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:

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A Small Credit Union's Survival Guide in Turbulent Times

By Preston Packer |

Jul

05

There have been alarming stats of late that indicate a significant uphill battle smaller credit unions face in today's market. The NCUA classifies small credit unions as those with less than $100 million in assets, and more than 4,000 of the 5684 credit unions in the United States fall into that category. While the overall credit union industry is improving, the data for small credit unions doesn't look good, with assets and member size shrinking. More than 215 credit unions classified as small closed their doors in 2017, with average membership rates declining 4-8%. If you find yourself in this category and are witnessing similar trends, here are 5 survival tips to consider:

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When Three's a Crowd: Effectively Managing Third Party Vendors

By Preston Packer |

Jun

21

It is said "Two's company; three's a crowd," when two people are in a relationship and would prefer to be alone. Your credit union's tech revolves around the primary relationship of credit union and core processor, and when it comes down to the efficiency of your CU, this might be the relationship that matters the most. However, you may have many third parties crowding your space and taking away from time that should be devoted to activities which more directly impact your members. Vendors, suppliers, agents, brokers, specialists, consultants, and more are constantly vying for your attention as a credit union leader, and managing these relationships can be a job in and of itself. Leveraging third parties can help your credit union gain significant efficiencies, but managing them can be burdensome.

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The Perils of CU Leaders Helicopter Parenting Their Members & Staff

By Preston Packer |

Jun

19

There is a constant flow of outlandish stories pouring out of American universities. Kids who can't figure out how to cook an egg, sew a button, or "adult" in any way. Parents who are calling college professors defending their kid's sub-par mid-term efforts because the kid called them crying. These "helicopter parents" have tried so hard to protect their children from the big, bad modern world, that they've handicapped their growth and independent success to an embarrassing level. Are Credit Union leaders doing the same thing to their members?

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Are Large Credit Unions Monopolizing the Industry?

By Preston Packer |

May

01



Small credit unions have held their own in the marketplace for years, struggling at times to compete, but with extraordinary resourcefulness, have stayed viable.The latest report from the NCUA, however, provides some alarming data: Large credit unions are getting larger while smaller credit unions are, in fact, getting smaller. It's worth noting that while this is actually a long time industry trend, the strengthening economy has brought with it mounting challenges for smaller credit unions to stay competitive in the upcoming year.

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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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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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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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