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Studies Reveal Americans Prefer Branches for Financial Transactions
Friday, January 8, 2016 6:30 AM

CO-OP Shared Branch, a National Network of 5,400 Branches, Places Credit Unions at Forefront of Financial Services Industry

A November 2015 study by U.S. Bank amplifies how consumers, despite the multitude of fresh mobile and digital banking options, still prefer going to brick-and-mortar branches for their financial transactions.

Banking from anywhere around the globe is convenience personified, but making deposits, withdrawals, transfers, and account inquiries at a real branch is still essential for the majority of Americans. Some of the findings from the study include:

  • 63 percent indicate they will never make all of their financial transactions digitally.
  • 80 percent prefer working with an actual banker/teller instead of a virtual one.
  • 86 percent plan to do business in actual branches during the next five years.

The study’s data support the findings of studies conducted by CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org), which manages CO-OP Shared Branch, a nationwide network of 5,400 branches dedicated to serving members of 1,800 participating credit unions. The shared branching concept is unique to the credit union industry, enabling members to enter any of these branches and conduct their business as if they were in their own hometown credit union branch.

“Branches are not going to go away, but they are changing,” said Sarah Canepa Bang, chief strategy officer for CO-OP Shared Branch. “The modern consumer wants it all—mobile, online and branches—and they expect all access points to work together in a single harmonious, delightful user experience. Shared branching gives credit unions (which are often smaller, community-centric institutions) a coast-to-coast footprint to meet consumer demand for face-to-face personal service.”

With branches in all 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam, more than 55 million credit union members—more than one-half of all members in the United States—have access to a branch within the network.

“Shared branching is the tangible demonstration of credit unions’ willingness to work together on behalf of all members to ensure convenient access to personal service wherever they may travel,” said Bang. “Studies, such as one from last year by J.D. Power on retail banking, also find that younger consumers are among the most frequent branch users. These consumers have discovered credit union branches to be great sources of personal financial counsel.”

In addition to providing coast-to-coast branch access, CO-OP Financial Services provides credit unions and their members with CO-OP Member Center, a 24/7 call center enabling credit unions to service member inquiries at any time they have a personal lending or service inquiry.

“Credit unions have always been leaders in personal service, as customer satisfaction surveys one upon another bear out,” said Bang. “That demand continues even in this increasingly virtual age, and credit unions have the resources to meet it far into the future.”

It’s easy to find out if your credit union, or a credit union near you, participates in shared branching. Simply visit the on-line locator at co-opcreditunions.org/locator/.

About CO-OP Financial Services

Based in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and founded in 1981, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation’s largest credit union service organization in terms of number of credit unions, assets and members. The company helps credit unions thrive by providing products and services that make it more convenient for members to do business with them. With a motto of “Be There. Be More,” CO-OP’s products fall into three business lines, including “Locations,” (ATM, shared branching and call center services); “Card Payments” (debit and credit processing) and “Mobile/Virtual” (mobile, online, check imaging, bill pay services). To learn more, please visit co-opfs.org.