Branching…away from the branch?

In the credit union world, including here at Synergent, new technology is more than celebrated, it is something that our staff is extremely passionate about, as we strive to bring the latest products to credit unions.   All of this new technology – from mobile banking to remote deposit capture – certainly increases convenience, while decreasing something else – the need to go to the branch.

As members become more remote, does this mean that the branch is any less important?  

The question on the future of the credit union branch is evidently on the minds of many, as it was recently explored in the CUNA Councils article, What is Technology’s Influence on Credit Union Branch Closures and the Future of Branches.

While the article notes that some posit that the face-to-face relationships and financial guidance that members can find in the branch as a significant “pro” on the branch side of things, another argument is that the technology doesn’t make the branch obsolete; it makes it better, by shifting to fit the new “remote” nature of members’ lives.

Synergent has been evolving to fit members’ changing needs, with offerings such as e-alerts, online and mobile banking, Shared Branching, ATM networks and more, by developing the best-of-breed third party connections.

Beyond offering these tools that enhance the remote experience, we are also providing more resources to help member service representatives better serve their members – in and out of the branch.  Streamlining member transactions is eID Scanning functionality which allows credit union staff, in the branch, to only have to ask for the member’s identification one time to scan into the archives – with the added benefit of enhancing security. 

Another example is the eSignature product, which allows credit unions to obtain signatures on critical business forms through multiple channels, that has been a hit with credit unions.  Nick Chasse, Director of Sales Support for Synergent Technology Services, explained, “Until now, most if not all forms needed to be signed in branch, by members using electronic signature pads.  This product allows us to provide credit unions with the tools to put these forms right in the members’ hands remotely, from virtually any internet enabled device. This solution also allows forms with multiple signors to sign separately, in branch and/or remotely, at their convenience. Turnaround times on forms execution will inevitably be streamlined and extremely efficient.”

The growing acceptance of and increasing demand for such products are just some of the signs that indicate that while the branch may be evolving, it is certainly not irrelevant.