Better Lobby for Enhanced Branch Efficiency

In the dynamic landscape of financial services, credit unions face the dual challenge of enhancing operational efficiency while ensuring a seamless member experience across multiple branches. This is where Better Lobby comes into play, revolutionizing the way credit unions operate with its innovative features such as Online Queuing and the Flexible Branch Video Module. These […]

Behind the Scenes: How Better Lobby’s Data Analytics Empowers Credit Unions

In an era where data reigns supreme, credit unions are not just financial institutions; they are hubs of member activity and interaction. Recognizing patterns, understanding member needs, and optimizing operations are not just goals but necessities for success. This is where Better Lobby steps in, not just as a lobby management tool but as a […]

Maximizing the Benefits of Video Meetings for Credit Unions

In today’s digital age, credit unions are uniquely positioned to enhance member engagement and satisfaction through video meetings. The Better Lobby Flexible Branch Video Module offers an innovative solution, allowing members to connect with credit union staff from anywhere. This capability is not just a convenience; it’s a game-changer in personalized banking services. Let’s explore […]

Elevating Member Satisfaction: How Better Lobby Empowers Credit Unions

In today’s competitive financial landscape, credit unions face the ongoing challenge of not only attracting new members but also ensuring the satisfaction and loyalty of existing ones. As institutions built on the principles of community and member-centricity, credit unions have a unique opportunity to leverage innovative solutions like Better Lobby to enhance the member experience […]

Navigate Better Branches Website

Appointment Scheduler, Appointments, articles, Branch of the Future, Business Continuity, Credit Union, Digital Channel, Disaster Planning, Flexible Branches, Mobile Appointment Booking Tool, Mobile Booking Tool, Video Meetings, Video Meetings, Visitor Management ‘Digital First’ Not ‘Digital Only’ By BlogAdministrator 22, Apr 2022 No Comments Appointment Scheduler, Appointments, Business Continuity, Disaster Planning, Flexible Branches, Member Satisfaction, member […]

British CU Promises Not to Close Any Branches for Next 4 Years

Principality Building Society, a United Kingdom-based credit union that was formed in 1860, has pledged to maintain its branch presence in the towns and cities it operates in until 2025 at least. This comes in response to a widespread public outcry in the UK against bank branch closings. The institution stated that “feedback from members […]

Omnichannel Commerce is Accelerating

A Fiserv Carat Insights report shows that commerce experiences that blend the physical and digital are increasingly popular among consumers. Omnichannel spending that encompasses a mix of online and in-store business models grew substantially year-over-year, with increases of omnichannel spend seen in verticals including restaurant (77{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b}), grocery (71{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b}), and retail (39{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b}). This consumer desire for […]

The New Normal in Banking is Omnichannel

Karl Dahlgren, BAI’s managing director of research, recently published an article where he stated: “if there’s one task that should be atop financial services organizations’ 2022 to-do list, it is to continue improving the omnichannel customer experience…” While many CUs are solely focused on enhancing their digital channels, a true omnichannel experience covers all member […]

OnPoint Community CU Doubles Down on Branches

OnPoint Community Credit Union is keenly aware of the importance of providing members and their community the option of in-person financial services. Cory Freeman, VP and Regional Manager at the Portland, OR-based CU, explains their motivations: “the issue of branch access goes beyond ease of making deposits or withdrawals – it’s also about building strong […]

BECU members onboard with branches

BECU, founded in 1935 by 18 Boeing employees, is one of many CUs across the country that has seen an advantage in opening branches; in fact, the Washington-based CU has built 16 new branches since 2016. Why does a CU with a high-tech membership base that heavily uses the CU’s digital channels insist on adding […]


A recent Financial Brand article posed 2 important questions for CUs: 1) How can digital technologies enhance person to person interactions? 2) How can digital technologies be better utilized when branch interactions are not convenient? Our Product Development team has given a great deal of thought to these questions and subsequently directly addressed them with […]

Personalized services VERSUS personal interactions

The findings of a big new study by EPAM Systems states that FIs are overconcerned with providing personalized services – when in reality people actually want personal interactions. The report concludes that “interacting in a real-time way with another human being — that’s a service that consumers indicate they are interested in.” Their survey results […]

Video banking done well

Many surveys have found that speaking directly with a member of staff is the most efficient way of resolving consumers’ issues. If an interaction can’t be face to face, then video comes in a strong second as a way to help create a better connection between people. By investing in video banking technology like our […]

Solarity CU Embraces an Omnichannel Strategy

Solarity Credit Union has transitioned its six traditional branches into teller-less consultative facilities featuring smart ATMs and video conferencing. The Yakima, WA-based credit union also uses remote video to serve members. Mina Worthington, President and CEO of Solarity, observes that “people would much rather meet with you via video than get in their car and […]

Increasing credit union relevancy

In a recent Financial Brand article Andre Iervolino, former CTO at Rev Credit Union, laid out 10 key change factors CUs must understand, plan for, invest in, and — in particular — execute on in order to not only remain relevant in banking’s future, but increase their relevancy. One of his 10 items was: Employees will be […]

Taking a Consultative Approach

In a recent Banking Exchange article, this question was posed: Can education and consultations really keep traditional FIs competitive? The author states that the answer is a definitive Yes. He points to Best Buy as a real-world example. In a successful effort to differentiate themselves from Amazon and other pure online retailers, the electronics vendor […]

Video banking is becoming mainstream

AT&T introduced the Picturephone way back in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair, but video calling would not move into the mainstream until Skype came out in 2003. Video banking has also been around for many years, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that it became much more commonplace for Americans who suddenly […]

Branch Formats Evolve

Branches remain the dominant channel for opening new accounts or applying for loans, according to research from Big 4 accounting firm Deloitte. Plus as a first human point of contact, the branch carries a tremendous amount of weight in trust, reputation and brand building, their report states. Branches continue to transition away from transactions and […]

Video’s Impact on Member Satisfaction

In a recent PYMTS article, the research firm notes that 97 percent of FIs that offer video banking said their net promoter score (NPS) — a metric used to gauge customer satisfaction — was as good or better than their other channels, and 90 percent of video banking users said they would be willing to […]

Digital-First Branch Remodeling

Digital banking practices and credit union branches are 100{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} complementary. Without a doubt, branches are enviable assets to online-only neobanks. However, one big question for CUs is how to integrate digital technologies into their lobbies. In a recent article in Banking Dive, an EVP at Mastercard offered these 5 suggestions: touch-screen interfaces staff as tech-enabled […]

Redefine the Branch Experience

Research continues to show that most Americans still prefer branches for more complex financial needs and advice. The consensus among industry observers is that branches must quickly transition away from transactions to become centers of advice and sales. In order to make this transition, your branch staff will need the latest technology and tools that […]

Delivering Relationships

Well known financial consultant Dave Martin recently noted in one of his articles that “as banking increases self-service technology, our face-to-face interactions may become less frequent. Each one, however, becomes more important, not less.” One excellent way to ensure that each face-to-face interaction is meaningful is to allow your members to schedule appointments – either […]

CU Branches Increase in First Quarter – 2021

According to a recent Credit Union Times article, credit unions across America are expanding their branch networks, not closing them as some would have you believe. Case in point: credit unions had 21,550 locations in U.S. states and territories on March 31, 35 more than they had Dec. 31. CU Times went on to state […]

Exploring the Boundaries of Digital Banking: Addressing Limitations and Expanding Solutions for Credit Unions

In the ever-evolving landscape of banking, the transition to digital platforms has been nothing short of transformative. From convenient mobile applications to seamless online transactions, the advent of digital banking has undoubtedly revolutionized the way consumers manage their finances. However, amidst this technological advancement, it’s imperative to acknowledge the inherent limitations that digital banking presents, […]

Data Driven Branches

Many financial industry observers contend that branch networks must adopt a data-driven methodology if they expect to stay agile enough to maintain and build market share. Without a doubt, the need for analytics is greater now than it ever has been. There are a wide variety of branch visitor metrics that are important to senior […]

No Insignificant Branch Visit

Long time financial industry consultant Dave Martin recently published an article where he noted that “there is no such thing as an insignificant branch visit any longer. Providing excellent service in our branches has always mattered. In many ways, it has never mattered more.” Very timely post-pandemic observations for CUs to consider as they re-open […]

The Hybridization of Digital and Physical Banking

“Hybridization” is a branch strategy that melds in-person and digital banking; some people also call this trend “phygital.” Regardless of the label, it acknowledges that banking channels are not separate and that members want to use online and mobile for certain financial activities (ie, balance inquiries, check cashing and other basic transactions) and in-person for […]

Branch Makeover Post-Pandemic

Despite the fact that Americans have learned to function without full branches for months during the pandemic, “customers still want to use branches,” says Robert Meara, a senior analyst at Celent. The evolution of branch usage post-COVID is essentially the same as before the pandemic closed lobbies: less transactions and more person-to-person advice. One key […]

CUs and Travel Agencies

In the early 1980s when booking travel was an in-person experience, travel agencies in the U.S. peaked at around 20,000. Today there are around 10,000 travel agencies in America. What lesson can CUs learn from this dramatic change? Perhaps the biggest one is that these surviving travel agencies have been successful because they are focused […]

The Future of Video Banking

Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at, says the shift from brick-and-mortar to digital banking channels will help spur more widespread adoption of video banking platforms. Many analysts agree with him and are convinced that video banking will become commonplace for many reasons, but one compelling reason is that some problems can simply be easier […]

Curbside Member Service

Member service can begin even before your lobby front door. Just as with many other industries, CUs have begun providing services curbside, including notarizations and loan document signings. This not only serves as a Covid safety measure, but it can be more convenient for elderly or disabled visitors. We recognized in the early days of […]

The Future of In-Person Banking

GoMoxie, a customer engagement software company, recently published a survey indicating that 62{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of consumers prefer to use FIs that have a physical presence, rather than a digital-only presence. Many industry experts believe that the future of in-person banking will focus on: Appointments Value-based and higher level services, i.e., mortgages, loans, financial advice/investments Problem solving […]

Working for the “good guys”

Todd Sheffield, CEO of Santa Rosa, CA-based Community First Credit Union, is retiring after 33 years of working for CUs. Under his leadership, Sheffield has helped grow Community First’s assets from $91 million in 2001 to its current $664 million. Some innovations that were implemented under his tenure include: a zero-fee loan to 4-H students; […]

CU Branch Expansion Strategies Shared

NAFCU’s recent Economic & CU Monitor report includes insights into how the pandemic has affected credit unions’ branch operations, as well as member trends related to using online and mobile banking options. Compared to a 2013 NAFCU survey that revealed only 18{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of credit union members used mobile devices to access their accounts, respondents in […]

Redefining Member Engagement: Banking Should be Personal

In the realm of financial services, the personal touch remains a cornerstone of the member experience. As Garret Reich, Editorial Associate with The Financial Brand, aptly articulates, “Few topics are as intimate, intimidating, and important to people as money.” This sentiment underscores the enduring appeal of face-to-face interactions within credit union branches. In an era […]

Silicon Valley in Mayberry

Some observers are pointing out that there is really no need to engage in any “digital versus branch” debates. Members want to trust that you can meet them wherever they are: in the branch, at home or on the go. It is all about convenience and what is the most appropriate way to handle each […]

Scheduling Appointments Will Become the ‘New Normal’ in Banking

A recent Financial Brand article highlighted several quantifiable benefits that appointments offer credit unions in addition to helping promote safety: Appointment scheduling produces new account growth Appointment scheduling improves access – members can better plan their day, and branch staff can more carefully meter lobby traffic Appointment scheduling can improve Net Promoter Scores Without a […]

Path Forward Involves Blending Digital and Physical

2020 has been challenging for everyone, but what it has revealed is that members want a blend of physical and digital service from their credit union. Amit Aggarwal, Managing Director of Digital Solutions at J.D. Power, put it very succinctly in a recent Financial Brand article: “An effective path forward lies not in segmenting digital […]

Michigan CU Reaps Rewards from Keeping Lobbies Open

Michigan First CU has kept all of its 30 offices open during the pandemic and was rewarded with record business results, according to CEO Michael Poulos in a recent CUToday article. The $1.3-billion CU actually enjoyed the highest number of new accounts during a recent four month-period. The CU committed to rigid CDC safety standards […]

CUNA’s Michlig talks evolution of branches post-pandemic

CUNA Chief Engagement Officer spoke to Forbes recently about what the coronavirus pandemic means for branch traffic and he pointed out that “there’s always been a desire for credit unions to continue to have that in-person presence.” He suggests that branches post-pandemic will be used more for consultations with staff members as well as financial well-being programming. Both of […]

Revolutionizing Credit Union Branches: Post-COVID Branch Technology Trends

In a recent insightful piece featured in the Financial Brand, James Caliendo, CEO at PWCampbell, emphasized the critical role of embracing fresh branch technology approaches for the future prosperity of financial institutions (FIs) post-pandemic. Caliendo advocated for the expansion of branch technology offerings to include innovative tools such as interactive kiosks, iPad integration, digital marketing […]

Parking Lot Check-in Proves Popular

We have been getting very positive feedback on our new Parking Lot Check-in feature which is a simple and easy to use feature that conveniently checks-in members from the safety of their cars. It is not that surprising  because this latest addition to our Better Lobby Online Queuing module was developed as a direct result […]

Parking Lot Check-in Now Available

After implementing our Online Queuing module (software which enables branch visitors to place their name in the Better Lobby Main Service Queue – for walk-in service – before arriving at the branch) at various CUs across the US, we received feedback from our CU partners that they really wanted their members to be able to […]

How Video Banking Can Bolster CUs During Difficult Times

In a recent BizTech article, web editor Keara Dowd stated that FIs that have deployed video banking have seen “direct returns on the investment. That is because video banking helps: increase consumer satisfaction create more intimate service levels increase the view of the CU as an innovative organization provide excellent business continuity Key Takeaway: Video […]

Branch Banking Remains Popular After COVID-19

In a recent poll conducted by Boston Consulting Group, just 3{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of Americans said they would stop using branch banking altogether in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Without a doubt, this means that closing branches would not be advisable. Yet, CUs must seriously rethink how they plan to handle lobby visits post-pandemic. Better Lobby offers […]

Flexible Branches Video Meetings Now Available

We just released our new Flexible Branches module that expands our Better Lobby Service Queue to enable members inside or outside a branch to be served by branch staff using video meetings. CU staff can be working remotely (i.e. home) or at a branch different from the visitor. Members have the option of connecting remotely […]

Branch Visits Remain In Demand

In a recent poll conducted by Boston Consulting Group, just 3{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of Americans said they would stop using branch banking altogether in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With demand for branch banking continuing, CUs will have to rethink how they handle in-person visits. One way to safely and effectively handle lobby visitors is by using […]

The Branch Experience

According to a recent report from research firm Celent, “when it comes to quick questions, the call center beats text messaging, chatbots or social media. But for longer conversations on financial advice, new account or loan applications, and other key life transitions, customers across all age groups still prefer in-person interaction.” They conclude that financial […]

Appointments More Important Than Ever Post-COVID

Coronavirus has not eliminated members’ need to transact or finalize complex financial arrangements in the branch. Nor has it lessened member desire to speak with CU employees face to face about financial products and services. In a recent PYMNTS article, the author concluded that: “In-branch banking will exist long after the pandemic has abated, but […]

Branches Going Forward Post-COVID

The Financial Brand recently surveyed knowledgeable industry experts on how the coronavirus may have changed in-person banking forever. Here are a few sample responses: David Horton, Managing Director, Global Head of Innovation for Thynk Digital: “Long term, I do not see too much [downward] impact on the role of the branch when providing advice on […]

Digital & Branches Are Completely Complementary

Over the years, many new banking channels have come on the scene: ATMs, Telephone Banking, Online Banking, Mobile Banking, Video Banking and more. After every advancement, some pundits have always predicted that the latest innovation will replace branches. However, the reality is that new channels have never replaced old channels – they merely add another […]

Flexible Appointment options

In a recent CU Journal opinion piece, Sean Desmond, chief customer success officer at nCino, notes that “credit unions are in a unique position to both help their members during this challenging time and solidify their status as their members’ trusted financial resource for the future.” He recommends that credit unions reach out to members […]

CUs excel at Personalized Service

The 2019 Retail Banking Report from Bain & Co. found that community FIs were experiencing ‘rampant’ leakage of accountholders to BigTech, Fintech and specialist start-ups. These companies often offer robust mobile apps and full featured websites that appeal to digital consumers. Yet survey after survey shows that all demographics – even so-called digital natives – […]

Members Still Desire Branch Access

Without a doubt, digital channels are truly helping members handle many of their transactional banking needs during the current coronavirus pandemic. This increased online/mobile transaction volume has led some pundits to suggest that post-pandemic there will be little to no need for branches. But as long-time banking consultant Dave Martin wisely points out: “what customers […]

Growth of Universal MSRs

A 2019 Kiran Analytics survey showed that implementation of the “universal bankers” role continued its rise and that 55{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of FIs have deployed this type of employee. This growth reflects an ongoing shift in focus from transactions to advice, and many observers see this trend as accelerating post-pandemic as many people become more comfortable using […]

Improve the experience and safety of your lobby visitors

Personal finances need constant attention, especially when disaster hits. In difficult times, many people want face-to-face advice which is why many CUs are finding creative and safe ways to keep their lobbies open. Here are some ways that we help CUs accomplish this goal: Appointments – Many FIs and other organizations are currently switching to […]

Branches as Advice Centers – Even More Important Going Forward

Jon Voorhees, a banking Consultant at Peak Performance Consulting Group, predicts that “the need for advice or account services will increase as more customers need help charting a new path forward financially in a post-pandemic world. The role of the branch has already been shifting more to an advice center in the last few years […]

Branches and Digital Enablement

In Deloitte’s 2019 Banking Industry Outlook report, the “Big Four” accounting firm notes that “the importance of the branch in attracting and retaining customers, contrary to conventional wisdom, should remain…branches will continue to have value, especially with greater digital enablement.” And their global consumer survey backs up this prediction – it showed that respondents were likely […]

The Branch is Still a Rock

In a recent timely article, long time banking consultant Dave Martin offered some insightful observations on the value of branches: “Our branch employees will have numerous opportunities over the next few months to strengthen relationships and build customer loyalty like few other times in history.” “There will be many customers dealing with unplanned issues and […]

Why you need a branch

A recent Forbes article laid out six compelling reasons why consumers still want to use – and need to use – branches: Personal Touch to Solve Problems Advice on Complex Financial Topics In-Person Suggestions for Other Financial Solutions Cash and Foreign Currency Special In-Bank Services (ie, notary, coin cashing, safe deposit box, cashier’s check, etc.) […]

Branches Play a Key Role in Every CU’s Digital First Strategy

NCR’s SVP and General Manager Doug Brown recently observed that “the branch is a digital ecosystem in and of itself and it should be connected to the digital banking, self-service ecosystem.” He is convinced that the branch can play a vital role in the creation of a “digital first” financial institution – and so are […]

Streamlining Your Branch Operations

Two major prerequisites for streamlining branch operations are measurement and analysis. There is an old – but true – saying: You can only manage what you measure. As Kerim Tumay of Kiran Analytics recently pointed out in a recent article: “In order to improve operational efficiency, you need to have an unbiased, detailed view of […]

Visit History Link

The Better Lobby Visit History Link provides CU staff with fast and easy access to past member visit information enabling them to better serve the member on the current visit. Member’s Visit History ReportPressing the “Visit History” link pops the report below, showing the member’s past branch visits in chronological order.

Valuing Your Members Time

Everyone agrees that the branch is shifting from a transactional place to an advisory place. The move away from transactions has led to branch staff to spend more time on account servicing transactions and sales/new account opening. This means that credit unions must focus on how they interact with members and prospects in these two […]

Transforming Branches into Advice Centers

As branch transactions continue to decline, the expectation of many in the industry is that the role of the still large number of credit union branches will shift to an advisory function. One of the pillars of good advice is knowing exactly why the member has visited your branches in the past – their visit […]

Consumers embrace mobile banking, but still value branches

According to an Adobe study that was conducted in late 2019, 75{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of consumers that they surveyed still believe physical branches matter and 70{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of them have still visited a branch location in the past month. Craig Peasley, director of marketing at Adobe, said “the data shows that there’s still room to delight customers with […]

What Matters Most When Selecting a New FI

Surprisingly, even among younger consumers, digital and mobile banking is not one of the top-three reasons for selecting a new FI. A study completed in October 2019 by Market Street Research for the New England Financial Marketing Association found that top 2 factors in choosing a new FI were: Fees Convenient branches It has never […]

Adding Value to Branch Digital Signage

For many years lobby digital wall displays have presented branch visitors with news, sports updates, financial health tips, fraud alerts, video footage featuring volunteer events and fundraisers, and of course CU products and services pitches. Yet one often overlooked feature is showing waiting members their position in the service queue. Better Lobby Wall Display module […]

There is Synergy in Blending the Physical and Digital

By some accounts, digital brands with a physical presence grow eight times more quickly. For example, Amazon continues to make a big push into the physical channel – the online giant recognizes that there is synergy in blending the physical and digital, where all touchpoints support each other and understand what role they play. We […]

Branches Drive New Business

According to the World Branch Report, three out of five (60{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b}) retail banking executives say the branch is their leading sales channel — counting account opening, credit cards, insurance, investments, and loans. While overall branch transactions and visits are down, the fact remains that branch visits continue to produce the largest proportion of loan and […]

Branches as Sales Generators

According to research by McKinsey & Company, while 60 percent of banking consumers use digital channels, online banking only generates 25 percent of sales. Their conclusion: Branches remain relevant, particularly for new accounts and product sales efforts. Our CU clients have found that our Appointment Scheduler helps increase branch sales success by reminding visitors to […]

Cutting Edge Kiosk Features

We are excited about the latest enhancements to our Better Lobby Kiosk that are now available in Version 5.0. It includes some valuable new features: •          Text Me When I’m Soon to be Served – optional text feature available to advise visitors when they are near the top of the service queue. •          Text Me […]

A First in the CU Marketplace: Online Queuing

We are very pleased to provide a new, brand enhancing, technology to CUs: Online Queuing 1.0. This module builds another important bridge from your digital channel to your branch network by letting members join a branch queue before leaving home. Of course, the first “bridge” was Better Lobby Appointments. In addition to offering convenience to […]

Consumers still turning to branches to open new accounts

When it comes to opening new accounts, consumers still tend to trust the branch over digital channels, according to a new study from Forrester Research. It turns out that while the digital channels remain important, the ongoing importance of a human touch cannot be ignored. Seventy-one percent of U.S. adults who regularly use the Internet […]

Why tech-savvy members still visit branches

About three-quarters of Gen Y (73.4 percent) have visited a branch to open an account, according to a J.D. Power retail banking study. Moreover, about 60 percent of younger adults told the research firm that they have visited the branch within the last three months. And according to a 2018 Gallup survey, 66 percent of millennials […]

What Age Demographic Visits Branches Most Often?

This simple question has quite a surprising answer according to Mercator Advisory Group’s research: Among those who visit a branch over twice a month – young consumers visit most often! Here are some more interesting stats from the research firm’s recent report: 56{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of 18-34 year old consumers visit their branch over twice a month […]

Branch vs. Digital Banking Debate

A recent Financial Brand article highlighted the fact that too much focus on the back and forth debate over branch and digital preferences of consumers diverts attention from providing a superior member experience. The article concluded that people expect hassle-free interactions and a satisfactory result no matter how they do business with your credit union. […]

Putting the human touch in banking

As many FIs rush to digital in an effort to please consumers, many leave behind one of the most important elements that consumers want: the human touch. “People and relationships still matter,” says Bob Meara, senior analyst at Celent’s banking group. “All things equal we do business with people we like and you have to […]

Millennials Still Want Branches

“As Millennials grow older, they express increasing interest in visiting a physical location once they have exhausted their online research,” states Joe Wheeler, Senior Director, Mid-Size Bank Practice at J.D. Power. He also emphasizes the fact that CUs that want to exploit this opportunity to work with Millennials must make sure branch staff is appropriately […]

The value of an old-fashioned visit to your local branch

Laura Doering, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Toronto, pointed out some interesting results from her research in a recent online article: when borrowers have personal relationships with lenders, they are more likely to repay their loans on time, whereas those with distant relationships miss more payments. She recommends that people who […]

Effective Financial Guidance Starts with Appointments

In a recent article in Forbes, a CUNA Mutual Group executive stated that a retail branch model that focuses on in-person advice and service is the branch’s most promising future. He states “fully 78{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of retail bank customers want guidance from their banks, according to a JD Power study. And the most effective way to […]

Tracking Branch Activities

Bob Meara, Senior Analyst at research firm Celent, says “if you ask branch bankers about the details of their teller transactions, they can wax eloquent about those metrics.” What is less-often tracked and measured, Meara finds, are factors of current branch activity that relate to what many regard as the increasingly dominant role of branches, […]

Consumers Happier Using Branch+Digital Than Digital Only

Data from recent J.D. Power & Associates research confirms that the most satisfied banking consumers are those who regularly use branches and also use digital channels. The author of the report points out that “Millennials are coming back into the branches as they grow older and their financial needs become more sophisticated.” Credit unions looking […]

What will the Branch of the Future look like?

In a recent article in Finextra, Andrew Beatty, FIS Head of Banking Strategy, concluded that: The Branch Isn’t Dead; It’s Reborn. He predicted that future branches will be become much more inviting – think coffee shops – and that visitors will be greeted with tablets where universal bankers can assist them with all banking needs. […]

Appointments help CUs keep branches alive and thriving

A recent CU Journal article pointed out that members no longer visit branches to complete transactions that they can do online. Instead they stop by for help with more complex issues, such as applying for a loan, opening an account, seeking financial advice or dealing with a problem. While we certainly agree with this assessment […]

Branch Service Enters a New Era of Appointments

In a recent Credit Union Times article, iQ Credit Union’s SVP of Retail Delivery Ali Migaki said the most common reasons for branch visits today at their CU are to: 1) open a new membership; 2) discuss major financial moves that will impact the member’s life; and 3) pick up a new payment card after […]

The Branch Debate

In a recent blog, Mark Smith, President of Kitewheel (a self-described new-age Marketing Technology company), calls for FIs to “fully integrate branch networks with all the other digital channels…” and points out that consumers “want to be able to use both physical and digital systems whenever they choose – and they expect them to work […]

Branch Transformation Trends

Branch Transformation for Financial Institutions, a complimentary industry guide produced by ATM Marketplace, takes an interesting look at how can FIs integrate physical and digital channels in order to achieve a truly omnichannel “phygital” strategy. The guide covers new tech for the teller platform, video systems, and tablets. Our Better Lobby platform integrates with all […]

Branch Customer Experience (CX) Remains Important

Recently Celent’s Bob Meara recently published a report titled Solutions for Optimizing the In-Person Customer Experience. In his research, he found the opportunity is significant. Unlike digital, where the report highlights the fact that FIs have a bevy of precise metrics to evaluate and optimize the CX, the research firm points out that the branch […]

Technical Innovation in CU Branches

Codigo, a provider of marketing tools, released research that shows that the number of FIs planning to equip universal bankers (or other staff members) with tablets shot up 25{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} in 2017 to 51{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} in 2018. Interactive kiosks and interactive teller machines both came in at 44{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} in 2018, a ten percentage point increase. Both video […]

Supercharge member engagement in Branches by working closely with your Contact Center

Many members believe all channels should work in concert, including the branch. The staff in your contact center and branches should understand the member’s journey without members having to provide them with their contact details.   Using our Better Lobby Appointment Assistant, combined with our Pseudo Host Database, your contact center agents can easily book appointments for […]

Small Businesses Prefer Branches

J.D. Power reports that 61{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of small businesses in its sample survey are much less likely to use digital banking channels, and are still classified as “branch dependent.” The research firm concluded that businesses still value working with a live person in a branch who understands what they do and what they need. The reality […]

Technology Improves In-Person Branch Operations

According to industry consultant Richard Crone, “you’ll lose a customer for an unreasonable branch experience, but they’re not integrating the branch with the mobile app. The best way to do that is with a scheduling capability.” We agree with his assessment – allowing members to use their mobile device, tablet or computer to book an […]

Generation Z and Branches

GenerationZ — folks born after 1996 — will be the most diverse generation in the U.S. by2020, and at their peak will hold some $143 billion in purchasing power. Tolearn more about this generation, UNiDAYS polled 1,000 Gen Zers to see how theyfeel about money. They found two interesting facts – one quite obvious (95{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} […]

Intelligent Branch Banking

According to a recent McKinsey study, a staggering 80 percent of Americans still want that branch-level human touch on some or all of their banking needs – particularly when they are looking for loans, investments and financial advice. Cisco executives like to use the term “Intelligent Branch Banking” to describe a branch that drives better […]

Appointments Help with “Moments of Financial Truth”

During a brainstorming session of financial professionals at a recent BAI conference led by Jim Eckenrode, managing director for Deloitte’s Center for Financial Services attendees came up with the following ideas on how to make branch banking more appealing to consumers who are seeking assistance with their important financial matters: making appointments online for branch […]

Branches Key Factor in Switching FIs

New research from Resonate on the reasons people switch primary banking providers indicates that there are 5.6 million people in the U.S. who plan to switch FIs in the next 12 months. Among women surveyed about switching, the top three reasons for switching FIs were: more convenient branch locations (34{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b}) better service (19{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b}) better online/mobile […]

What do Millennials want from their FIs?

In a recent Forbes Magazine article Sebastian Rymarz, Chief Business Officer for Fundbox, postulates that consumers, especially Millennials, want the following items from their FI: less friction and more help personal attention the customized service they’re used to getting when they’re logged in on their devices to carry over to their in-branch experience One way […]

Branch staff take center stage amid transformations

For $1.3 billion asset LGE Community Credit Union in Marietta, GA, the move to universal front-line staff has been good for the credit union, members, and staff. The credit union has increased referrals, reduced staff costs, and enhanced member engagement, according to an interesting article on CUNA’s website. At Better Branches, we equip CUs that […]

Mobile Video Banking Ready for Growth

BluCurrent Credit Union’s ($185 million & 22,000 members) five-year-old video banking program has allowed the CU to reduce branch staffing levels by two-thirds and reallocate resources to create a more robust call center and mortgage department. Using a video connection from the credit union’s contact center to the branch kiosks, their experts are able to […]

Branches for the Digital Age

McKinsey and Company believes that far from rendering the branch obsolete, digital technology holds the key to the branch of the future. They state that smart-branch transformation builds on three pillars: the seamless integration of cutting-edge branch technology, which has become cheaper, more reliable, and more accessible; the adoption of radically new, teller- and desk-free […]

Millennials Inclined to Switch FIs to Obtain Better Service

Four in 10 millennials say they have switched FIs due to poor service, and nearly twice as many (77 percent) say they would switch to a FI offering better service, according to new research from Humley, a creator of artificial intelligence chatbots for enterprise. This begs the question: how do you deliver great service to millennials […]

Across Generations, Consumers Prefer the Branch for Financial Advice

Consumers are happy with digital interactions for quick transactions, but for more substantive conversations they’d rather deal with humans, according to new research commissioned by Samsung. However, the study added a caveat: a poor branch experience can keep consumers away, or even make them consider switching to another institution. Here are the top consumer complaints […]

Digital Interactions Are Fine, to a Point

Two surveys, done by New York-based financial services research and advisory firm Celent in February and released this month, asked over 2,300 U.S. adults when, how and why they want face-to-face interactions with their financial institutions. The surveys found that the majority (55{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b}) wanted in-person interactions when they felt a conversation was necessary, and 77{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} […]

3 Myths about Video Banking

The “3 Myths” article contends that video banking helps credit unions make their products and services more convenient, while simultaneously helping them develop a high tech image. The author discusses 3 common myths around video banking that are holding adoption rates back: Myth #1. No space for video banking Myth #2: Video banking is over […]

Credit Unions Reinvent the Branch Experience

In a recent interesting Credit Union Times article, Peter Strozniak pointed out that “to create that experiential brand marketing, credit union executives are redesigning branches and cross-training staff to make the credit union experience personal, memorable, different and engaging – indelible positive member emotions that simply cannot be duplicated through digital channels.” As more CUs […]

Global Video Banking Survey

Vidyo recently released the results from their Global Video Banking Survey and the data shows that consumers who have experienced video banking want more of it. Whether through online video banking (85{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of consumers said they would use it again) or in-branch video banking (90{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of consumers said they would use it again), consumers find […]

Another Study Supports Popularity of Branches

Branches remain essential for handling financial matters for a significant number of consumers, according to a new report from Phoenix Synergistics entitled “The New Digital Bank Branch.” Not surprisingly, Baby Boomers are most likely to hold this viewpoint, however, an impressive number of Millennials – more than four in ten – find branches essential for […]

Automated marketing campaigns are clicking with members

A recent CU Journal article noted that many credit unions are deploying adaptive email marketing automation campaigns that are increasing new balances, spiking auto loan applications and converting anonymous website visitors to being “known.” In a similar vein, one of our clients recently came to us and asked if we could help them obtain accurate […]

Long live the branch

In a recent interview, Diebold Nixdorf’s director of business development, design and new technology incubation Dave Kuchenski commented that once all FIs master the digital experience (and they will because those who don’t won’t be around), the differentiator becomes physical. Mr. Kuchenski added that means determining who comes into the branch and why and then […]

Two Types of Video Banking

The widespread popularity of Skype and Facetime show that consumers love video. As far as credit unions are concerned, there are two video categories that they can use to better serve members: in-branch and remote video. Currently, in-branch (which includes kiosks, ATMs or video-equipped rooms within branches and other CU facilities) is the most popular, […]

Americans Prefer Branches Over Mobile Apps for Opening New Accounts

A recent survey by consulting firm Novantas found that while mobile banking apps keep getting better, 60 percent of Americans would still rather open a new checking account in person at a branch than on a phone, tablet or desktop computer. Not surprisingly, the Novantas research concluded that Americans’ preference for visits to branches over […]

Revolutionizing Member Service: The Rise of Video-Only Branches in Credit Unions

In a groundbreaking move that signals a paradigm shift in member engagement, BCU, under the leadership of Chief Retail Officer Carey Price and Chief Information Officer Jeff Johnson, is set to introduce video-only branches. In a recent CUBroadcast interview, Price and Johnson delved into the rationale behind this innovative approach, shedding light on its mechanics, […]

Community Choice Credit Union Invests in Branch of the Future

Community Choice Credit Union EVP/COO Dan Munro recently took time out of his busy schedule to do an interesting video interview with CUBroadcast: Press Here Dan firmly believes the branch – or “Member Center” as Community Choice calls it – is not dead by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just evolving. We agree wholeheartedly! […]

Branches aren’t going away

In the U.S. today, there are about 86,000 retail bank branches and another 21,000 credit union branches. In the first half of 2017, according to the FDIC, about 200 branches closed and another 100 new branches opened every month. So the expected decline this year will be a little more than 1000, a slower rate […]

Credit unions turn to video

Video interaction services can help enable credit unions to centralize their experts. This technology, which is becoming more affordable and commonplace, allows members to have a lifelike meeting experience with CU employees in smaller branches where it is not feasible to deploy mortgage, investment and other specialized staff. The next step is BYOD (Bring Your Own […]

People still like the personal touch

Every year, the IMF conducts a global survey to assess people’s access to financial services. The most recent data from October 2017 show the number of branches per 100,000 adults holding remarkably stable in recent years. When it come to important financial matters, advice and problem solving, most people still have a preference for face […]

Gen Z Heaviest Branch Users

Gen Z consumers are surprisingly more likely than any other age group, including Baby Boomers, to visit a branch at least weekly, according to a new study from Accenture. While this may come as a surprise to many, what is not surprising is that the study also revealed that they are the group that is […]

Branches Are Here to Stay, and They’re Better than Ever

In a recent article in Credit Union Times, managing editor Natasha Chilingerian took an interesting look at how two CUs – IQ CU and Nutmeg State Financial CU – are developing their branch strategies. She found that the branch is alive and well, and they are getting major facelifts. She also concludes that the “branch […]

Video is a key part of the ultimate branch format

Peak Performance Consulting Group,  a respected consulting firm that specializes in banking strategy, recently outlined their concept of the “ideal branch.” One of the basic tenets was video: “You need private offices for the universal bankers to have private conversations…. One should have two-way video conferencing capability. When a customer needs to speak with a […]

Legacy channels probably can’t beat mobile — so they should join it

In a recent article in Business Insider, Senior Research Analyst Dan Van Dyke stated that credit unions “should prioritize adding features such as the ability to view wait times in mobile banking before calling support, the ability to use a mobile phone to gain access to ATMs, or mobile scheduling tools to set appointments with […]

Innovation and Appointment Booking

In a recent blog, NCR stated that “innovation and development in the self-service channel will give branch staff more freedom to focus on activities that can deliver genuine value for the business….” Online appointment booking is perfectly suited to achieving this goal of focusing on activities that can deliver genuine value, e.g., opening more accounts, […]

Video Banking Proves Popular for BluCurrent CU

BluCurrent Credit Union in Springfield, MO has implemented a popular video conferencing platform that routes calls from their branches to the CU’s member experience center. How popular is it? “Out of a five-point scale, our average rating is 4.5 for a positive experience and 93 percent of members would recommend it, which blew away our […]

Merging the Member and the Branch Staff Experience

In a recent blog post entitled “Future of the Branch: Conclusion – It’s about employee experience too,” , an experienced FinTech blogger points out that “for branches to maintain longevity banks must focus on employee experience alongside customer experience, through integration of the technology available to both.” This is an interesting and important observation, but […]

The Mobile/Physical Divide Represents a False Choice

Amazon, the bastion of e-commerce, has opened stores, along with other tech giants such as Microsoft and Apple, in an effort to reach customers and create new experiences around their products and brands. Even as credit unions move towards a “mobile first” strategy, many of them continue to invest in their branch networks. The bottom line […]

More Than Half Of Globe’s Population Now Using Mobile Banking

According to the Mobile Ecosystem Forum’s recent Mobile Money Report, 61{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of people use their mobile phone to carry out banking activity. Yet, even with mobile banking’s booming popularity, around 28{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of the 6,000 people interviewed for MEF’s report said that a branch was the preferred location for daily banking, compared to the 26{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} who prefer […]

Improving Customer Experience in Banking

A survey of executives in the banking industry revealed that the top three initiatives planned for 2017 among leaders included: 1) removing friction from the customer journey; 2) use of big data and advanced analytics; and 3) improvements in integrated multichannel delivery. At Better Branches, our solutions can significantly help with items 1 and 3. […]

Instant Issuance and Branch Appointments – A Perfect Marriage

Many progressive credit unions have implemented instant issue card programs in their branches with great success. Instant issuance enables members to walk into a branch and, within seconds, receive a fully-functioning, active payment card. But it is not just new members but increasingly existing members who have lost their cards or need a replacement card […]

Booking Rooms as well as Branch Specialists

The start of a new year is always a good time for predictions. Jon Voorhees, a consultant with Peak Performance Consulting Group , makes this prognostication for branches: “Customers may be able to communicate with branch personnel via Skype and more banks will also have private soundproof rooms in which customers can have face-to-face conversations with offsite […]

Video Conferencing is a Top Branch Priority

At the recent Future Branches conference, attendees were surveyed on many topics. In terms of the “technology needed in the branch of the future,” 63{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} indicated that enhanced ATMs and video sessions with advisors were their top priorities. “Mobile” finished second in the poll which is interesting because most people would not think about mobile […]

Consumers Expect Multi-Channel Services, Yet Many Still Prefer Branch

Fiserv’s recent Expectations & Experiences quarterly consumer trends survey reveals that while 53{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of those surveyed said they prefer to use online or mobile banking for everyday transactions, a robust 44{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} favored a branch location. Our Mobile Appointment Booking Tool provides an ideal way to blend the digital and the physical worlds. Members can use […]

Millennials are visiting Branches

Qualtrics, in conjunction with Accel, recently surveyed 8,000 adults to learn how the different generations approach their money and payment options. What they found is that while Millennials are heavy mobile banking users, 30 percent of them report that they visited a financial institution branch in the past week. Meanwhile, 33 percent of baby boomers said […]

Consumers Love Mobile Banking Apps… But Still Need Branches

This is the title of a recent article in the Financial Brand and in the article they also cover four areas that impact a consumer’s satisfaction level with their financial institution. They are: Location Convenience Ease of Doing Business Transparency and Fairness Security and Reputation The vast majority of credit unions certainly excel in all four […]

Phygital Banking

Phygital (physical plus digital) is a marketing term that describes blending digital experiences with physical ones.  As members become more reliant on their smartphones for their banking needs, there will be more instances that arise in which they will want to connect the digital experience with the branch experience. Our Mobile Appointment Booking Tool is a […]

The in-person experience at branches is still important!

A new study of more than 9,500 consumers by Market Force Information found that one-fifth of respondents said they went into a branch in the last 90 days to speak with a branch employee about new products and additional services. Those who did reported 5{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} higher satisfaction levels than those who didn’t, and they were […]

Technology is great, but sometimes face-to-face is better

In support of their branch network The Nationwide Building Society, a large credit union in Great Britain, is running TV ads with the message: ‘technology is great, but sometimes face-to-face is better’. The synergy between the branch and the digital channels is directly evident: when Nationwide opens a new branch, the number of people using its […]

Summit Credit Union Enjoys Robust Branch Traffic

Summit Credit Union is a large – $2.4 billion in assets and more than 153,000 members – and progressive credit union that is the second largest credit union in Wisconsin. Rebecca Gerothanas, SVP of Operations at Summit, states that “electronic banking is gaining in popularity; there is no doubt about it,” but she quickly adds […]

Branches remain essential to CU’s relationships with members

FDIC Chief Economist Richard Brown says that “this thesis…that we have mobile banking and high-tech banking, therefore the branch offices are dinosaurs and going away appears to be substantially overstated.” ATMs never replaced tellers when they came online as predicted by many pundits, and now mobile can’t possibly replace them either. It is a safe […]

The Branch of the Future Will Still Be a Branch

Over the years, telephone banking and ATMs were going to replace the branches, then online and mobile banking were pegged as “branch killers.” Members now have more banking options ever – especially when it comes to handling routine transactions and balance inquiries, yet survey after survey shows that consumers in all age groups still value […]

Blending your branch and digital channels

Accenture, the multinational management consulting services company, surveyed more than 4,000 retail bank customers in the US and Canada and uncovered these attitudes about using branches  : 87{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} indicated they will continue to use the branch in the future 49{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} said they anticipated using the branch two years from now because “I trust my bank […]

Video is coming to all channels

Some observers contend that video banking will be the next chapter in a credit union’s digital transformation. Research co-sponsored by Efma and Vidyo found that nearly 80{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of all surveyed FIs plan to offer video-enabled banking services. Respondents noted that regardless of the channel (mobile, desktop, branch or ATM), the most important capabilities for video […]

Millennial Branch Traffic Integrates Mobile

A recent BI Intelligence Digital Banking survey revealed that 75{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of millennials either never visit branches or do so once a month or less; however, 62{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of millennials still find some value in branches, which led the researchers to conclude that FIs must strive to find the right balance between digital and in-branch services. Our Better […]

Brochures or Digital Signage?

Many credit union marketing departments are foregoing brochures for in-branch digital signage. This trend is noticeable in credit unions of all sizes. Case in point: Laramie, WY-based UniWyo Federal Credit Union, which has $271M in assets and about 24,000 members, recently replaced paper brochures in their lobbies with screens. We have addressed this trend head […]

Top 10 Banking Trends for 2016

U.S. News and World Report has published a list of the Top 10 Banking Trends for 2016 and we directly address three of their predictions with our solutions: 1) The digital and branch experience will merge. We connect the digital experience to the branch experience via our Mobile Appointment Booking Tool. 2) Branches will start to go […]

Video banking beginning to gain traction

BluCurrent Credit Union in Springfield, MO has incorporated video conferencing into its three branches.  Although they are only a $158 million-asset credit union, BluCurrent invested in the technology and video conferencing has been very well received by their members. We developed our Branch Video Meeting Queues to help credit unions provide full support to any […]

Branch Service Queue Display Goes Live

Without a doubt, digital merchandising represents a step way beyond traditional branch signs and displays.  To take it a progressive step further would be to add our latest module: Branch Service Queue Display. This powerful software supports a wide array of display types, resolutions, and screen sizes via responsive software design. In action, it provides […]

Tablets in the Branch

At Island Savings CU, when members have an appointment and are waiting to meet with an employee, instead of handing out magazines and newspapers, they are offered tablets that they can use for browsing.  This is an excellent idea and one that matches perfectly with our Better Lobby Self Check-in Kiosk solution that can use […]

Streamlining Branch Visits

Research from Shikatani Lacroix, an award winning Toronto-based design and branding firm, shows that many consumers would like to use their smartphones to help them streamline branch visits. Not only would like to be able to determine how busy a branch is prior to a visit, they are willing to use their mobile devices for […]

Branch Functions Change

The rise of online and mobile banking have made it convenient to do many routine financial transactions – checking balances, paying bills, depositing checks, etc. – remotely, but that doesn’t mean that branches are about to disappear. Bankrate, the Web’s leading aggregator of financial rate information, reports that branch visitors make the journey from many […]

Consumers want it all

Consumers still prefer visiting brick and mortar branches for many of their financial transactions, according to studies from CO-OP Financial Services and U.S. Bank. In fact, a whopping 86{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of those surveyed plan to do business in branches during the next five years. Sarah Canepa Bang, Chief Strategy Officer for CO-OP Shared Branch which is […]

Keep Hold of the Branch

James Bosley, an employee of Compass Plus which is a retail banking and electronic payments solutions provider, recently wrote an interesting article entitled “Millennials won’t be millennials forever, keep hold of the branch.”  He notes that while Millennials are “digital natives” that prefer to do as much as possible on their mobile devices, they still value […]

Schedule a Branch Appointment in Emails

LiveClicker offers credit unions the means to dynamically update the content of emails when they are opened, rather than when they are sent. One of the features that the Silicon Valley-based company says that their system supports is the ability to embed how-to “schedule an appointment” or other instructional videos directly within the body of […]


Just about everyone is familiar with ‘showrooming’ which is when a consumer goes to a retail location to investigate a product, then leaves and buys the product online at reduced price. Yet many FIs are experiencing just the opposite, which is reverse-showrooming where consumers do their research online and go to the branch to finalize […]

Branches in the Mobile Age

According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, branches provide an information advantage that helps bolster the bottom line, even in an era of Internet and mobile banking. Cleveland Fed researcher Kristle Romero Cortés found that financial institutions “were able to make better quality loans when they had a branch in […]

Branches and Appointment Making

John Best, a long time CU executive and head of the Best Innovation Group, states that “branches are still the best user experience….. and more people would go to the branch if they could schedule an appointment to see someone and be sure that they would get the time and attention and they need for […]

Banking Satisfaction Factors

A recent survey of more than 3,800 consumers by Market Force Information found four major factors that impact customers’ satisfaction in banking: Transparency & Fairness Security & Reputation Ease of doing Business Location Convenience The vast majority of credit unions have items 1 and 2 well covered, but many continue to work on items 3 […]

Managing Wait Times

Studies have shown that perceived wait time – the amount of time a consumer thinks they have waited – goes up rapidly after the expected wait time is surpassed. Why is this important? Because customer wait time is one of the most reliable leading indicators of customer satisfaction in survey after survey. As many credit […]

The Evolution of Banking Roles: Embracing the Universal Banker Model

In the ever-evolving landscape of banking, institutions are constantly seeking ways to optimize efficiency, enhance customer experience, and adapt to changing consumer demands. One significant trend that has emerged in recent years is the rise of the universal banker. This hybrid role, combining the responsibilities of both tellers and platform staff, has garnered attention for […]

Enhancing Customer Experience: The Evolution of Contact Centers in Credit Unions

In the realm of credit unions, the role of contact centers has transcended beyond merely handling calls and resolving issues efficiently. Today, the focus is squarely on optimizing the customer experience, bridging the gap between physical branches and digital channels. This transformation entails the integration of new technologies and channels, aimed at creating a seamless […]

Ensuring the Future of Bank Branches: Balancing Trust and Accessibility

Despite the rise of digital banking solutions, a recent survey conducted by Glory Global Solutions reveals that the majority of US consumers still value the presence of physical bank branches. This sentiment underscores the enduring importance of in-person interactions in the banking industry. However, consumers are increasingly demanding greater convenience and personalized service from their […]

Balancing Tradition and Technology: The Continuing Relevance of Credit Union Branch Locations

Despite the rapid advancement of technology in the banking sector, credit union members continue to express high levels of satisfaction with their institutions. According to the Credit Union Satisfaction Index 2015 by CFI Group, credit unions consistently rank among the highest in terms of customer satisfaction. While online and mobile banking have become increasingly influential […]

Branch Appointments Optimize face-to-face interactions

Celent recently released a new report titled “Optimizing Face-to-Face interactions: The Missing Link in Branch Channel Transformation” and in it they examine future branch trends. The research firm confirms our view that branch appointment booking is a “must have” feature – in fact, it rates number three on their list: Branch customer experience surveys Desktop and […]

Never underestimate the value of branches

Survey after survey confirms that the American public continues to choose their primary FI based on whether a particular FI has a branch near where they live or work. This choice always represents a significantly higher proportion than any other reason listed, even over much-hated banking fees. Even more surprisingly, it applies to all age […]

Mobile and Branch Ties Extended

The relationship between mobile and branch banking is evolving and it’s interesting to see the channel connections that some banks are making. Axis Bank, India’s third-largest private sector lender, demonstrates how the two work together with the launch of a new mobile application that allows its customers to search for and reserve safe deposit boxes. […]

Branches and Mobile – A Perfect Pair

According to a new survey by Orc International, 88 percent of American adults feel they still need a physical branch location to go to for banking needs. Plus even as mobile banking improves and grows in both popularity and functionality, 84{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of those surveyed still believe that they would like to have a branch to […]

Branches still offer the best opportunity for engagement

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Adam Schneider, senior advisor to Deloitte’s Center for Financial Services, had some interesting observations: “Branches remain vital to defining brand image and are still the most tangible representation of a bank’s capabilities and service. They are far more effective in communicating brand value than websites, which tend to […]

J.D. Power Survey Find All Generations Like Branches

A new consumer survey by J.D. Power finds that consumers across the board value branches. While the survey found that the younger generation tends to use mobile phones for a lot of their banking needs, all generations at about the same level of branch use at FIs. The research firm found consumers of all ages […]

Do Millennials Use Branches?

Without a doubt, mobile banking is the fastest-growing channel. Moreover, it has grown faster than any channel in the history of banking – faster than online banking, ATMs, etc. Yet Millennials, also known as Digital Natives, still use branches, according to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.  He recently pointed out that 75 percent of customers visit […]

Building a bridge from mobile to the branch

Mobile banking has been a runaway success and now mobile payments are gaining traction with the release of Apple Pay and its accompanying media exposure. Yet even big fans of mobile must admit that it is critical for credit unions to maintain a branch presence in their communities. Credit unions that want to truly engage […]

In Branch Sales about Six Times more Effective than Mobile/Web

McKinsey & Company, a multinational management consulting firm with 108 global offices, recently conducted research on account openings in financial institutions. Their findings are quite interesting: in-branch sales converted at a rate of 85{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} while digital channels averaged a mere 15{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} conversion rate. Plus that 85{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} in-branch rate is actually closer to 100{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} when you […]

Credit unions continue to boost service levels at their branches

Credit unions must absolutely embrace online and mobile technologies, but many experts contend that their battles for market share will not be won there. Much to the dismay of those who like to proclaim the death of the branch, most credit unions acknowledge that maintaining a physical presence in their markets is critical to their […]

Video banking complements branch banking

Speaking to a financial expert face-to-face is an essential step in any member’s financial life, particularly when it relates to high value services and big financial decisions such as mortgages and auto loans. Video conferencing is growing in credit union branches and some FIs are even taking it to another level and allowing consumers to […]

Branches Complement Digital Channels

The CEO of a giant Spanish bank recently was quoted as stating that branches give traditional financial institutions an edge over big consumer tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon. Banco Santander plans to continue to invest in their retail presence while simultaneously setting a target of moving 45{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of its customers to […]

Harnessing the Power of Video Meetings: Enhancing Member Engagement through Efficient Meeting Coordination

As the banking landscape continues to evolve, financial institutions are increasingly turning to video banking as a means of expanding customer engagement and driving operational efficiency. Leading analyst firm Celent emphasizes the importance of embracing video banking to remain competitive and retain customers. In this article, we delve into the significance of video banking and […]

Face-to-face Engagement remains Top Priority

Celent has released a new report, titled, Retail Banking Channel Systems in North America: The Quest for Omnichannel Continues. In it, their survey reveals some interesting branch trends in North America: a third of surveyed FIs expect no change in branch count over the next five years, 40{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} expect a net add in branches, just […]

Four Myths About Bank Productivity

William Heitman writes a short, but accurate article about the four misconceptions about bank productivity. In it he discusses “nontechnology work activities”, “perceived front office improvement resistance”, “ back office technology improvement” and “improving troublesome tasks”.  Thanks William – a great read. To see the entire article at American Banker press here 

Transforming Branch Experiences: The Power of Video in Credit Unions

The financial industry has witnessed significant transformations over the years, with technological advancements reshaping the way financial institutions interact with their clients and members. One notable trend that has emerged is the integration of video technology within branch operations. In this article, we explore the various uses of video in credit union branches, highlighting its […]

The real value of the branch

The only place that a consumer can have a face-to-face interaction with a person is at a branch. But who wants this in an increasingly digital age? It turns out just about everyone, including the Millennial demographic that most people assume would never want to walk into a branch. For example, TD Bank’s recent research […]

Mobile Appointment Booking Tool acts as a “bridge” to the branch

While mobile banking continues to grow in popularity, the branch remains an important delivery channel for even the most ardent mobile banker. Case in point: a McKinsey & Company study found that consumers using mobile and online banking more than once a week are also over 60 percent more likely to be active retail branch […]

Lloyds rolls out real-time online appointment booking system

The big British banks are now following their trend-setting American counterparts with news that Lloyds Bank has rolled out an online system that lets customers book branch appointments in real-time. News reports  state that this is a first in the United Kingdom. In action, customers can pick a branch and appointment time – from the […]

Growing Demand for Mobile Banking Hurts Small CUs

Unfortunately there is a perception for many young consumers that the large national banks offer the best mobile banking services. In a recent BankChoice Monitor survey of consumers shopping for new checking accounts on, 36{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} of shoppers say they must have mobile banking with their next checking account – and shoppers under 30 are more […]

Connecting Mobile Banking and Branch Visits

While the Internet remains America’s most popular banking method, mobile banking has steadily gained momentum and is now preferred by 10 percent of consumers – up from 8 percent in 2013 – according to a recent survey by the ABA. This is certainly understandable considering the popularity of mobile banking, especially among younger consumers accustomed […]

Branch Location and Appointment Handling

Since 1988, the CFI Group has been a leading provider of consumer feedback insights through analytics. The firm’s second installment of their Credit Union Satisfaction Index just found that online and mobile banking is more important than any other aspect of the member experience. No surprises there! However if you dig deeper into the report, […]

First CU Mobile Appointment Booking Tool Launch

We are pleased to announce the launch of our Mobile Booking Tool. The Tool conveniently extends our Branch Appointment Calendar to the Mobile/Web channel so that members can book their own appointments on-line. It’s built specifically for Credit Unions. It’s easy for members to use; through an intuitive design, they are guided to appointment topic (i.e. […]

Smart Phone Addiction

Almost half (47{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b}) of U.S. consumers admit they would not last a day without their smartphone, and many consider their devices more important than daily staples such as coffee and television, according to a new report released by Bank of America. The mega-bank has more than 15 million active mobile banking users who access their […]

Tellers Become Community Bankers

Barclays Bank, a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, is retraining 6,500 traditional branch staff so they can offer financial management to customers. Starting in October, these former tellers will adopt the role of “community bankers,” and receive a pay raise. Like most financial institutions, Barclays has seen the number of […]

Branch Traffic and Workforce Management

Some recent industry studies have shown a flattening of branch traffic patterns, both in the time of day and the day of the month. Because of this trend senior managers are having a much more difficult time scheduling branch employees. While branch walk-ins currently exceed appointments at many branches, the use of appointments will grow […]

Human Interaction Is a Differentiator

In his article on retail trends, Dave Martin of Financial Supermarkets Inc does a great job of describing how, in a self-service world, human interaction Is a differentiator. To see the full article in American Banker, press here.  Key Takeaway: technology matters, but the team members’ future is being the human face of the organization.

Chase Vs. Umpqua: Two Views of the Future Branch

David Kerstein has written a fine summary of the two approaches to the Branch of the Future as expressed by Chase and Umpqua Banks. His article can be accessed at the BAI site using by pressing here “Two Visions of the Branch of the Future “

Thoughts about Referrals and Cross-selling

The Financial Brand recently published a series of articles that are thought provoking  “What Banks and Credit Unions Can Learn From One Another”. The “art of cross-selling” segment resonated with us, because our Better Lobby/New Accounts product provides CU Managers with help measuring staff performance in the area of referrals and Cross-selling. The Key Takeaway […]

Branch Appointments: the time has arrived!

A new area to watch is the use of Branch Appointments. In many ways, this is currently the missing piece of the “member visit puzzle. Big players are already onboard with this progressive concept. Case in point:  Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Regions Bank, and BMO Harris are all offering scheduling tools on their websites. Some interesting discoveries […]

Lobby Queues can improve Staff Performance

Gallup polls show that half of Americans feel that they are pressed for time in their daily lives. For credit unions looking to deliver stellar service, this fact of life brings up four big questions: How long will members wait for service and remain “happy”? Does waiting time erode “consulting” time, because the member becomes […]

Branch of the Future Part 5 – Call Centers and Appointment Handling

Industry analysts predict that call center volumes will increase as some financial institutions reduce their branch networks. If that is the case, these two channels must become more closely integrated – the “universal banker” in the branch must be supported by the “universal agent” in the call center. Just as the branch of the future […]

Branch of the Future Part 4 – Appointments verses Walk-ins

Not much is more frustrating for a branch visitor than to step into the lobby of a crowded branch and realize that they are facing a long, boring wait. The negative results can go viral almost instantly – with smartphones in hand they can tweet or post their negative comments on Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, etc […]

Branch of the Future Part 3 – Changing Behavior

Although mobile and online banking, coupled with changing consumer behaviors, are reducing overall traffic to branches, the branch is still important to many consumers. New Branches are being designed with greater consideration of the retail experience as well as the transactional efficiency. Along with this physical re-design, there comes a cultural and organizational change. Visitors […]

Workforce Management – Part 3

As branches evolve and are repositioned into sales centers versus transaction centers, many FIs are moving to a ‘universal’ model for their branch staff. Research firm Novantas notes that with self-service and alternative technologies growing rapidly, many institutions are seeing as much as a 10{91edff4ab0179c213d4d62ccb73735ad51d636906a6f58336791bd911b76df7b} per-year reduction in branch transactions. The teller line and the […]

Workforce Management – Part 2

Before Workforce Management became a “hot” business phrase, our clients wanted to use Better Lobby to improve Staff Utilization and Availability. It was many years ago, but I’ll never forget a branch manager telling me (as I struggled to get to the root of his need) “Rick, you don’t get it – I have some […]

Branch of the Future – Part 2 – the Evolving Branch

As Branches evolve to meet changing consumer needs in a multi-channel marketplace, branch appointment handling is one of the areas likely to change. We all know that branch visits take two forms: “walk-ins” and appointments. While individual credit unions may place a different emphasis on either, as an industry we expect to continue to use […]

Tellers and Lenders

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, teller positions are expected to increase by just 1 percent in the next decade, or 7,300 jobs, which is “little or no change.” Meanwhile, they predict that the number of loan officers will increase by 14 percent. Transactions continue to migrate to mobile devices, online and ATMs, […]

Branch of the Future – Part 1 – Distance Matters

Without a doubt, mobile and online banking are affecting branch networks, but physical branches are still critically important. Research firm Novarica noted this recently and fine-tuned this observation further by noting that branches are actually important when consumers are searching online for a new financial institution. Their research shows that more than half of consumers […]

New Accounts Lobby Management – Visits & Services

Not long ago, one of our clients approached us to improve Better Lobby/New Accounts to better distinguish between “visits” and “services”. They went on to explain that they were focusing on branch labor costs using Activity Based Costing (ABC) and needed reporting of BOTH visits and services provided by staff during a platform visit. Shortly […]

Mobile Web Wait-time Indicator – very cool!

What if your members could see at a glance what the nearest branch lobby wait times were (or any of your branches for that matter)? Now that is the height of convenience! Our goal with our latest Better Lobby solution called Mobile and Web Wait-Time Indicator was to allow your members to simply follow a […]

Branch Offers Made Easy

Financial industry analysts have talked about the importance of “next best offer” marketing for years. Yet it seems that few institutions have mastered this seemingly simple concept. We have worked hard to help rectify this situation with our new Offers Made Easy solution. Targeted at small to mid-sized institutions, Offers Made Easy provides an affordable […]