Shared Branching – The Best Kept Secret in Credit Unions

Consumers want convenient access to their accounts, and the Shared Branch Network is a unique product that allows credit unions to offer additional points of service and be more competitive. The shared branch network has more than 5,000 locations nationwide, surpassed only by Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase. Yet in too many “why choose a credit union” articles or blog posts, credit unions are referred to as “inconvenient.” Wouldn’t you want to remain your members’ PFI when they move regardless if they are relocating, going off to college or just changing jobs?

So how can credit unions bring better awareness to shared branching? Geraldine Cardwell, Executive VP of the League, notes that many credit unions just have a link to the national locator website, but don’t have anything on their website about how to use shared branching.

“Sending your member to another credit union can be a confusing concept for the average consumer,“ notes Cardwell. “It would be helpful to have a page that explains in detail how shared branching works, maybe include an FAQ. There is also a very helpful YouTube video titled, ‘What is a Shared Branch’ that you can share with members.”

Another useful tool for credit unions is having a “nearest location” locator on their homepage. CO-OP offers an easy to use search widget or a more customizable XML Feed. With the explosive growth of mobile phones, CO-OP also offers free locator apps for both the iPhone and Android. They can be found at www.co-opsharedbranching.org.

“The best opportunity to promote shared branching is with new accounts,” suggests Cardwell. This is also the perfect time to brag about other your delivery channels, including mobile banking (Sprig) and surcharge-free ATM networks, etc.”

“Credit unions are truly ‘A Smarter Choice,’ so let’s make sure everyone knows they are a convenient choice also,” continues Cardwell.

For more information on CO-OP Shared Branching or more details on marketing, please contact Matt Zumbrun, Member Service Representative, at 800-572-7359, ext. 1200, or [email protected]. You may also find additional information on the league’s website at www.yourleague.org.