I love retail! I love the idea of walking into a store for something that is tangible. When I set out to purchase a prom dress for my daughter, I want to experience this with her. I want to see her beautiful smile and the sparkle in her eyes when she finds the perfect one. When I shop for a car, I want to test drive it. To smell its newness. When I shop online, I want the ease and convenience of my items showing up quickly to my doorstep. Especially when I can avoid the harsh winters in Michigan. So, what does all of this retail have to do with banking anyway?
When I heard “retail banking” for the first time, I didn’t picture walking into my credit union hoping for it to be just like Cabela’s. I don’t expect to be entertained. I expect great service and the affirmation that I matter! To be thanked for being a member. I expect that when I am shopping for a new car, I can apply for my loan from my credit union’s app and be ready to make a purchase. I expect that the atmosphere inside of the branch will be modern and warm. Staff to be inviting. I expect the website to be fresh and current.
All of this got me to thinking: I wonder what my credit union friends think? How would they define retail banking? Do they see themselves as different or unique in some way? Are they affected by “big box” retail bankers? In what ways do they set themselves apart from a traditional definition of retail banking. Is retail banking really one size fits all?
In the spirit of my curiosity I reached out Jenny Hoyle, President and CEO of Isabella Community Credit Union, Keith Stone, President and CEO of The Finest Federal Credit Union, and Linda Bodie, Chief + Innovator of Element Federal Credit Union. Here is what they said: