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 focus on advice, guidance, problem resolution and good old fashioned face-to-face service delivered by knowledgeable staff. Many credit unions are finding that the best way to provide access to their banking experts is by appointment scheduling.

Key Takeaway: Branch formats continue to evolve for many CUs, and more often than not this evolution centers around offering convenient appointments to busy members.