7 Credit Union Branch Upgrades for Your Retail Strategy and Budget

August 24, 2021

Phrases like ‘the new normal’ and ‘Zoom fatigue’ are some of the hottest of 2020 and 2021, since COVID-19 hit the U.S.  

Another: The branch is dead. Long live the branch!

Branches have changed and will continue to evolve, but members – regardless of age – will always need them for more consultative financial services. Creating a better return on investment, means smaller real estate footprints with high-tech and high-touch services. Or your credit union may have the greatest location for a branch, but you no longer require so much space.

Here are some best practices for your credit union branching strategy – and wallet – as you prepare your credit union and your budget for 2022 and beyond.

  1. Outsource to experts. Credit union leaders cannot be expected to know everything. Find a solid branch consulting firm and rely on them for advice on locations, size, technology and design or re-design.
Streamlining the Credit Union Branch
  1. Eliminate friction. Leverage technology that can make your branches and team members more efficient, while offering a high-tech and high-touch experience for members. Wescom Resources Group’s Tellergy is a platform that ensures transaction accuracy and security, while also providing your frontline team with more time to focus on members’ well-being rather than entering data. Learn more about Tellergy here!
  2. Decentralize and empower experienced lenders and frontline staff. Consider whether all decisions need to run up the same chain of command, or whether a flatter organization would provide better leadership development, decision making and member service.
  3. Staff appropriately, cross train and think about the universal banker model. Hire your frontline team for character and personality over existing skills. That former Starbuck barista might become your members’ new favorite teller. Members go into the branch for a human experience, so give them what they want. Also, discuss whether the universal banker model is right for your credit union; as an alternative, cross train your frontline staff, so members feel cared for and an emotional connection to that person.
  4. Respect the senses.

Sight: People look left when they enter a building and then turn right. Angled passageways and spaces are more inviting. Design or redesign your branch for humans.

Sound: Low-volume music invites people to stay longer while slightly louder music can hurry them along. Think about which works better for your credit union and membership.

Smell: One study fund that citrus scents decrease impulse buying but increase purchases for more “contemplative shoppers,” which is important when you’re talking about high-dollar purchases like a car or home.

Taste (yes, taste!): Hungry people make less wise decisions, so offer snacks to help curb buyer’s remorse for that loan.

Touch: The sturdiness of your branch fixtures, technology and furniture makes an impression, so make them ones of quality, stability and strength.

  1. Location, location, location. If your credit union has a branch in an ideal spot but finds it has too much space for the technology driven, COVID world, offering up part of your space as a community center for area events or other companies to use provides yet another reason for members and potential members to come into the branch and can help network the credit union for more and deeper partnerships in the community.
  1. Consistency. Branding, messaging and service should be consistent across all your credit union’s platforms. McDonalds didn’t become wildly popular for its great food or customer service – it’s consistent (right down to the broken ice cream machines).

Credit union branches are far from dead but give them the rebirth they and your members deserve to maintain relationships and relevance in your community.

Credit Unions’ Best Disaster Defense Is a Good Offense

July 16, 2021

Credit union business continuity and disaster recovery planning takes time, effort and money – resources credit unions are short on these days. 

But it’s not just credit unions. A recent article from Security Magazine reported that just 54% –barely half – of companies have plans in place. That’s a dangerous proposition for any company, but especially financial institutions and particularly credit unions, which have worked for a century to earn members’ long-term trust.

During our recent webinar, Trends in Credit Union Data ManagementWescom Resources Group President David Cerwinski explained that the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks continue to climb. He pointed to an example of a New Jersey bank that was hacked by a group calling itself Avaddon, which held the bank’s systems for ransom. Midway through the ransomware attack, the hackers backed off for reasons unknown. This attack could have been much worse, but the fact that it happened proves that all business, including credit unions, need to address the problem before it becomes a major issue.

To protect your credit union from cyberthreats, Alex Munro, CIO at Wescom Credit Union, advised those responsible for credit union business continuity and disaster recovery keep in mind:

Prevention: Ensure all your credit union’s cybersecurity software and firewalls are up to date. Additional employee training may also be necessary to avoid potential threats due to human error.

Detection: Being able to quickly detect an attack is paramount. Consider getting some software that detects rate of change, so if anything unusual happens you’ll know right away.

Mitigation: If a hacker is still able to get past your defenses, the next step is to mitigate damage. One option Munro discussed was immutable copy software, which is a static and pristine copy of your credit union’s data that can never be changed or removed. 

Recovery: Once the attack has passed, your credit union can begin steps to recovery. It’s a good idea to have cybersecurity insurance, and don’t be afraid to have professionals review your IT systems and get them back online.

Return To BAU: Business As Usual serving members.

Andy Tripp, TTCU CIO, is “shifting our keeping-the-lights-on mentality to partnering with the business to drive our strategic initiatives.” WRG has been a valuable partner in that, providing the managed core services TTCU requires without the internal resources. “We were hampered by what the core can’t do,” he explained, “and we converted to a modern core.”

As part of its conversion to Corelation, TTCU selected WRG for its credit union-specific knowledge in addition to the day-to-day tech expertise. “Our time up has increase. Our back and failover capabilities have increased. Our security around the core has increased and morale increased.” Ultimately, TTCU is saving 15 hours each week to focus on improving member service and moving TTCU’s business forward with credit union business continuity planning and protection off the team’s plate.

Want to learn more? Contact Kerry at kschiappa@wescomresources.com today!

Technology Is the Future of Credit Union Branches

July 6, 2021

Credit union branches were among the many business outlets forced to close their doors to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now branches are opening back up again! After a year of primarily digital banking, how can credit unions keep their branches relevant?

Credit union branches are alive and well. According to an article from CU Management, one key function of credit union branches is social interaction. No app or digital banking service can replace talking with someone face-to-face for many credit union members. However, your credit union’s frontline can run more efficiently by leveraging technology in the branch. Give your frontline team more time for face time with Tellergy!

Many believe younger members aren’t interested in visiting your branches, but that simply is not the case. When they do, they expect it to be as seamless and stress-free as your digital platforms, so implementing technologies, like Tellergy, that can make transactions more secure in the branch, faster and provide your credit union another marketing opportunity. Millennials and Gen Z coming up behind them may not come to the branch as often, but they do like to work with someone in-person for more complex issues. It’s important to invest in a retail operations strategy to meet your credit union’s needs, as well as the needs of your members.

Technological innovations and automation within the branch enhance your employees’ ability to serve members, supplementing the member experience. Branch automation creates efficiencies for your team, so they have more time to attend to what’s important: your members and their needs, financial, social and otherwise. 

Credit union branches remain critical in today’s digital world; ensure your members’ in-branch experience is secure, savvy and efficient as your digital member experience. After living in lockdown for the last 15 months, human interaction is more important than ever. Spend the time to upgrade your credit union’s branch technology to ensure your credit union’s relevancy for many years to come.

Tellergy from Wescom Resources Group increases security for your members and efficiency for your staff. Learn more here!

5 Credit Unions Find Efficiencies, Security in Technology CUSO

June 30, 2021

Wescom Resources Group Announces Clients to Branch Automation and Managed Services

Wescom Resources Group recently announced two credit unions went live with its Unitri managed core services. In addition, the $2.1 billion Bayport Credit Union is now live on Tellergy, and WRG welcomed new Tellergy clients $1.9 billion Meriwest Credit Union and $231 million Taunton Federal Credit Union.

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The $752 million Direct Federal Credit Union and $641 million La Capitol Federal Credit Union have gone live with Wescom Resources Group’s managed core services to leverage the cost savings, security, and process efficiency achieved through WRG’s platform to keep their teams focused on business strategy and member service. Unitri offers various elements in its suite, combining the efficiency of a pay-as-you-go model with the flexibility credit unions need.


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“We’re proud to support Direct FCU and La Capitol FCU with WRG’s managed service solution,” Wescom Resources Group President Dave Cerwinski said. “Our commitment to them is to deliver on the promise of lower costs, higher security and better process efficiency via an outsourced model.”

Wescom Resources Group Director of Sales & Marketing Kerry Schiappa added, “I’m also excited to see credit unions’ shift toward digitizing their branch strategies. It’s critical for credit unions to elevate their in-branch experience to members’ needs as the country begins to reopen and the COVID-19 pandemic is stabilizing. We’re very excited that Bayport has gone live, and Meriwest and Taunton are signed up to follow.”

Tellergy is a branch automation platform that offers additional safety, efficiency and marketing opportunities in the branch. The pin pad device is directly connected into the core banking system, so members can be authenticated, perform transactions and receive promotional messages. Tellergy facilitates secure, speedy transactions, while your team can better attend to members’ needs.

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About Wescom Resources Group

Wescom Resources Group, home of Unitri managed services and the Tellergy branch automation platform, delivers solutions to credit unions across the country. In the ultra-competitive retail banking space, we are the processing partner credit unions need to deliver scale and process efficiency yet maintain a fanatical focus on member service. Wescom Resources Group, founded in 2002, is a wholly owned CUSO of Wescom Credit Union.