I'd like to start this by comparing two interactions between member and credit union.
The traditional branch user, and the digital user.
*please note that these situations are purely hypothetical.
Jane has been a member of Maine State CU since 1963. She has seen many faces come and go on the teller line, but still enjoys getting to know the new folks. When she walks into the lobby she always expects a friendly face to great her at the teller line and hasn't been disappointed yet.
On this particular Thursday however, she is greeted with a scowl, unconvincingly forced into a sliver of a smirk. This new teller finishes writing something on a pad of paper before even looking up to notice Jane and utter a blunt "can I help you?" Jane, being very sensitive to the way she is treated, walks out the door and closes her account. Extreme, I know, but people can be.
Joe just opened his account with Maine State CU. The branch was impressive (huge and a bit intimidating in a way), but he prefers to do his banking online.
Judging by the impressiveness of the branch itself he visits www.mainestatecu.org expecting an equally impressive web site. Instead he is met by an outdated site with outdated info. He finds it nearly impossible to navigate to the information he is looking for and it isn't immediately apparent where he needs to click to access the online banking system. He gets fed up with the site, closes his account and opens one with ING Direct.
As we move further into the digital age, more and more people are coming to view your web page as their first line of interaction with the institution. People expect a clean, updated, easy to navigate site nearly as much as they expect to find a friendly face and knowledgeable staff at the physical branch.
The front page is the new front line. Will online service ever replace face to face interaction? I doubt it, but its a matter of what people expect to find when they visit the institution that deals with their money; be it online, or on the teller line.
P.S. We'll be getting a new web site for Mainestatecu.org in the near future!