Preston Packer

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Leveraging Technology to Streamline Your Workflow

By Preston Packer |

Sep

11

In this digitally competitive day and age, where everyone wants and expects an answer “yesterday,” being efficient is imperative. The mortgage market in particular has grown more and more crowded as home prices soar and interest rates continue to decline. In fact, Interest rates have been dropping since late 2018, recently dipping below 4% in June for a 30-year mortgage, the lowest in about two years. Leveraging your credit union's technology to streamline the loan decision-making process can reduce the turn-around time for the member's application, provide members answers quickly, and potentially be the difference in whether a new loan closes with your credit union or at another financial institution.

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How Small Loans Can Have a Huge Impact

By Preston Packer |

Sep

05

Throughout life there are situations - life events - where money plays a significant role in the decision-making process, and a positive resolution is dependent on the availability of funds. In certain cases, where the resolution requires more money than what may be available, an already stressful situation can feel frustrating and overwhelming. But what if a financial institution knew their member personally, and was willing to take a look at special situations to see if they could lend a hand (or money) to assist that member? Take a chance on a member with a long standing history and make a difference to them? This is the embodiment of the Credit Union Difference.

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You Can’t Make Every Member Happy... You're Not a Taco

By Preston Packer |

Sep

04

Ricky Nelson hosted a Garden Party and informed us "Ya can't please everyone, so ya gotta please yourself." John Lydgate, a 14th-century poet, is credited with "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” And 21st century phenom giphy.com has given us "You can’t make everyone happy.... you're not a taco.” Try harder, do more. While we all have a grasp on the concept, it’s very hard to put into practice in real life, let alone your credit union. The idea that we can appeal to everyone is difficult to let go of, as we see the value in the value prop: Serve every member your best, and then the credit union will have excellent growth. This sounds wonderful but, history has shown us, is not possible. In order to matter to the people you’re talking to, you have to show value. And value can be defined very differently depending on the person. So one generic message will never be the right message for all.

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Do Credit Cards Teach Teens Financial Responsibility?

By Preston Packer |

Aug

29

American teenagers spend an astounding nine hours a day with digital technology, watching videos, listening to music and playing games. And if you think this is just a US phenomenon, consider that 90% of children under the age of 18 in China have access to a mobile phone, comparative to the US's staggering 88%. Specifically in the teen years, aged 13-17, a survey  by the nonprofit Common Sense Media found that 95 percent of U.S. teens have their own mobile device, spending an average of 7 hours a day on screentime. The impact on social norms has been immense: Teens are spending more hours with media and technology than they do with their parents, time in school, or doing any other thing. This complicates the task of educating teens on financial responsibility, an historically parental duty.

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The Economy of Cyber Crime and Attacks to the Financial Industry

By Preston Packer |

Aug

27

 

 


There is now a whole economy of cybercrime developing specifically targeting the financial services sector and its consumers. Phishing, Credential Stuffing and other web-based attacks have had a huge cost and impact on the industry...to the tune of nearly $3 million per minute! What can be done to protect your members and their information from a cyber attack and minimize the expense if one should happen? A combination of technology and education can be your best defense.

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Five Way to Improve Your In-Branch Sales Program

By Preston Packer |

Aug

22

Say the letters ABC to a true sales person and inevitably images of Alec Baldwin spelling out "Always Be Closing" will come to mind. But the days of Glengarry Glen Ross sales tactics are (thankfully) in the past, and have never really had a place in the credit union world. Yet, opening new accounts and positioning loans is imperative to a credit union’s success. According to creditunions.com, in the 10 years following the recession, the credit union industry has grown its loan portfolio 82.7%. There is still a lot of growth to be realized, and even in today’s digital world, most new sales will be handled by branch employees. This means that the sales program needs to be focused on making suggestions of products and services, opening new accounts and writing new loans... and making sure MSR's are comfortable with the sales aspect of their role. Accomplishing the task of a soft sale day after day can be a struggle for branch employees. If your results are not where you need them to be, here are 5 areas to look to improve the process:

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The Role of Credit Unions in the Student Loan Crisis

By Preston Packer |

Aug

14

With student loans continuing to soar, the crisis has become a hot topic in both political and financial news. Student loan debt has reached astronomical levels in the United States, with 44.2 million Americans carrying an estimated $1.48 trillion in education debt. Within the last 20 years, the cost of higher education has risen faster than income levels. It should be clear to us, as members of the financial services industry, that this isn’t sustainable for the future. So what role do credit unions play in this issue and how can we provide the education our members need for the long term?

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How Much Does a New Member Really Cost?

By Preston Packer |

Aug

08

The calculation is not a complex one: credit union growth is imperative for long term survival. Retain your current members while at the same time adding new ones. While marketing budgets often focus on the amount of money you are willing to spend to build your member base, how do you actually determine that number?  When budgeting for member acquisition, the options for marketing programs are endless - print, digital ads, social media, email campaigns. Where are marketing dollars best spent? What is the "right" amount to spend on each medium? To begin to answer that question, you must determine how much it costs for you to earn a new member.

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The Business of Businesses: Future-proof Your Credit Union

By Preston Packer |

Aug

08


The need for financial services for businesses is constantly growing. Therefore the market potential for new business for your credit union is as well. Unfortunately, the competition for that market share is growing at an equally strong rate. Credit unions have traditionally provided their business members with a wide range of services at affordable rates and set themselves apart by giving more personalized member service. However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the larger institutions in today’s digital world. Here are more ways to future-proof your credit union by focusing on new business members.

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On-line Reviews - An Opportunity to Build Your Member Base

By Preston Packer |

Aug

01

Who reads online reviews before making a purchase?  EVERYONE! A picture is no longer worth a thousand words in the realm of online shopping... words of others are worth a thousand words and more. The influence of online reviews and commentary, both positive and negative, has become increasingly critical to a product or brand's success. Reading the experiences of others is now one of the most impactful resources for potential customers. In fact, a recent study indicated that 90% of consumers consult online reviews before transacting with a business. During Amazon Prime Days earlier this month, for example, Amazon sold over 175 million items in two days. Each item has its own star rating review and some are labeled as a Prime recommended product... a bonus for that particular company, who no doubt saw a boost in sales due to that recommendation. A review can hold the power to make or break a business relationship in any industry where the consumer has a choice to make, credit unions included.

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