3 Ways Branch Technology Upgrades Boost ROI

June 24, 2022
Wescom Resources Group Tellergy Signature Pad

Much of today’s technology talk is centered around digital banking and buzzwords like embedded finance, but your credit union branch network is a prime spot to up your tech game to serve members better and more efficiently.

First, the focus of data security has been around data breaches in the online ether, but in the branch it can be just as dangerous for members’ personally identifiable information and other private data to be breached. Has member interaction in your branches been neglected when we think about data security? As we share in a recent blog, members are coming back to our branches after a nearly two-year hiatus.

Often the first information requested by your team is a member number. The Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) requires financial institutions to protect and implement policies regarding consumers’ personally identifiable information, codified by the Financial Privacy Rule. Additionally, a bipartisan group of congresspeople have introduced new legislation that may or may not be intended to cover credit unions, but it definitely demonstrates legislators’ appetite for additional consumer privacy protections. 

Maintaining compliance with data security is just as crucial in the branch as it is in the digital realm.

Second, leveraging member data privacy concerns can help your credit union deliver on better service for competitive advantage. How many times has your frontline team had to tell a member standing across the counter from them that their balance is negative? That would be incredibly embarrassing for your member to have that information overheard by anyone who happens to be standing nearby, including their neighbor or boss. Or perhaps a retired member is checking the balance of her IRA that has hundreds of thousands of dollars in it. Providing that information verbally across the counter could endanger that member. Being able to deliver that information reliably and securely is critical.

Third, while ensuring security measures to protect member data and privacy is key, increased member service levels also opens the frontline team to develop deeper relationships that can lead to increased share of wallet. When they have more time to actively listen to and engage with members, they have greater opportunities to help (read: cross sell) members based on their actual, current needs.

One platform can help solve each of these tangible opportunities and urgent problems for your credit union and your members: Tellergy. Experience what Tellergy can do for your credit union to better serve members and protect their information in your branches. It securely authenticates members in the branch, accelerates transaction speed at the teller counter and helps your credit union promote promotional campaigns. Wescom Resources Group’s software seamlessly integrates into your credit union’s core system, allowing members to verify their identities with the swipe or dip of a card – with the option for the credit union to also require a PIN. Members can conduct their transaction on the keypad and simply review it on the easy-to-read display. Members can even update their own information within the platform. Finally, display your customized marketing banners to promote your latest activities and specials.

See how BayPort Credit Union is leveraging Tellergy for secure, in-branch transactions!

For credit unions, not much is more important than compliance, security and improved member service. As legislators and regulators continue to dig into issues of consumer protection and data security, updating the technology in your branches is just as important as your digital channels.  

Member Facing Updates to Welcome Them Back to the Branch

April 28, 2022

It’s been a couple of years since some of your members came into your credit union branches on a regular basis, thanks to COVID 19. How are you welcoming them back?

According to a survey by software company EPAM Systems, even during the pandemic, 79% of consumers used a branch in 2021. And it’s not just your older members: 40% of 18- to 24-year old consumers visited a financial institution’s branch at least once a month in 2021. These statistics show that news of the death of the branch has been greatly exaggerated.

The definition of member experience has certainly evolved. It’s not just a friendly greeting and a smile at the frontline. Constantly improving the member experience – and your credit union’s bottom line – is crucial to maintaining relevance in their lives. Welcome members back with new user-friendly, time-saving technology – and, yes, a smile, too!

  1. Nurture existing relationships. Share how you’ve missed them with a heart-felt welcome back message on the signature pad at the teller station. 
  2. Improve the security of their data with signature pads that tie securely into your core banking system, so their personal financial information is protected from eavesdroppers
  3. Protect your members’ assets from fraud with card authentication at the signature pad
  4. Market offers in your signature pad to increase campaign awareness and increase wallet share
  5. Gain insight with a member satisfaction survey right at the signature pad, so you can take action and keep members happy

As your credit union is considering its technology projects, be careful not to neglect your branches. Even your mobile app users need a branch! In fact, 36% of consumers used their financial institution’s mobile app to find a branch or ATM, according to ValuePenguin. 

Member-facing updates provide great bang for the buck. Wescom Resources Group’s Tellergy Branch Automation helps improve member service efficiencies on both sides of the teller counter. Its member verification feature means the member is authenticated quickly and securely – without your members speaking their account numbers across the counter nor tellers telling them their account balances for potential fraudsters to hear and take advantage of. Tellergy also offers marketing communications options, so you can get your message in front of your members at every touchpoint. Finally, it will help brand your credit union as tech-savvy and convenient.

Products like Tellergy, built by CUSO Wescom Resources Group, have not been readily available beyond the big banks until now. To differentiate your credit union with Tellergy, contact us today!

How does your credit union’s brand present to your members?

March 7, 2022

Brand is more than a logo. It’s not transaction marketing simply sent to provide a shot in the arm to get loans flowing. Your credit union’s brand represents who you are, what you do and why you do it.

Digitization and transformation are increasingly critical for efficiencies, capabilities and yes, brand. When a member walks into your branch, do they see something straight out of the 1970s, or a sleek modern design supplemented by technology where they can receive high-tech and high-touch service?

A report in the The Financial Brand found that consumers and credit union executives still believe branches are necessary to providing a comprehensive member experience. It continued that the branch represents one way to establish your credit union brand and identity, allows for deeper member relationship development and remains the most effective sales channel. 

“Some credit union executives feel strongly that their member base wants face-to-face interaction and have continued to open new branches even during the pandemic,” according to a study by WestMonroe. In fact, the company said that fully 60% of credit union and bank executives find the branch to be their sales leading service channel, because it allows for more meaningful time with members.

Just ask your members what they see and experience with they enter the branch. What would they like added or subtracted? Maybe decreasing wait times in long lines. Perhaps an all-around more efficient and modern experience. Some may be on the fence about your digital offerings, so use their time in branch to educate them on how to use those tools, which are simple and seamless, and the security they can provide.

Tellergy Branch Technology for credit unions

Frictionless, digital service channels are a key piece of presenting a modern brand to your member. What about modernizing their in-branch experience, too? Wescom Resources Group offers our Tellergy Branch Technology platform that provides privacy, security and an efficient experience that also gives your frontline staff more time to chitchat, learn about members’ lives and cross sell a product or service that suits the members’ needs. Plus, it provides a slick, modern experience that reinforces your credit union brand as being built for the future. 

The WestMonroe report emphasized, “Those that are slow to embrace digital will find themselves in a difficult position, if not now then not too far into the future.”

Millennials and Gen Z are digital and mobile natives, and Gen X’s independent streak means it isn’t too shabby in its technology adaption either. Even boomers have learned to use their smart phones to catch up on their grandchildren’s pictures posted to Facebook and the occasional Zoom family holiday. Modernizing how your credit union’s brand presents to your members with current design and up-to-date technology is what your members want and need, and therefore, so does your credit union.

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.