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Interactive Kiosks Central To Transforming the Branch
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (6/26/13)--Interactive kiosks are a key to transforming a credit union branch, according to a new white paper by CO-OP Financial Services that investigates and explores the benefits and realities of branch transformation for a typical credit union.

Gen Y will constitute 40% of banking transactions in three years and will have the most spending power of any demographic, says the paper, "Transforming the Branch: Understanding the Self-Service Consumer Landscape."

"With this market shift, progressive credit unions are transforming branch operations opting for interactive automated kiosks," the paper said. "The branch isn't entering an end cycle; rather it is evolving with more of a concentration on sales than service. This will require employees that remain on site to be well-versed in all sales channels as 'teller knowledge' may no longer suffice."

Although traditionally consumers have chosen credit unions instead of banks because of more personalized and competitive services--which is still the case--credit union CEOs are increasingly viewing branch employees as sales associates rather than in their traditional role as service-only personnel, the paper said.   

"How members interact with their credit unions has changed drastically during the last five years, and even more dramatically in the last one or two years in the context of mobile technology adoption," said Raja Bose, senior director of consumer transaction solutions for Diebold Inc. in the paper. "Increasingly, we're seeing members turn to online and mobile channels for most of their transactions."

When the National Credit Union Administration deemed interactive ATMs as regulated service facilities last August, it reflected the fact that the industry is indeed changing, the paper said.

"Credit unions need to embrace new technologies that allow them to improve and expand service," said NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz in the report. "Likewise, it is important for us, as the industry's regulator, to stay in sync with changes in the marketplace, including changes in technology. The use of video tellers as service facilities is sensible for both credit unions and consumers."

Technology and the shared-branching movement have, in part, driven the changing marketplace, which has engendered the transformation of credit union branches, said the paper.

"The best technology is the technology that is pushed as far down the food chain as possible, directly to the member/consumer," said Sarah Canepa Bang, chief strategy officer, CO-OP Shared Branching. "You have to offer 24/7 transaction access and remove three friction points: limited hours, humans and lack of convenient locations."

To read the paper, use the link.

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