The Biggest Cyber Security Mistake a Credit Union Can Make

By Preston Packer |

Mar

07

Cyber security restrictions and regulations have been tightening as procedures become increasingly reliant on technology. In the past several years, the financial services industry has endured more than a few data breaches. In 2016, credit unions and banks with less than $35 million in assets accounted for 81% of hacking and malware breaches. The aftermath of these incidents has led to stricter policies and higher expectations for member data security. Credit unions have been working to build a culture of cyber security that is ingrained in every stage of data storage and transit including in-branch and over networks. The National Cyber Security Alliance outlines a recommended process for identifying, protecting and detecting potential security risks, but it is equally important to have a plan in place should a breach occur. Here are some considerations for responding to and recovering from cyber security scares.

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Member Data and the Merger Effect

By Preston Packer |

Mar

06

There are a lot of considerations for any organization going through a merger. It takes cooperation and patience to combine cultures, assets and staff during a merger, but for credit unions, the effect on members is a major factor to keep at the forefront. Members often come to credit unions to experience a better value through more customization, better service and a more personal banking experience. A merger might be unsettling for members, so it’s important to reassure them that their experience will not be negatively impacted by the changes a merger will bring. To actually follow through on that, maintaining a tight lock on member information and data will be essential. Here are some tips regarding member data security that credit unions should know when embarking on a merger.

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This Vermont Credit Union is Stealing the 'Member Value' Show

By Preston Packer |

Feb

27

Member value is a credit union industry term thrown around to try to define the value members receive from their CU. But value itself is a subjective term, meaning different things to different people. There are many ways to evaluate member value, but Callahan & Associates have created a metric to quantify value, making it a more tangible goal. They call it Return of the Member (ROM), and this metric represents a CU’s demonstration of member value. The Credit Union of Vermont has been extremely successful in providing member value, so much so that they have been recognized by Callahan & Associates for their exemplary performance within the ROM metric. The Credit Union of Vermont has ranked at or near the top of Callahan’s Return of the Member metric for nearly a decade. As one of the best in creating member value, here is how the Credit Union of Vermont has achieved their success in the category.

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Integration Options for Member Onboarding

By Preston Packer |

Feb

21

In a previous blog, we discussed the importance of reducing friction in the onboarding process. One good way to do so is through integration to a robust onboarding solution that manages the process for members as well as credit union staff. Leveraging your core system's Application Program Interfaces (APIs) can provide a myriad of benefits that lead to increased efficiency and convenience, and ultimately reduce costs and boost revenue for your credit union. Here’s how APIs have become a popular tool in improving the member onboarding processes.

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Reducing the Friction of Member Onboarding

By Preston Packer |

Feb

20

Members not only compare their onboarding experience with that of other credit unions and banks but to their experience in other industries as well. Companies large and small are focusing on the User eXperience (UX) to create a frictionless process. Member expectations are high, and if they experience roadblocks in the onboarding process they will lose confidence in the credit union. In some cases, they might abandon the credit union altogether for another financial institution that has a more seamless onboarding experience. In the credit union industry today, it is more important than ever to nurture relationships and demonstrate value during the onboarding process. Here are 3 ways you can create a frictionless member onboarding experience.

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Switching Financial Institutions Might be Easier than Members Think

By Preston Packer |

Feb

13

The cost of switching is an age-old concept, applying to essentially every industry. Humans are creatures of habit and even when people are aware of a better alternative, they will not switch to a new product or service due to the expense or effort it would require. With something as simple as household products, there is little to no cost of switching. If a shopper routinely buys JIF peanut butter for the kids' PB&J sandwiches, but at the grocery store that week Skippy is on sale, it’s likely they’ll go with the cheaper alternative. The cost of switching here is low... peanut butter is about $2.75 (or $4 if you're a health nut who prefers organic) and if the family doesn’t like the Skippy, they’ll just switch back to JIF next time. However, there are far larger barriers when switching to something like a new cable company, insurance provider, or financial institution. 

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Do 75% of Your Members Want to "Do it Themselves"?

By Preston Packer |

Feb

07

In the past, some credit unions avoided self-service options. Credit unions were built upon the idea of personal service -- providing the highest quality of customized care for their members. However, credit unions today will benefit from self-service offerings. While many members still value personalization in their banking experience, they often prefer self-service channels over face-to-face interactions. According to a survey by Zendesk, 75% of respondents identified self-service as a convenient way to address customer service issues, and 67% prefer self-service over communication with a customer service representative. Self-service channels won’t replace your credit unions valued MSRs, but they will allow for greater efficiencies for both staff and members. Here’s how your credit union can begin to incorporate self-service channels for improved operations and happier members.

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2019: Year of the Member

By Preston Packer |

Feb

05

In the Chinese zodiac, 2019 is the year of the pig. Pigs are the symbol of wealth in Chinese culture, and they are thought to bring good fortune as well. For credit unions, these predictions hold true. 2018 certainly brought success and good fortune to CUs and that is expected to continue into 2019. For credit unions, 2019 will be year of the member. The credit union industry as a whole added 4.9 million members over the past 12 months, which led to 116.8 million total members as of September 30, 2018. This year, credit unions will be focused on building stronger relationships with members, and continuing to cultivate new ones.

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eSignature Predictions from 2013, They Were Right!

By Preston Packer |

Jan

31

Six years ago, many credit unions were skeptical of electronic signatures. In 2013, about 10% of credit unions larger than $20 million in assets offered eSignatures and those with fewer assets adopted the platform at even lower rates. Today eSignatures are a coveted member benefit and those who predicted it would become an integral part of the digital lending process back in 2013… they were right!  At the time, eSignatures were fast growing, and in just one quarter eSignature integrations shot up 25%. Early adopters even found that pull-through rates on applications increased up to 20% as a result of eSignature options. If electronic signatures were providing results all the way back in 2013, then it should not come as a shock that the feature is even more important within digital lending processes today. Here’s why credit unions that have yet to implement eSigntaure options should take the leap this year.

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Digital Lending Has Come Full Circle

By Preston Packer |

Jan

29

 

Despite popular belief, digital lending has actually been around for quite some time. It began in the 1990s around the dot-com era with digital mortgage and consumer lending. While it wasn’t a popular solution back then, digital lending today has come full circle. Many financial institutions offer digital lending in some capacity. A recent survey by the ABA shows that digital lending could for 10% of all consumer and small business lending market by 2020. Despite this, there are many FIs that do not offer it, or they only offer digital options for part of the lending process. While those banks and credit unions have certainly gotten by without full digital lending, they are missing out on features and opportunities that it can provide. Here are 5 ways that digital lending can improve your credit unions lending process.

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