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Virtual Branch Archives - Page 2 of 3 - POPi/o

Affinity Federal Credit Union in Grand Rapids

Putting People First With Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

By | Blog, Video Banking

Affinity Federal Credit Union in Grand Rapids

One of the most fascinating things about Minnesota is the infrastructure. It’s a state that was built to thrive in the cold. In the major city of Minneapolis, for example, there are nearly 10 miles of enclosed pedestrian footbridges. Referred to as the Minneapolis Skyway System, the elevated bridges and tunnels connect 80 full city blocks, giving people access to numerous downtown destinations, free of exposure to the often frigid weather.

This type of industrious, connective thinking and planning seems to be built in to the mindset of many Minnesotans. They understand the importance of staying connected despite circumstances and environmental factors. For that reason, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Minnesota is a place where video banking has not only been adopted, but embraced.

“We felt like it just really opened up the capabilities for our membership.”

If you went to Minnesota and visited one of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s 28 locations, you’d find a robust yet humble financial institution. Their locations are concentrated in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas, but their footprint has increased in recent years. They’ve grown to serve smaller, more disparate communities in the far reaches of the state. 

Likewise, their assets have grown as well. At over $3 billion—and having grown from $2.4 billion just in the last year—Affinity Plus manages a significant amount of assets. But as a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative, Affinity Plus isn’t only focused on their asset size. Their main focus is serving their 220,000 members. In their own words, they’re committed to “improving the lives of [their] members through meaningful banking, exceptional experiences, and trusted relationships.”

With the shuttering of branches during the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering on these key goals became difficult for Affinity Plus. But like a bridge built to connect people in a blizzard, the Minnesota credit union decided to use the adversity as an opportunity to improve their member experience. It was time for them to make the jump to video banking.

“We’ve been able to do everything that we do in a branch through video banking.”

“We started looking at it pre-pandemic,” said Jenny Nubeck, director of the Affinity Plus digital branch. “We felt like it just really opened up the capabilities for our membership.” Corey Rupp, Senior Vice President of Lending, shared the sentiment. He said the pandemic hastened their launch of video banking channels, but that it wasn’t the sole motivator leading up to it. Affinity Plus was already looking for ways to better serve their members and keep them connected—no matter where they were.

When asked how willing their members were to try the new service, Nubuck said she was surprised. Adoption of the video banking channels was higher than she’d expected. “It’s surprisingly simple,” she stated. “Based on everything we’re hearing from members, they’re like, ‘Ok, don’t let this service go away.’”

According to Rupp, the willingness to adopt is tied not only to the platform’s ease of use, but also to its versatility and functionality. “We’ve been able to do everything that we do in a branch through video banking,” Rupp said. “It’s been a great experience.”

“POPi/o has allowed Affinity Plus to see members again.”

Samantha Prudhon Falkowski, a member advisor at Affinity Plus, also commented on POPi/o’s functionality. Falkowski says she generates three to four loans per week through the video banking channel. And more importantly, she takes the video calls as a chance to discuss and compare options with members. By conversing face-to-face, Falkowski can get a sense of what the member is looking for, allowing her to best advise them. “The majority of calls that I’m seeing through video banking are people who want to have that in-depth conversation about ‘What’s the best recommendation?” 

By taking video calls and fielding members’ questions, Falkowski gets to restore the personal connection she shared with members before the pandemic. As she puts it, “POPi/o has allowed Affinity Plus to see members again—to see them in their own spaces, and to help them with their banking needs.”

To learn more about the adoption of video banking by Affinity Plus, watch the video case study.

Young African American woman on street looking smartphone

How to Capture and Service More Profitable Relationships in 2021

By | Blog, Video Banking | No Comments

For years, financial institutions have physically modernized their branch environments to direct customers out of transaction teller lines and into new self-service channels like ATMs and banking apps. The shift was designed to allow branch employees to capture and service revenue-producing activities like loans, investments, and business accounts. Some banks and credit unions executed this revenue-focused branch strategy even more efficiently by connecting customers via video to centrally located lending and other product knowledge experts.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered branches in nearly every community across the country and around the world. Without warning, financial institutions were forced to find new ways to capture and service those profitable relationships.

Most had already heavily invested in mobile banking apps, online applications, and highly experienced call center teams. Most thought these digital channels could replicate branch services. Most discovered that wasn’t the case.

POPi/o® experienced exponential growth in 2020, including a 283% increase in call volume. We credit that growth to many of our new clients, using video to fill that in-person service gap. These banks and credit unions didn’t invest in video banking technology as a leap of faith; long before the COVID-19 pandemic, our platform usage data had already revealed that revenue-generating activity represented more than three-fourths of total call volume. The percentage of video banking calls to support new accounts and lending compared to total video calls rose even further in 2020 to 80%.

Our 2020 user data also reveals that as branches have reopened and other delivery channels have improved, video banking usage remains high. In fact, as 2020 came to a close, video banking traffic continued to climb.

For financial institutions seeking additional new account and loan volume, this is great news. Video banking not only replaces branch service in a pinch, but it can also extend the reach of your in-person service to capture and service even more profitable relationships. This centralized operational strategy frees your most talented employees from being confined to a specific geographic location. Video banking allows your best employees to make the biggest impact on your organization, leveraging the efficiency and convenience of digital delivery to generate even more high-touch, revenue-generating activities.

Educators Credit Union is a perfect example of a financial institution that had modernized branches to include centralized lending via video banking but was forced to switch gears quickly when branches closed. Because Educators Credit Union needed to deliver face-to-face service to members quickly, the credit union first deployed video banking to its website, which only required pasting a few lines of code. After some marketing across social media platforms, website video banking traffic grew enough to convince Educators Credit Union that the next step—mobile video banking would be a profitable move.

Educators Credit Union deployed a standalone video banking mobile app, rather than integrating video banking into its existing mobile banking app. Nearly all POPi/o video banking clients deploy mobile video banking this way because it allows for more rapid deployment and provides availability to non-customers to connect for new business. In fact, financial institutions that have launched video banking through existing mobile banking app integrations have often later added a standalone app to capture new business.

Looking for other video banking best implementation practices? Our phenomenal 2020 growth and influx of new institutions live on our platform has provided a treasure chest of tips and strategies for creating and deploying a successful video banking. Download our 2021 Video Banking Implementation Guide here to begin. Then, when you’re ready, click here to talk to an expert.

To learn how POPi/o Video Banking can help your financial institutions maintain relevance and personal service, request a FREE demo.

CUbroadcast – POPi/o Customer Data Reveals Benefits of Virtual

By | POPi/o in the News | No Comments

This year, more than ever, the virtual branch has been discussed quite a bit — for obvious reasons surrounding the pandemic. It’s topic that’s increasing more and more for credit unions, as they discover new ways to serve their members in our current, touchless environment.

For a deeper dive on the virtual branch and its benefits to credit unions moving forward, we invited Jed Taylor, POPi/o President & COO, and Tim Pranger, POPi/o Director of Strategy & Solution Consulting, on the show. Jed and Tim talked about the rapid changes POPi/o saw during those first months of the pandemic — which resulted in its surge of client activity looking for digital answers.

They also discussed POPi/o’s customer data showing results of virtual branch benefits:

  • Members always have access to product experts for meaningful and profitable financial solutions
  • Never be over/understaffed in branches
  • Improve both customer and employee satisfaction

Do you have questions? Talk to a video banking expert.

CUbroadcast – How Educators Credit Union Is Using Video To Enhance Member Service During COVID…

By | POPi/o in the News | No Comments

If you really look at it, the pandemic has forced many organizations in various industries to develop more efficient processes and procedures to better serve their audiences. As we all know, video is many times a central tool in providing this enhanced customer service. Credit unions are no stranger to this development, as well.

To illustrate this point, we invited POPi/o Sales Director Mike Mares and Educators Credit Union VP of Digital Services Kimberly Schmidt on the show. Both Mike and Kimberly discuss how video banking helped Educators pivot in the midst of COVID to better serve members in need.

Here what we asked them

  • How has COVID created improved customer experiences with video being the key, here?
  • How has COVID improved your credit union’s member service?
  • What was going on at your credit union to look in the direction of a company like POPi/o’s video banking services?
  • What have been the results so far?
  • What’s next for this partnership in the area of video banking to continue this momentum?

Do you have questions? Talk to a video banking expert.

Economics of building a virtual branch webinar

Virtual Branch Solutions

By | Webinar

Do you want to take your bank or credit union to the next level? Have you considered a virtual branch? This relatively new concept in banking allows your consumers to have access to all bank services anywhere — with the touch of human interaction. If you’re unsure of the economics of a virtual branch for your financial institution’s budget, watch the video from POPi/o above that explains all the financial benefits and requirements of a virtual branch.

What Can You Provide Your Consumers With a Virtual Branch?

Even if you’ve already embraced online banking, virtual banking brings a face to your financial institution. A virtual branch allows you to:

  • Enhance your mobile banking services
  • Interact with consumers online
  • Take care of customers’ financial needs from anywhere
  • Provide key services such as new account openings, lending, digital documentation signing, wire transfer, or identity verification
  • Work from the comfort of home, centralized facility, or in-branch environment

All these capabilities allow consumers to make important financial decisions, allow you to showcase your various financial services or products, and let everyone build rapport for better interactions.

If you don’t know if a virtual branch and its associated costs are right for you, we’d love to demonstrate what we can offer. We provide a range of virtual branch solutions that work for your specific bank or credit union. Our goal is to help your financial institution provide consumers with transparent, convenient, and cost-effective solutions for their financial needs.

If you’re interested in learning more, we invite you to watch the video above for the specific economics of a virtual branch. To speak with a product expert and see a comprehensive demonstration of what video banking can offer your financial institution, schedule your appointment now.

Do you have questions? Please talk to an expert