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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Can Beer Trigger Innovation?

By Preston Packer |

Mar

22

Bringing new meaning to pay at the pump, Barclays has introduced the first ever self-service beer dispenser that accepts contactless payments, because.... well... it's pretty cool! But it also demonstrates their commitment to innovation, responding to that ever-present problem that Brits have with queuing for their next pint (#firstworldproblems). Brewing up a creative way to meet demands requires an organization-wide commitment to technology as well as flexibility within their systems to enable such developments. Many financial institutions struggle with "Innovation Killers" which come in different forms: Leaders reluctant to expand their thinking, limited budgets, employees lacking the necessary knowledge and capabilities, and legacy system hardware or software limitations. Does your credit union struggle with Innovation Killers?  

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Find Your Relevance: Where Kodak Went Wrong

By Preston Packer |

Mar

13

From the 70's through the 90's, Kodak was everywhere. It was a term everyone recognized, so much so that to take a 'Kodak' came to mean the same as taking a 'picture'. An especially touching situation was called a 'Kodak Moment,' and there were even Kodak Picture Spots in Disney World. Everyone was capturing their life moments in sharp, photographic imagery and eagerly opening their film envelopes once they were processed to see how they came out. People created scrapbooks and dutifully filed away their negatives. The demand for film processing became so great that Kodak took to building little photo "huts" or kiosks in parking lots where customers could drop off their pictures for development 24 hours a day.
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Adapt or Die: A Technology Lesson from Twitter

By Preston Packer |

Mar

09

It's no secret that Twitter has struggled to maintain traction in the competitive market of social media. The popularity and use of their social media platform, where you can post - or tweet - 140 character messages, has become stagnant after getting off to a great start. Internally, it has had layoffs to slim down staff in an attempt to refocus and reinvigorate its growth. More recently, the company has seen turnover even at the highest levels, and at one point looked into options for selling the company.  What happened?
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Are Biometrics the Future of Credit Union Security?

By Preston Packer |

Feb

28

With the increased use of mobile banking apps, cybersecurity has quickly come to the forefront as an imperative measure to guard against hacking and fraud. In a recent study, researchers predicted that smartphone subscriptions could hit six billion globally by 2020, and 81% of adults in the U.S. will be using mobile banking. As all of these members transmit their usernames, passwords and account information over the local area WiFi, there is an increasing amount of vulnerability that could lead to their information being compromised.
 
Similarly, online banking has also felt the impact and the need for more robust security measures, as credit unions now offer loan and account applications and a variety of other transactions over the internet, capitalizing on the convenience and ability to reach an account holder at home or on the go.
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Fake News! Eight Ways the Public is Wrong About Credit Unions

By Preston Packer |

Feb

14

While a lot of people have heard of credit unions, the advantages in membership remain mostly unknown unless you happen to be a member or know someone who is. Most people tend to think they cannot belong to one because they aren't lucky enough to meet the criteria that will grant them that elusive 'members only' status. They might also be a bit confused about the cooperative nature of these institutions and what it means to be a member. However, credit unions have been a part of our financial system for over a century, and contrary to popular belief, there probably is one, or several, that you do qualify for.
 
Here is the FAKE NEWS surrounding credit unions and why joining a credit union might actually be the perfect option.
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