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Future Branch Innovator Award 2023

December 13, 2023


BALTIMORE, MD – SECU, Maryland’s largest state-chartered credit union, is pleased to announce that the institution was recognized with the Innovators Award for Most Effective Branch Technology Implementation by Future Branches, the premier conference for digital innovation in the banking and finance sector.

SECU received the Innovators Award for the implementation of Virtual Financial Centers (VFCs), a virtual branch created to provide credit union members with extended service hours and the ability to discuss loans, products, and more with SECU financial experts from the comfort of their own home.

The virtual center was created to have the same aesthetics, service, and “feel” as physical SECU branches, while allowing members to choose how they want to engage virtually – either via chat or video. From all the virtual Member Advisor who greets them at the “door” (named SECU Sara), all the way down to the pillows on the virtual couches, SECU’s VFC does everything a physical branch does but through the virtual channel.

“The Innovators Award is a great honor and a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our Virtual Financial Center employees,” said Erik Schwink, AVP of Virtual Engagement at SECU. “It also highlights the dedication, collaboration, and teamwork at SECU because so many of our teams were critical to the successful implementation of our Virtual Financial Center. We are so proud to offer these types of cutting-edge, digital services for our members to meet them where they are.”

SECU’s VFC has proved innovative in the banking sector, and also incredibly successful among its members– becoming one of the top three branches across the organization in almost every critical measure: lending, deposits and new members. The VFC was the top performer in mortgage referrals and Auto production (out of a network of 25 centers) in 2023, and the team has expanded to twice its size to support the member demand and new functionality introduced quarterly.

The implementation and innovation of SECU’s VFCs allow the credit union to provide services to members that don’t live close to a physical branch in order to fully serve the whole state of Maryland, and even support members while traveling abroad.

Check out the Virtual Financial Center here.

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