No one likes to stand in a long line. 

Time is precious, and people have enough to do every day without waiting to accomplish tasks on their ever-growing “to-do” lists. And with today’s social distancing mandates, providing alternatives to traditional queuing is becoming increasingly important as Credit Unions seek to reduce the number of people waiting at any given time. 

Once upon a time, long lines were a sign of popular products and services. Now, they spark concern. While some wait time is inevitable, particularly at places such as Credit Unions, which provide personalized service to its members, social distancing is difficult to maintain if people are standing in line. 

To avoid creating potentially dangerous environments, Credit Unions are currently either keeping their lobbies closed or limiting the number of members inside at a given point. But one viable way of placing members in a virtual line — thereby reducing the amount of time they need to physically be inside a branch office — comes via Text Messaging. 

Social distancing requires a minimum of six feet of space between members who are waiting to make transactions with tellers. That makes it impractical for many Credit Unions to have more than a handful of members in the lobby at any time. In the early phases of local municipalities reopening after the COVID-19 lockdown, many Credit Unions opted to provide only drive-thru services. Now, as restrictions are lifted and members can enter their local branches, Text Messaging enables digital queuing, which lets members wait outside, in their cars, or anywhere nearby. 

How Digital Queuing Works

It all starts with a member texting “Appointment” to the Credit Union. The member instantly receives an automated response acknowledging the request and asking the reason for the appointment. Once the member responds, a location in the queue is assigned and a wait time is provided, along with any further instructions.

The exchange might go something like this:


Members can also receive updates on time remaining and their place in the queue, as well as a confirmation that they can come inside the branch: “Please come in. We are ready for you.”

For Credit Union branch managers and employees, Text Messaging is efficient and provides an organized manner in which to serve members. The system administrator can see the entire list of those waiting in the queue at any time. That list, which dynamically updates as members are serviced, can be projected to a large screen television in the branch so everyone knows who’s next. Because the member previously texted the branch with the reason for the appointment, employees are prepared with the information to make the transaction quickly and efficiently.

Credit Unions benefit when representatives have advance knowledge of member requirements and expectations, because they can appropriately provide personal and efficient experiences. Members benefit because they are served by prepared employees and experience a seamless interaction. 

Overall, Credit Unions using digital queuing systems provide a streamlined member experience and more productive employees.