Need to deposit a check? You just scan it with your phone, no problem. And if you need to pay your friend back for dinner last night? You can send them money through Venmo. With mobile banking and plenty of convenient money apps at your fingertips these days, you probably see a branch merely as “the place where they have ATMs” and nothing more.
And if you think that brick-and mortar-branches are not as useful as they once were, think again. In fact, a recent survey reveals that people actually still prefer visiting their financial institution in person for their transactions.
From depositing checks to paying bills, you do most of your banking through your phone, and that’s not going to change. But we’ve all experienced that frustrating *facepalm* moment when we can’t find the answer on a bank’s troubleshooting page, or have an urgent situation where getting help from a virtual teller just won’t cut it.
Here are a few real-life scenarios when you’ll want to walk into a branch and talk to a human being:
Scenario #1: New Stomping Grounds
Because credit unions across the nation are part of the unique shared branching network, if you move to another city you won’t have to worry about transferring your account to a local bank, which is pretty awesome in itself.
Moving can be overwhelming and expensive, and a credit union employee can sit down with you to walk through your options and help you settle in. For instance, if you moved for a new job and have a new income and living expenses, you might need to make tweaks to your budget. Or maybe you moved to foray into freelancing, and are looking into opening a small business account to keep your finances organized. Whatever your situation, you can get customized solutions at the local branch in your new stomping grounds.
Some branches also have reward apps and community discounts for their members. You can talk to an employee to learn about any member perks you can take full advantage of in your new city.
Scenario #2: Where’s My Debit Card???
Say your debit card has been misplaced—or worse, stolen. And you’re in panic mode. Instead of waiting for what can be weeks until your replacement card arrives, you can visit your local branch and see if there’s anything that can be done to expedite the process.
A credit union employee can help calm your nerves by coming with a plan to access your money and monitor your accounts until you get a replacement card. They can provide you with creative ideas to safeguard your accounts, such as changing your PIN frequently, setting up a password to access your bank accounts in person, and setting alerts on your phone. They can also give you a few pointers on which features you can use on apps like CardNavSM by CO-OP for added protection.
Scenario #3: Down the Bad Credit Hole
So your credit score has taken a recent nosedive. By visiting your local branch, you can talk to a knowledgeable professional to help you get out of credit purgatory. They can give you tips on how to boost your credit score, what to look for in a credit report, and what types of cards to explore.
…And Then There Are All the Other Scenarios
It’s great to have the option of going to an actual branch and sitting down with a real-life credit union employee. They can answer your questions, come up with new solutions, and point to tools and resources. Whether you’re going through a major life change such as getting married or buying a home, or just have a question about your bank account, you know that talking to a human being is just a stone’s throw away. By visiting a branch, you can get help with a personal touch, and there’s no digital replacement for that. To learn more about what a credit union can do for you, reach out to your local branch.