Help Members Avoid the Sharks with Payday Alternative Loans... Round 2

By Preston Packer |

Aug

16


Roughly 12 million Americans, or 2.5 million U.S. households used at least one payday loan last year. This equates to an alarming 1 in 50 Americans, which is why the payday loan industry exceeds $50B in the US alone. Most often these loans are originated to assist with individuals looking for a short-term option to help them meet their monthly financial obligation. While the industry touts these loans as a solution to unexpected or emergency expenses, 70% of borrowers who use them are doing so for their regular recurring expenses, such as rent. Recognizing that these loans are needed, but wanting to avoid the stigma that this industry carries (commonly referred to as predatory payday lenders), with their extremely high interest rates and abysmal default rates, many credit unions have designed lending programs to compete with payday lending in an effort to meet their member's demands, while keeping the credit union motto of helping others in mind. And now, the NCUA Board is proposing to amend the NCUA’s general lending rule to provide Federal credit unions with additional options to offer Payday Alternative Loans (PALs) with PALs II.

Read More

10 Fast Facts about the Credit Union Industry

By Preston Packer |

Aug

14

Credit unions often carry a reputation for being too small or not providing the same range of services compared with bigger financial institutions. However, credit unions are a $1.4 trillion industry and they are aggressively competing with their counterparts in the banking industry by offering products and services members are demanding.1  Credit unions have made huge strides to become competitive with banks, and offer a wider variety of members services than one might expect. Here are 10 fast-facts about credit unions that may surprise you:

Read More

Life Lessons from Harry Potter: 4 Ways to Defuse an Irate Member

By Preston Packer |

Aug

09

When it comes to people's hard-earned money, there's very little tolerance for error. Financial issues or concerns can skyrocket the blood pressure of even the most mild-mannered credit union member. From the wise mind of Albus Dumbledore, "Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it." Here are 4 key, Hogwarts-approved tactics we think might help you calm a member who has gotten a little hot under the collar.

Read More

Do Credit Unions Really Need Digital Banking Solutions?

By Preston Packer |

Aug

07

Big banks are known for their deep pockets, and credit unions for their quality member service. It’s difficult for large banks to provide the same level of care and attention as credit unions but what they lack in customer service is oftentimes made up through robust online banking and digital solutions. Conversely, credit unions are able to provide a phenomenal in-person member experience yet digital technology may prove to be less than helpful to members. It is the impression of some, that credit unions don’t need digital services because they can manage their business offline. Although it’s true that some credit unions get by with little to no digital banking components, small institutions can benefit most from implementing a digital approach. Here’s what your credit union is missing out on by overlooking digital banking solutions.

Read More

CECL Part 2: Creating a Compliance Team

By Preston Packer |

Aug

02

There’s a lot that goes into CECL compliance (read CECL Part 1: Four Steps to Becoming Compliant), which means that formulating an effective compliance strategy will take more require more than just a couple hours of your time. To get on board with CECL compliance, everyone must be aware of changes that need to be made, and how they might affect their work. This will begin by creating a CECL compliance team with members from different functional areas in your credit union.

Read More

10 Ways to Navigate a Successful Core Review

By Preston Packer |

Jul

31



As Americans embark on the roads making their annual treks to the beach, mountain, lake or amusement park of choice, the tools to navigate around the traffic jams are as plenty as the orange barrels on the highways. Perhaps your car has a built-in GPS or you plug in with Apple CarPlay navigation. Do you swear by Google Maps, or have you jumped on crowdsourcing with Waze? Whatever navigation tool you use, the goal is to get you to your destination as efficiently as possible. When credit unions review their core system, the goal is to measure efficiencies and defects in the current solution and then go out into the core processing marketplace to see what other vendors can offer. Here are 10 ways to successfully navigate a core system review to get you where you need your credit union to be:

Read More

Building Loyalty Programs for a New Generation of Members

By Preston Packer |

Jul

26

It's been a topic of discussions at conferences and forums for the past several years - Many credit unions struggle to gain the business of younger members, especially those in the Millennial and Generation Z age groups. New research has found that loyalty programs are a great way to grab their attention. Millennials and Gen Z seek out loyalty programs in almost anything they do. Whether it’s at a coffee shop, wholesale club, restaurant, or their favorite store, these generations want perks. According to a study by Alliance Data, 63% of Gen Z and Millennials agree they have many choices of where to shop, so a brand must show them loyalty to earn their business. Here are several reasons why it's time to focus a greater effort on loyalty programs to nab this market segment:

Read More

CECL Part 1: Four Steps to Becoming Compliant

By Preston Packer |

Jul

25

After the financial blowout and market crash of 2007, several new policies have come about to keep financial institutions more accountable. One of those policies is Current Expected Credit Loss, or CECL. Previously, FI's typically accounted actual loss and defaults as a projection for future losses, but with CECL, they are expected to use robust data sets to more accurately project future losses. Therefore, FI's must set aside capital to ensure any future losses would be protected, even if they haven’t occurred, or are not expected to for some time. This may seem like an inconsequential change, however, for many banks and credit unions, it may require them to put more capital than they have in years past. The deadline to be CECL compliant is fast approaching, as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) expects policies and finances in place by 2021 for credit unions. If you’re CU is starting to feel the pressure of CECL requirements, here is how you can begin the process of becoming fully compliant. Read More

5 Tips to Become Your Members Main Squeeze (er... Primary Financial Institution)

By Preston Packer |

Jul

19

Is your credit union firmly in your member's "friend zone"? Are you tired of playing second fiddle to their main financial institution? You know you have more to offer than some big, impersonal institution. You offer personal attention and care that they deserve. And you deserve to have the member relationship you've always wanted! It's time to do some peacocking and step up your game. Show potential members you can give them everything their bank can and more. Here are five tips to get your new members to commit to this monogamous financial relationship during account opening.

Read More

NY Encourages Financial Support for Budding Marijuana Industry

By Preston Packer |

Jul

17

While marijuana legalization varies tremendously state to state, all evidence points to an increasingly mainstream adoption of medical marijuana across the US, with over half of the union (30 states) legalizing its use for medicinal purposes. However, with such inconsistent attitudes and varying legalities, those people looking to cash in on the industry are struggling to find the resources and financing they need. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo thinks it's high time we take measures to help these businesses out. 

Read More
FLEX will improve your system efficiency.