A friend of mine was on his way to Las Vegas when he realized his debit card had stopped working. He couldn’t use it for purchases or in an ATM. His credit union could send him a new one, but he wouldn’t get it until the next morning.
The solution? Shared branching. He was able to visit a branch and withdraw enough cash to get him through his trip.
My brother-in-law, Rusty, moved to Florida and decided to buy a boat, but the seller wanted a cashier’s check. His credit union is in New Mexico. He called them, and the call center agent told Rusty they could send a cashier’s check to him, but there was a better solution.
The solution? Shared branching. The agent provided Rusty with the address for a nearby participating credit union where he could purchase a cashier’s check, and he texted us selfies from his brand new (to him) boat the very same day.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget when looking at a credit union’s transaction volumes, that each one of those transactions is a piece of a member’s story. They may be depositing their first paycheck or pulling out a check to buy a boat, a car, or to put a down payment on a home.
Some of the most touching stories happen at shared branches during and after disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires—natural disasters affect millions of people every year. When members are evacuated, they often need help accessing their credit union account. Credit unions that participate in shared branching have an advantage when helping their members because about 1,800 other credit unions have their back and provide about 5,600 other branches their members can use. That’s roughly 25% of the 21,650 credit union branches in the country.
More importantly, by offering shared branching, credit unions are giving their members the freedom to do their banking their own way. They recognize that not all members are alike and there still are some that prefer doing their transactions in person. In fact, members did over 22 million transactions in the first six month of this year. While that may be small compared to card transactions, each one of those transactions began with a member saying, “I need to do a shared branch transaction. My credit union is…” or words to that effect, verbally reinforcing their membership in their credit union.
Shared branching is good for the credit union movement. It is proof that the cooperative spirit is still alive and helping members every day. Over 1,800 Boards and Management Teams believe that shared branching makes their credit union and the credit union movement stronger. It is one way that we differentiate ourselves from every other financial service.
For more information about how shared branching can benefit your credit union and your members, contact Co-op Solutions. For credit unions in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming contact InNetwork, or call us at 720-713-5263.