A Different Kind of Summer

July 2, 2020

shared branching COVID summer

By Trisha Wiggin-Fausnaugh, Operations Manager

Summer is here.

This is traditionally the time when shared branches see an influx of tourists, especially branches near vacation areas. But this year, with COVID-19 still a part of our reality, things are going to be different.

In many ways, things are looking up for shared branching participants. While we saw many branches close in March and April, over 1,300 of those branches have recently re-opened. Others have moved shared branching service to their drive-thru or modified their hours. Currently, nearly 4,500 branches across the country are providing shared branch services to members. That is good news for members, and especially for members who will be looking for a branch when they travel this summer.

The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry has been huge. The U.S. Travel Association reports that travel is down significantly. They expect total travel spending to drop 45% by the end of this year, and overall unemployment in the travel industry is 51% – twice the unemployment of the worst year of the Great Depression.

covid shared branching travel los angeles

But they also report that there is some good news for the industry. The number of air passengers is picking up: TSA screenings have increased to over 400,000 every day since June 11th, after sinking below 100,00 throughout much of April. Road travel is at nearly pre-pandemic levels. Spending for travel continues to increase, and more people report planning to travel in the next six months.

The impact to shared branching has been huge too. We at InNetwork are continuing to work closely with CO-OP and the Shared Branch Task Force to find ways to help credit unions navigate the challenges and changes that have resulted from the COVID-19. For example, the temporary rules changes implemented earlier this year will continue to be in place until 1/1/2020.

CO-OP is updating the locator website on a daily basis. Please report any changes to your branch availability to InNetwork or you own local network so members can have up-to-date information on open shared branch locations. Include the branch address, branch hours and the effective date for the change.

It is encouraging to see how many credit unions continue to embrace the spirit of “People Helping People” that is the core of our movement. Credit unions who are willing to take care of all members, and not just their own, are the reason shared branching is the amazing service it is today. To you, we give our admiration and appreciation. Thank you!