The Pulse (11-16-12)
Nov. 16, 2012 ● Volume 01, Issue 46
View 11-16-12 issue of The Pulse
Products & Services News
Report shows positive correlation between branch expansion and membership, asset growth
Are branches a thing of the past or are they a tool that credit unions can use to make themselves stand out? A recent report investigates the answers to these questions by examining whether credit unions that have increased the number of branches over the past five years have performed better or worse than those that have not increased their physical size. Through research and analysis, the report illustrates the future of branches and the impact of branches on credit union success.
The research examined credit unions of all sizes and from all over the United States. Through analysis of call reports, the investigation found that there is a strong correlation between increases in retail branch network size and growth along key measures. Regardless of asset size, credit unions that had a net increase in the number of branches between 2007 and 2012, experienced greater increases in total assets, members and loans originated.
While the research shows the benefits of branch expansion, many credit unions lack the resources to build another branch – especially in today's economy. For credit unions facing this dilemma, Shared Branching is an accessible option. Through Shared Branching, credit unions across the country have joined together to create shared service center locations. The Shared Branching network enables credit unions to provide their members with thousands of convenient locations to perform transactions, just as if they were at their home credit union. Currently, the number of branch locations is nearly 5,000, making CO-OP Shared Branching the fourth-largest branch network nationwide, behind three national banks.
Become part of Shared Branching today and expand your credit unions' reach. To access the branch expansion research, visit the Momentum, Inc. website. For more information about Shared Branching, visit the Network website.
Small changes can make a big difference in checkcard programs
Checkcards are an income-producing product for credit unions. Even small changes to checkcard programs can have positive effects on the bottom line and on relationships with members.
Understanding the benefits of checkcards, MnCUN Vendor Involvement Program participant The Advantage Network is dedicated to helping credit unions capitalize on this revenue-producing tool. As a regional provider of EFT services, the Advantage Network helps credit unions build a better card program through analysis, strategic planning and personalized marketing. Advantage Network suggests that credit unions make the following small changes to their checkcard, to make a big change to their bottom line:
- Issue a checkcard for each new account so the cardholder gets into the habit of using their checkcard immediately.
- If you are issuing consumer checkcards on business accounts, consider starting a business checkcard program which earns more interchange income.
- Encourage your cardholders to use their checkcard instead of writing checks for purchases and to set up payments for utilities and other expenses on their card.
- Review your database and determine which members qualify for a checkcard but don't have one.
- Call each cardholder whose new checkcard is not yet activated and remind them to activate their card.
- Raise purchasing limits for qualifying cardholders who are being denied regularly because their daily limits are too low.
While these activities may take a few minutes or a few months to complete, the positive impacts will last forever. For more information about growing your checkcard program, contact Karen Bos-Carey at The Advantage Network at (605) 335-5113.