I was thinking that on any given day, if many of you chose, you could spend the best part of your time online – reading, texting, checking posts, binging on the latest streaming recommendations, and doing Wordle of course.
The online world is a big part of our lives. But we’re still human – and therefore instinctively we like the company of others. In the world of banking this presents a conundrum. Do we use “bricks and mortar” branches, where we can visit with people? Or digital so we can self-serve quickly?
The financial market is being revolutionized with apps that make banking and investing faster, easier and more cost-effective than ever. But human contact and personal interaction is inherently valuable. It’s an important part of how we conduct business, and is why we call ourselves a family―a credit union family. Being able to connect in this personal way with members, where they live and work, is the reason we continue to operate branches―while also investing heavily in technology to make banking easier, more convenient and faster.
In fact, consumer research consistently demonstrates that despite needing to have a top-class digital infrastructure to compete―across the age spectrum people also want to know they have experts and services available in branches that they can use if needed. The bottom line for banks and credit unions like us, is that we need to be good at both these things to best serve the needs of our members – and this becomes even more important as more of the workforce becomes virtual. Here’s a great example.
As Farmers looks to reduce its office space, the Credit Union may have to vacate some existing branch premises. We continue assessing each location to determine if, and potentially when, a future move might be needed. Such a need arose recently when we had to vacate our Austin, TX branch. We immediately set out looking for new, nearby premises to re-establish a branch. We are now fitting out a new building and will have this up and running later in the year. In the meantime, our digital infrastructure, specifically our Online and Mobile banking platforms, helps us continue to serve our Austin-area members with the same, uninterrupted standard of excellence. We will continue to keep these members updated on our progress, and remind them of the many other ways to conduct business with us with a personal touch―until the new branch opens. But for the record, these include use of our extensive shared-branch and ATM network, our call center, and our branch counselors. Full location and contact information can be found on our website.
Enjoy your summer!
President & CEO