Meriwest Credit Union | 877-MERIWEST (877) 637-4937 | Routing Number 321176833

Monday, March 11, 2013

In the age of electronics, are Credit Union Branches still relevant?

High School Students provide the answers

MARCH 11, 2013 - San Jose, CA - February 27, 2013– Each year for the annual High School essay competition, Meriwest Credit Union asks young members to think outside the box and provide a different perspective of how they view a credit union. This year, they were posed the question: Online and Mobile Banking access has changed how we access and transact on our accounts. Do you feel that these changes have altered people’s relationships with a credit union’s branch offices? Are branches still necessary? How should branch offices adapt to the electronic banking world? Meriwest’s student members did not disappoint with their answers.

While these young members all saw the relevance of electronic access and ongoing technology, each of our student entries made the case for credit unions retaining their branch offices despite modern technology. As cited numerous times in their essays, the computer or smart phone will not replace the “warmth of the relationships we build with our members through our branch offices and staff”. Though modern technology such as smart phone banking applications and easy online access and bill payments make it easier to access our accounts and manage our personal finances, the electronic means of connection does not displace the need for human interaction at critical times.

Our First Place high school senior, Marissa L. from Milpitas High School, answered the “Are branches necessary?” question this way, “That answer is ‘Yes!’ because member satisfaction is still the key to Meriwest’s success, and sometimes that key is to the front door of the branch office!”

First Place high school junior, Octavia W. from Xavier College Prep said, “By continuing to keep branch offices open, credit unions can prove their loyalty to their members in this constantly changing society. Maintaining the branch offices not only offers a consistent (banking) option, but also allows for a concrete presence in the community.”

“Every year, I have the distinct pleasure of reading all of the winning essays from our student members.” said Christopher Owen, President and CEO of Meriwest Credit Union. “I am constantly impressed with the quality of their writing and the student’s critical thinking skills. It is evident that these young people are well on their way to being the credit union leaders of tomorrow!”

Photo Caption: Christopher Owen, President and CEO of Meriwest Credit Union, is shown here with Marissa L. of Leland High School. Marissa was the first place winner for Seniors in the 2013 Meriwest Credit Union Essay Competition. 

About Meriwest Credit Union
Meriwest Credit Union, one of Silicon Valley’s largest and established financial institutions, has been providing proactive, personal, convenient and innovative financial services to over 72,000 businesses and families throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Tucson, Arizona, since 1961. More information can be found at

Meriwest Credit Union
Gregory Meyer
Community Relations Manager

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