COVID accelerated the online movement for all aspects of social and economic life. In credit unions, some assert the transition away from the branch-based model of financial services to an all virtual one is now inevitable.
One example of this total virtual embrace is the former United Airlines, now Alliant CU with $14 billion in assets. It has no branches and is the ninth largest credit union in the country. In contrast the $8 billion Wings Financial whose initial sponsors were also airlines, still has 30 branch operations in airports as well as in the communities surrounding its home office of Minneapolis-St Paul.
Multiple startup financial providers, relying solely on virtual platform services, are attracting venture capital and IPO attention. As described by Ron Lieber of the New York Times, What’s in a First Name for the New Money Apps:
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