Tech Costs are Killing Small Credit Unions

By Preston Packer |

Apr

26

In order to stay relevant in today's fintech world, you must have all the latest member service features in your digital arsenal. Staying in touch with tech trends and being aware of what's being developed on the horizon is important, as is being able to implement it with the rest of your technology when it's market ready. It's imperative to find ways to stay one step ahead of your competition and differentiate yourself from the rest. However, in a monopolized financial industry where the principle of economies of scale is alive and well, it's difficult for small credit unions to meet the price tag of the tech that will make them competitive. 
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4 Reasons You're Losing Members from a Poor Digital Banking Experience

By Preston Packer |

Apr

24

Simply offering a mobile banking app to your members is not good enough anymore - it needs to perform well and quickly provide the information members are looking for in order to hold its own against the competition. The interaction should be seamless, and the app should respond easily with just a touch or screen swipe. It should offer a user interface that appeals in layout, is clearly understood and able to be followed. In short, their digital experience should leave your members satisfied, frustration-free and ready to come back for more. 
 
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Preparing for and Managing Education Costs

By Preston Packer |

Apr

19

It's springtime and students are graduating, looking forward to their next step in life. Some are high school seniors about to embark on a brand new experience and obtain a college education. Others are graduating from college and about to enter the proverbial real world - with real jobs, real responsibilities and unfortunately, a lot of real debt. Preparing for these life steps are important, and proper planning can help ease some of the burden. College savings plans, such as 529s, student loans and overall responsible spending and investment plans can relieve some of the stress and provide assistance in repaying the debt. As a credit union, helping your members successfully manage their higher education debt represents a big opportunity to help them not only plan for but survive one of the biggest expenses in their lifetime.
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3 Credit Union Lending Facts That are Actually Fiction

By Preston Packer |

Apr

17


Lending is the backbone of your credit union. Being able to offer credit to as many qualified members as possible is important, but must be done carefully and in line with your credit union lending parameters in order to minimize risk. The key to making smart decisions and having a strong loan portfolio is to know your members, their financial background, credit history and work with them closely in order to choose the loan product that is most appropriate for their circumstances. 
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Not For Profit Shouldn't Mean You Are For Loss

By Preston Packer |

Apr

12

According to Investopedia, a credit union by definition is "a type of financial co-operative." They follow the basic model of any co-operative and pool their money in order to be able to "provide loans, demand deposit accounts, and other financial products and services to each other." They are classified as 'Not-For-Profit' and their unique ownership structure, in which all members are co-owners, allows for the profits to be reinvested and for members to benefit directly through lower fees, rates, etc. Credit unions being labeled as 'Not-For-Profit' can be misleading or confusing to some. In order to function and cover overhead and operating costs, not to mention great rates, a credit union must generate a profit. And, as with any business, the more revenue generated translates to growth and a thriving credit union.
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6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Compliance Officer

By Preston Packer |

Apr

10

Meeting the various compliance requirements and regulations can be a daunting task. Since the financial break down of 2007-09, the banking industry has become more heavily regulated, with new regulations being continually introduced or amended. One such example that is swiftly approaching in 2020 is the enactment of the new CECL accounting standard - Current Expected Credit Loss - a regulation requiring Credit Unions and banks alike to better manage the data of their members and their accounts. They will be required to have a system in place that tracks, analyzes and reports all of their member data in order to provide a better picture of an entity’s overall loan portfolio and potential risk of loss. While implementing this may be a big undertaking, like many other compliance regulations, ultimately the information this regulation will provide will better enable a credit union to understand certain member segments and its unique needs and can also influence marketing strategies.
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3 Quick Tips for "Small Credit Unions"

By Preston Packer |

Apr

05

The NCUA classifies small credit unions as those with less than $100 million in assets. Is it surprising that more than 4,000 credit unions fall into that category? Keep in mind that the United States currently has 5,684 operational credit unions. With the majority of credit unions being considered small, what are some of the struggles they face? Aging membership, regulatory burden, succession planning, competition from larger FIs and possibly the lack of capital to invest in new technology. 
 
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The Planet of the APIs

By Preston Packer |

Apr

03

While we have yet to encounter and clash for control with highly evolved and intelligent apes, technology is definitely making our planet smaller. We interact with friends and family across the country or the street with little or no effort. The ability to share information at any time of day or night has become second nature to us. Technological advances are around us everywhere in our daily lives - even our technology talks to each other - the IoT. It stands to reason that when it comes to our personal finances, another integral part of our lives, we would expect and want to have the latest technology available and be able to use it to its fullest extent.
 
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Open Architecture = Choice

By Preston Packer |

Mar

29

The secret to offering the best technology to your members lies at the core. The ability to stay relevant and competitive within the financial industry is on the mind of most credit union executives. Technology, especially when looking to attract new and young members, often plays a huge role in staying competitive.  Millennials currently have a great influence in the financial world, representing close to 75% of the workforce by the last count, impacting both financial and consumer trends alike. Keeping up with this segment of the population’s demands in particular, and being able to offer the latest in technology developments, is imperative to keeping your credit union relevant and on a path of growth. If your core system is built on open architecture, you will have the freedom to choose what products you integrate and ensure you are setting yourself up for future success.
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Spring: Time For Credit Union Growth and Member Cultivation

By Preston Packer |

Mar

27


It's finally Spring, the season for growth, renewal, fresh beginnings and new opportunities. This is also a great time to look for fresh opportunities to grow your credit union's bottom line and to cultivate existing members. There are various strategies to best accomplish this, some more tried and true than others. At the close of 2017, results from strategic planning sessions yielded several trends in the credit union industry, both opportunities and industry challenges. One of the biggest and most noteworthy differences for the upcoming year was a more focused approach on member growth and lending strategies. The incorporation of more targeted marketing with an expanded use of social media, and the rise in the credit union market's share of auto loan financing were also predicted to be important factors that would play a role in credit union growth.
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