared Service Centers (WCUSSC)—part of the nationwide shared branching network—said some credit unions still mistakenly fear that their members will be stolen by another credit union in the network.
"Policies prohibit solicitation of other credit unions' members, something that's reinforced by secret shopping among participants," he said. "Member stealing just doesn't happen. What we have seen is branch users experiencing greater satisfaction with their own credit union, and even a branch-networked credit union winning service awards in a city where they have no proprietary office."
Participants have also cited shared branching
as important in relation to their other
If your credit union is outside the massive credit union branch network – which today already is the fourth largest branch network in America, rivaling the three largest national banks – you're already at risk of losing members, Hagopian added. He also said non-participants are not maximizing service penetrations.
"Even the largest credit unions can't build
their own branches fast enough or efficiently enough to rival the access
that 1,756 shared branching credit unions currently offer nationwide, 45
of which are Wisconsin credit unions," he said.
CO-OP Financial Services – which will soon implement a rebrand of shared branches nationwide – issued white papers on shared branching myths and convenience that cite the many bottom line benefits for credit unions.
The white papers reveal that shared branching:
Hagopian explains that most credit unions are amazed at how inexpensive it is to be part of the network, especially when they see that by serving other credit unions' members they can offset the fixed costs of participating. Credit unions often favorably compare the relatively low costs of participation to the expense of a full-time employee or even one proprietary branch.
Did you know?
"When you realize the benefits to a credit
union's balance sheet, the risk of losing members to either credit
unions or megabanks that offer locations nationwide, and the need to
offer the convenience that your most profitable members demand, it's
obvious why shared branching is a top recommendation as part of the
Unite for Good campaign," said League President & CEO Brett
CO-OP Financial Services advances the "increasing awareness" action step in the Unite for Good growth campaign by providing marketing assistance and materials in support of shared branching. Credit unions participating in the WCUSSC branch network received materials to replace the "swirl" logo with the CO-OP brand as part of a process explained in an archived webinar and FAQ.
Credit unions can order lapel buttons that proclaim "My credit union has 5,000+ branches!" as well as a handout that tellers can distribute to explain their credit union's shared branching convenience. For information on these materials or shared branching, contact Rick Hagopian at (414) 325-9880, Ext. 3.
The Unite for Good effort is an internal growth strategy developed by CUNA in conjunction with its Board, state leagues, credit unions and system partners. The plan's action steps – to remove barriers, increase awareness and foster service excellence–are aimed at helping more credit unions become their members' primary financial institution by compelling members to see credit unions as their best financial partner. Read more articles in our Unite for Good series.