Credit union facility solutions: Are in-store branches still in?

A former bank branching executive describes ways to make these locations win

In-store branching was big for many years. What happened to the hype? Are in-store branches still valuable delivery channels for credit unions? How has technology changed their performance potential? And what is currently the best use of this alternative to large branches?

Over the past 30 years, we have considered in-store branches in the development of numerous strategic plans, and designed branches in markets where they would be productive. They were used to open new markets by gaining access to high levels of repetitive consumer shopping at large grocery stores and used long term because of their retail positioning. The objectives were to deliver a high volume of transactions while increasing loans and share of wallet. Compared to larger full-service branches, in-store branches often fell short on the latter goal.

In-store branches today are being re-imagined with new technologies and new consumer and credit union expectations for what the member experience should be like. Reducing branch cost while increasing productivity is the goal at all branch locations no matter the size. The in-store branch model may be the ultimate in minimizing staff while maximizing high-value engagement using technology.

But this is turning out to be different for every credit union.

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