It is an interesting time for financial institutions. Some would even call it a critical time. Banks and credit unions are faced with the difficult challenge of evolving their physical brick and mortar locations without damaging the member and customer experience. Some of the larger banks have decided to reduce their physical presence by closing locations. For instance, Wells Fargo plans to close 800 branches by 2020. Some financial institutions have reduced their presence while adding more self-serve technology to the remaining locations. And some have completely dissolved all physical presence in order to solely focus on the digital experience. According to recent reports, an average of 3 financial institution branches close per day in the United States!
As always, we pride ourselves in standing apart from the competition and are working to find a uniquely Nutmeg solution. We want all our members to continue to have an excellent in-person experience and we want to leverage technology to make that happen.
We know the branch experience is important to our members. How do we know? We ask! We request feedback from new members, new loan accounts, and a variety of daily transactions. We hear over and over that having convenient locations is important to our members.
For those who wonder if younger generations will feel the same way, you may be surprised. Millennials rely on a physical location for new account opening and loan application much more than older members. Many younger members are inexperienced with banking and rely on in-person interactions in order to feel confident about their financial decisions. Learning how to build deposits or choose the correct type of auto loan or home loan can be very confusing, and we are committed to helping make this process easy and convenient.
In order to continue expanding our locations, we are using our custom technology to make routine branch visits fast and convenient. This custom technology uses self-serve kiosks to conduct many of your routine transactions. Our custom-built touchscreen kiosks can do cash and check deposits and withdrawals, print bank checks, and more. You can even get a new or replacement Debit or Credit Card. Also, with our portable tablets, you can open a new account or apply for a loan. Staff is there to educate and assist with all your transactions.
Our first location to use this new technology is our branch in Milford, CT. This location is shared with the DMV Express, where you can renew or replace driver’s licenses, or make name and address changes (read my recent blog post for more information about the DMV Express). We have already gotten great feedback about the speed, convenience and ease of using these services in Milford. You can expect to see these self-serve options in more of our locations over the next few years. Our next shared Nutmeg & DMV Express location will be coming very soon to North Haven!
As I’m sure you’ve heard in my messages before, making it easy to bank with us is a top priority at the credit union. This has held true for over 85 years and is true no matter which method you choose to do your banking. We look forward to continuing to provide you and your family a better financial future.
President & CEO