Pundits have been writing eulogies for print media for a couple decades now, but print’s not dead and neither, if local financial experts are to be believed, is the retail branch of your local bank or credit union.

Providing in-person and online accessibility to meet current and future consumer demands is a fine balancing act, local financial leaders say, not least of which because of how it affects staffing and employee roles.

“There is no question that technology, including artificial intelligence, improves the efficiencies of financial institutions,” notes Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. “We’re all bombarded every day in terms of information about technology improvements and how we can take advantage of them, but people predicted years ago that branches were going to die and they are not. They are just different than what they were before. They have a smaller footprint than they used to have, and part of that comes from technology. You can interface with your financial institution in so many digital ways today and that has affected how we connect with our banks.”

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