We educated our members on how to do virtual branching, voluntarily getting them to want to do it before being told they had to do it. This was achieved one member at a time. Quite simply, every member who walked into the branch was asked the exact same thing,
“Did you know you could do this transaction virtually?”
This was followed up by educating them on how. One by one, we saw our members stop coming into our physical branches. It was important to use the words 'transaction' and 'virtual' because we wanted to downplay that this was simply a transaction and to continuously reinforce it was virtual so they'd accept our 'virtual branch' announcement.
It's important to note that team members did NOT share the long-term strategy with our membership to keep all brick-and-mortar branches closed after the pandemic until the Board and leadership were confident in the success of the three key metrics.
Below are some real member testimonials since going to virtual branching. We currently have a 4.7 on Google Reviews and nearly all of our reviews have been since going virtual.
I hated the idea of virtual banking, I was uneasy about making my loan payments in the atm, but after working with Ariel, and talking me through it twice, and it truly was simple, I take back every ill thing I said about it. NorthPark has really made it easy for an old man like me, and now, I’m making those payments by myself! Thank you NorthPark and Ariel for making this transition so easy!
Carma Parrish, CEO
We do not believe that going completely virtual is the answer for every credit union. However, we are confident that foot traffic can gradually and drastically be reduced by simply educating members about alternative virtual services. Simultaneously, new markets could be entered into without the need to add new brick-and-mortars.
Members can still enjoy the personal touch of face-to-face and retain their trust in us as they video chat with team members through the tap of a smartphone button. This has also proven effective for warding off elder abuse by confirming the identity of some of our more mature members.