Five Leading Questions to Help You Develop a Holistic Delivery Network

Does your credit union have a multi-pronged delivery approach? Knowing how members access the credit union and why they choose their preferred channels will help your MSRs and agents respond appropriately in a variety of sales situations.


1. Where are the majority of members’ transactions currently conducted?

Does your credit union have a multi-pronged delivery approach? Branches, ATMs, call centers, online banking, remote deposit capture (RDC), and mobile banking can all reach your members when they need to engage with your institution.  Knowing how they access the credit union and why they choose their preferred channels will help your MSRs and agents respond appropriately in a variety of sales situations. As transaction patterns shift among channels, you may also need to periodically reevaluate staffing and support levels throughout the credit union’s network.

2. What is driving your core share growth: new or existing members?

In 2008, the credit union industry posted 7.7% growth in shares at June 30 over the year before and 1.25% member growth. Knowing where funds and members are coming from can help the marketing teams leverage opportunities in the local area. Are new branches driving your member growth? Consider the impact on shares: according to the FDIC, of the branches built in 2001, 60 percent have not yet reached a break-even level of deposits. Average shares per branch for the credit union industry stood at $32.5 million as of June 30, 2008.

3. Are your products and services channel dependent or channel independent?

Can a member conduct all their transactions with each of your various delivery methods? Most credit unions lag behind in offering online account opening and online account funding options. Credit unions with success in the area include Justice Federal Credit Union ($444M in Chantilly, VA) and San Francisco Fire ($502M in San Francisco, CA). Three out of four new applicants for Jutice’s credit card come through their online portal. San Francisco Fire processes 78% of mortgage applications line, using a “Build Your Own” platform, allowing the member to have control within set parameters. Being channel independent offers your members flexibility and can decrease credit union operating expenses if a substantial number of members prefer online channels.

4. Do you effectively market cross-selling opportunities?

When faced with remote member transactions, credit unions often overlook important opportunities for letting members know about other products or services. From advertising a new CD rate with the on-hold messages at the call center or a simple screen ad when the member signs on or off from the online banking application, these cross-sell opportunities can let the member know that you are thinking about their needs. The difficulty of course, is personalization.  A younger member is probably the wrong audience to hear an advertisement for a mortgage.  Another member, who may already have that product, might tune out a blanket advertisement as irrelevant to what they need.

5. Are you creating members for life?

UW Credit Union ($1.0B in Madison, WI) does not pay their MSRs incentives. With effective training and enthusiasm, the staff has embraced the philosophy of “Members for Life”. MSR and other branch staff sit down with new members for upwards of an hour at a time to discuss their financial needs. Also, the credit union does not advertise any rates with all ads using a soft-focus “human interest” theme.  The credit union’s core values have clearly translated into actions and shared success for members and staff.




Oct. 27, 2008


  • Overall, great article but Lydia really missed another key delivery channel - Shared Branching! Members have access to over 3,555 (and growing) branch locations. Shared Branching allows members face-to-face interaction with tellers of credit unions on the network with real-time transaction processing. SB solidifies creating members for life - when members move/relocate or as they travel they will always have access to one of thousands of shared branching locations. I agree that credit unions need to have a multi-pronged delivery channel to meet the changing needs of a diverse membership base. As you know members still value human interaction and trust and rely of a strong branch delivery channel to conduct deposit and more difficult transactions. You hit a key point in referencing that MSRs and staff are a key element in recognizing and referring members to the appropriate delivery channel! Thanks for another great article Lydia.
    Laura Hatter
  • Good article, however, Laura makes a good point as well. Shared branching brings in about 70% of their transaction dollars as deposits. Mostly because members prefer that human touch for security of deposits.