A look at mobile branching

Looking to stand out in your market? Looking to connect with your community in new and different ways? Struggling to get members to come to you, and looking to go the them instead? You may want to consider a mobile branch. Read that again… not mobile banking, but mobile branching!

A mobile branch is, literally, a branch on wheels. Your mobile branch can take many forms.  It can be the size of a small camper or a large semi. It can be an external-only, unstaffed branch with ATMs and ITMs. Or it can include interior space where you can meet members to open accounts and originate loans. Obviously you’d wrap it in your credit union colors and logo!

The community connection opportunities are endless. Your mobile branch is available for community events, fairs and festivals. When not in use at these community events, schedule it at strategic locations on regular intervals where you can enjoy built-in traffic: outside a major employer one or two days a week, at a large apartment complex one afternoon through early evening.  You may want to use it on weekends to partner with your local auto dealers to drive (no pun intended) traffic and attention to their car lots.

Other things you should consider include:

  • Disaster Recovery Planning – Your mobile branch can be a key part of your disaster recovery plan
  • Disaster Support for your Community – Even if your branches are intact after a natural disaster hits your community, you could place your mobile branch in an area where other financial institutions’ locations are temporarily inaccessible. Leverage the situation to serve the community and gain new members
  • Temporary use while renovating a branch – A mobile branch can serve as your temporary location while renovating a branch. Instead of renting a temporary building, apply that money toward owning a mobile branch. If you are preparing to renovate a number of branches, you’ll pay for the cost of mobile branch after just a few branch remodels
  • Test a location – Curious whether a certain location is worthy of brick and mortar? Place your mobile branch in that location (for only the cost of renting the parking lot and surrounding spaces) and “test before you invest”

With so many good uses, a mobile branch is worth a look.  In a crowded field where you compete for members’ and potential members’ attention, you can position your credit union by going to them instead of making them come to you!

Joe Karlin

Joe Karlin

Joe Karlin has worked with or at credit unions his entire career.  Starting as a CPA with Deloitte and Touche, he audited credit unions, corporates, and leagues.  Joe spent nearly ... Details