Is technology causing branches to close but service to thrive? That is both a question and the title of a new white paper from two of CUNA’s Councils (the Operations, Sales & Service Council and the Technology Council).

As author Jim Jerving notes, “There has been a debate within the financial services industry about technology’s effect on branch development. Some analysts have forecasted the end of the branch as we know it; others have held that the branch will be with us, but will evolve into a service center for problem resolution and complex products—mortgages, student loans, and investments. Economics, technology and changing consumer behavior are changing the look, feel and function of the branch. Most functions completed at a branch can now be done remotely on the phone or web.”

The white paper examines the interplay of technology, economics, and consumer behavior in branch development. It examines research findings, innovative technologies, and contains interviews with practitioners and analysts.

Some of the sections covered in the white paper include:

  • Branch Economics
  • Branch Function Evolves
  • Technology’s Effect on the Branch
  • Branch Staff Evolves
  • Branch of the Future
  • Lessons Learned

So what is the magic answer to the question about branches, economics and technology? The paper offers no definitive answers for the near or distant future, but many possibilities to consider. For those concerned about their branch strategy, operations and efficiencies, the white paper is a must read.

As you begin to make strategic plans—including those around branching—the white paper offers many compelling thoughts to consider.

To order a copy of the white paper “Is Technology Causing Branches to Close But Service to Thrive?” contact Edith Thayer at or 608-231-4047 and reference stock number 32312P.