The top 10 marketing & tech trends that tickled our fancy in 2014!

first_img continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Welcome to part four in our Top Marketing and Tech Trends of 2014! Today, we take a closer look at financial institutions; specifically, how the next current generation of Millennials are influencing the banking and credit union industry.5. Millennials and Financial InstitutionsResearch in 2014 would suggest, quite frankly, that Millennials hate banks. Well, maybe “hate” is a strong word, but millennials are increasingly viewing these financial institutions as archaic.How Millennials are Disrupting the Traditional Banking SystemWhy is this? Are Millennials just disinterested in their financial futures? Millennials are stereotypically described as the “boomerang generation” or the Peter Pan generation for their perceived tendencies for delaying certain rites of passage into adulthood. It’s true; the statistic most commonly referenced to prove this point is Millennials are living at home with their parents longer in comparison with past generations.Does this mean, then, that Millennials possess a lack of responsibility, a disinterest in all things “adult”? A survey conducted by Merrill Lynch in 2014 says not necessarily. The survey reveals that “by and large, the Millennials in our survey don’t come across as entitled, disengaged from the real world or enthralled by instant gratification, and they aren’t upending their parents’ approach to investing. Instead, the data portray a group who are oriented toward the future, who have a strong sense of familial and social responsibility.”last_img read more

Staff designs, promotes new branch

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr 1st Choice Savings & CU facility focuses on service Karen BankstonWhen the employees who work there call 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union’s newest office “our branch,” they mean it. They helped design the 4,500-square-foot facility in west Lethbridge, Alberta, have helped pioneer its service delivery model, and even went door to door to invite neighborhood business people and residents to visit the new branch in the weeks before it opened.Teller pods and “collaboration areas,” where staff and members stand or sit side by side, have replaced the counter and dedicated offices of a traditional branch, and all employers are trained as personal bankers to provide a full range of services, says CUES member Brian Kinahan, president/CEO of $460 million 1st Choice Savings & CU, which serves 16,500 members.When members enter the branch, they are immediately welcomed by a greeter and can proceed to the tech bar equipped with iPads to check their accounts or even begin filling out an account or loan application if they are waiting for a personal banker.The Westgate branch manager and employees, all under age 35, were hired before the design phase began so they could have a say “in how this branch was going to operate and what the experience would be when members walked in,” Kinahan says. Staffing the branch with younger employees and using their input in its design supported the goal of attracting members in the 25-49 age bracket. continue reading »last_img read more

Driving adoption of mobile wallets: convenience isn’t enough

first_imgby: David JulienMobile wallet providers made a huge push to acquire users this past holiday shopping season – encouraging consumers to manage card payments through a smartphone app. As an example, Google Wallet offered a compelling incentive by promising users $5 for each person they referred who signed up. Smartphone users could refer up to 20 friends (earning up to $100), while their referred friends also received a $5 gift!An optimistic study from VentureBeat projected that 30% of U.S. users would adopt the mobile technology for the holidays. But the jury (and the data) is still out as to whether gambles like this worked.A customer experience quandary: Convenience vs. peace of mindIt’s not surprising that the large players in this new arena have been having a hard time building a customer base. While these providers may be focusing hard on technical capability and device support, consumers are weighing the emotional pros and cons. In the age of sophisticated identity theft, loading all one’s highly confidential payment data onto their phone is no small decision. Sure, it sounds appealing to access mobile wallet convenience from any device, and it’s handy if your favorite merchants support it. But many customers have valid concerns about privacy and security, and many merchants are still not equipped to accept mobile wallets. In the VentureBeat study, 69% of smartphone users said they weren’t sure which stores would accept the type of mobile payments they use. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Maximizing the value of mobile banking adoption and usage

first_imgNot only is mobile now a must-have channel, a new Fiserv study links mobile banking to bottom-line results and revenue – and quantifies the value of maximizing adoption and usage.The aggregated analysis of select Fiserv clients of varying asset sizes – eight credit unions and nine banks – assessed the impact of mobile banking adoption on five key areas: product ownership, transaction frequency, interchange revenue, branch usage and retention. Fiserv examined consumer behavior in the three months before and three months after enrollment in mobile banking and found mobile usage had a positive impact on revenue.Mobile banking users generate more revenue than nonusers in part because they own more products and conduct more transactions, generating revenue from interest and interchange. When consumers have immediate mobile access to financial information, it likely influences additional transactions. Mobile banking users are also less likely to visit a branch for simple transactions they can take care of on their mobile device – and less likely to take their accounts elsewhere. continue reading » 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The problem with a ‘cradle-to-grave’ value proposition

first_imgScott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: Details I still hear it a lot: credit unions that profess a “cradle-to-grave” or “one-stop shop” value proposition. I’m not opposed to credit unions trying to offer as much to their members as possible – as long as they have the scale to profitably offer a superior product.One of the biggest challenges I see can be found among smaller credit unions that don’t have the scale to offer everything. These credit unions are working hard just to tread water, yet offering products, services, and even branches that provide little financial value and aren’t focused on what they need most: consistent loan growth. They continue to commit resources to labor-intensive products, such as Individual Retirement Accounts, that frankly aren’t usually the best value for their members and provide excess liquidity the credit union doesn’t need. Yet, they hold on because they don’t want to upset the 50 to 100 people who are using the product.And before all of the credit card vendors pile up on me, let me just say in advance that I support credit unions offering a credit card program if they can afford it financially, and have the operational and human resources to support a strong and competitive program (the world is full of mediocre credit card offerings). Unfortunately, I’ve seen smaller credit unions race down this rabbit hole because 50 members said they wanted a credit union credit card. The credit union wants to please its membership, and grow loans and revenue, but what frequently occurs is a mediocre program (at best) that fails to generate the loan balances, products per member, or profitability desired. Most of the board members of these credit unions don’t even use the credit union credit card they voted to create because it doesn’t have the high-end rewards they want. If your board members and staff are not using your credit union’s products and services, you have to be honest with yourself and consider why.Considering all of the financial choices consumers have today, it’s difficult for any credit union, regardless of size, to be all things to all people. I would rather see these credit union leaders focus on what they need most, usually loan-growth strategies.Genesis of the problemMy friend and colleague Randy Thompson explains the genesis of this problem better than anyone I know. Give him a minute and Randy will explain that credit unions chased expansion of products and services (like IRAs) that opened up due to deregulation in the 70s and 80s. I believe expansion was a good thing, but for many of us, we signed up for everything as it became available because we wanted to say we had it all. Yet, many of these added products never really became profitable, and, most problematic, they diverted our attention from what made us truly different. Cast stones if you like, but I definitely believe we behave like a herd of sheep sometimes. Times change and facts change.Simon Sinek said, “We can’t be everything to everyone, but we can be something to someone…even a lot of someones.” Instead of a one-stop shop approach, consider a particular stage of life or well-defined market segment, and become GREAT there, providing a clearly different and better option.Good adviceIn a 1934 lecture at the University of California, Berkley, credit union pioneer Edward Filene expounded on the Morals of Business. He put forth that there are two ways to become good (something all credit unions aspire to be). One way is to become interested in goodness, and the other is to become interested in the facts of life. He said there are many good people in business, but fewer good business people.Filene taught that a good person in business will not cheat you any more than they would cheat themselves. Being interested in goodness, however, rather than the facts of business, they are all too likely to cheat themselves, and the business gets bad and cannot serve anyone very well. It takes a good business person to provide great service.When well-intending credit union people ignore the facts and are either off on some idealistic path, or else hell-bent on staying the course on an outdated strategy they still consider practical, the business suffers – which in our world means the membership suffers.One example: good, well-intentioned credit union people who offer an IRA product to a handful of members who are clamoring for it, even though the facts may show that the credit union doesn’t have the scale to provide a broader range of retirement services. In trying to be good, a member gets less than the best deal, and the credit union spends resources, human and financial, to manage an unprofitable offering. I’m picking on IRAs now, but this thinking can apply to a lot of credit union products and services. We need to balance our abundant goodness with a constant review of the facts.Why it mattersProfitable and sustainable growth requires focus – intense focus on what really matters, clarity on why we exist, whom we serve, and how we are different and better than our competitors. Credit unions with thin bottom lines and negative (or breakeven) loan-growth trends need to carefully consider where their time and money will be invested.Give me a minute and I can share a long list of best-practice credit unions that are thriving without IRA accounts, credit card programs, youth accounts, financial planning services, etc. Again, these products aren’t bad. I just see too many that aren’t profitable and divert attention that needs to be focused somewhere else. These successful credit unions offer a smaller bundle of services, but are crystal-clear on who they are, what they do, and how they do it better than everyone else. They spend more time on the right strategies, generating better-than-peer results. These effective leaders aren’t afraid to say “no” to products/services/branches that aren’t closely aligned with their purpose. They aren’t afraid to pull the plug on those things that are underperforming (including people), because they know their survival depends on clarity of purpose. Better-run credit union businesses create greater capacity to do more good.I believe credit unions are clearly different and better when it comes to goodness, but some of us have a way to go in becoming really good business people – leaders capable at creating clarity of purpose and strong skill sets to evaluate the ever-changing facts of life and act accordingly. 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfieldlast_img read more

Bluetooth skimmers strike in Mexico

first_imgCancun is a popular destination for tourists—and fraudsters. A recent investigation into the Mexican hot spot revealed fraudsters are stealing millions of dollars from tourists by rigging ATMs with advanced data-stealing hardware.By fitting 19 separate cash machines with Bluetooth technology,  fraudsters were able to steal ATM information via skimming. Most skimming devices are detectable, because they are designed as fixtures on the outside of a machine. However, the recent Bluetooth technology proves more difficult to detect, as it is fixed within machines and tied directly to the debit card readers and ATM pads.To gain access to the inside of the ATMs, the fraudsters are bribing poorly paid technicians. The fraudsters then hide tiny devices inside the card slots and PIN pads that steal card data and store it on special Bluetooth devices, which have also been installed inside the cash machines. Cyber thieves use their phones to connect to these devices – which can hold the data of around 32,000 people – and use the stolen information to empty their victims’ bank accounts.Targeted ATMs were not bank-owned or operated— all were freestanding machines owned by private companies.  In many instances, when compromised ATMs were utilized to make withdrawals, the machines canceled the transactions without explanation, resulting in the cardholder attempting the transaction elsewhere. This means the cardholder’s financial institution (FI) would have no record of the cardholder using the ATM. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

An inside view of the CFPB review process on the new payday lending rule

first_imgIt was in late 2014 that the email came in from a member who works for a consumer protection group in DC – “Would North Side like to participate in the CFPB rulemaking process on the new payday lending regulations they plan to introduce?” The answer was a resounding ‘yes!’ North Side Community Federal Credit Union was founded in the 70s to combat redlining in its community, and has remained committed to its mission of serving underserved groups throughout its history. In 1994, we developed a small dollar loan to help combat predatory lending, and went through many iterations of the product before we landed on the current $500-$1000 loan product that we offer today, with very low charge-off rates. Since product inception, we have underwritten over 14,000 small dollar loans, and on an annual basis write about 1,000 non-credit based, small dollar loans. Members repeatedly have expressed their appreciation to our credit union for providing a viable alternative to payday lenders who trap borrowers in egregious cycles of debt. The CFPB agreed that North Side Community FCU was a strong contributor to the rulemaking process.  I was invited to fly to DC to contribute to the CFPB Small Business Review Panel on Payday, Vehicle Title, and Similar Loans.There were several interim phone calls between the invitation and the convening. It was on April 29th, 2015 that the panel was convened at the US Treasury Building. We were each invited to bring one guest, and a member of a credit union trade association attended with me. Approximately thirty small businesses were invited to this process, and the panel consisted largely of payday lenders, a handful of community banks, and two other community development credit unions. We were seated at tables in a U-formation, with representatives from the CFPB, the US Small Business Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget in the center.  During the eight-hour process, participants were given cards to raise when they wished to comment on a particular part of the rule. Perhaps the most eye-opening part of the process personally was listening to comments made by payday lenders; concerns were very similar to the ones raised by the credit union industry. The payday lenders claimed to meet a market need for a particular segment of consumers. While it is true that there is a market demand for very small amounts of capital, particularly by borrowers with poor credit, there are fair and reasonable ways to meet the market demand. Credit unions in particular play a significant role, and can to live up to their mission of people helping people by meeting this need in underserved communities.Our credit union’s small-loan borrowers also have low credit scores and incomes, like payday loan borrowers. But because our loans have affordable payments, reasonable terms, and usually have electronic repayment from a checking account, our delinquency rate has historically been very low over the 20+ years we have been originating these loans. At the same time, individuals have the ability to improve and increase their credit score while repaying the loan (and many do). We also make sure every borrower has the option to access free, individualized credit counseling that may include budget preparation.If we could not issue these loans quickly, using simple underwriting standards, our borrowers would be very likely to instead turn to payday lenders, who get them money fast with few questions asked. If we had to check borrowers’ credit score or spend additional time underwriting these loans, our already-slim margins would disappear entirely, and we would have to raise prices or discontinue the loans.So having weighed on in on the CFPB’s initial framework, what do I think of the new rules published on June 2? On the one hand, the CFPB made some important accommodations for credit unions offering loans under NCUA’s PAL program, like not imposing a new real-time payday loan database on them, and allowing up to three loans per six months instead of two. On the other hand, the CFPB removed the 5%-payment standard from its framework (allowing loans where the monthly installment payment is no more than 5% of monthly income). Without that standard, it will be difficult for credit unions operating outside the PAL program, and frankly for banks, to offer small-dollar loans. That’s bad news for consumers, because the PAL program is probably not in a position to replace the 100 million payday loans issued annually.More credit unions are needed to enter the small dollar loan market to fill the current need and collectively save borrowers billions of dollars annually. Borrowers who are treated well are often loyal customers, and if the industry can re-appropriate those interest savings from high-cost payday lenders and back into the local economy, we all win.  If regulators make it too difficult for credit unions to offer these loans, borrowers would only have high-cost payday and auto title loans as an option, with their accompanying interest rates of more than 200 percent. The comment period for the rule ends September 14th. Please consider adding your voice. 59SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall is a consultant in the credit union industry, and can be reached for partnership and speaking opportunities through Your Credit Union Partner. Her background in community development includes … Web: Detailslast_img read more

NAFCU urges NCUA collaboration with CFPB, others

first_imgNAFCU Senior Regulatory Affairs Counsel Michael Emancipator on Friday urged NCUA to be more proactive in collaborating with CFPB and other regulators to ensure credit unions are not subject to conflicting or redundant regulation.“Just over the past year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Department of Defense (DoD), and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have each moved forward in promulgating rules that significantly impact our members,” Emancipator wrote. “Unfortunately, many of these rules are redundant to other directives from the agency, or worse, improperly infringe on rulemaking authority congressionally granted to NCUA.“For example, the CFPB’s recently proposed payday loan rule would alter important provisions in the agency’s Payday Alternative Loan (PAL) program, which was designed specifically to combat the types of loans and bad practices that the bureau is trying to eliminate,” he continued. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

3 ways your credit union can help members prepare for life’s emergencies

first_imgSecure file exchange – Online safe-deposit boxes allow members to securely exchange documents with your credit union and other service providers, such as the insurance company or healthcare provider. A friend of mine was on vacation in Paris, when her elderly mother suffered a stroke. My friend didn’t speak French, and had a harrowing tiPme trying to communicate with doctors about her mother’s medical history and prescriptions. And although my friend had been designated the power of attorney, that document wasn’t available. If a copy had been stored in my friend’s online safety box, she could have saved precious time, authorizing medical personnel to access needed records in seconds.  14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ron Daly Ron Daly is the president and CEO of Virtual StrongBox, a secure, end-to-end member engagement platform that can be integrated into various workflow processes to provide high-risk Enterprise IT firms … Web: Details Estate planning – Encourage members to prepare, notarize and safely store important documents like wills, trust agreements, and medical instructions, such as DNRs, which can be stored in their online safe-deposit boxes. Too often, people know they need to prepare a will, write instructions for handling their memorial services or, more importantly, sign a DNR … but they don’t act on it. Loved ones die without these important papers in place – causing confusion; sometimes, even family feuds. Offer members a checklist of important end-of-life matters to consider, including a will and letter to loved ones spelling out their wishes. Keeping everything together in one secure place makes stressful events a little easier to bear.Preparation is keyOf course, the time to prepare for crises is before lightning strikes or a medical emergency occurs. Encourage members to store critical documents in a safe place before they’re needed – or lost. To promote full usage of your digital safe-deposit service, make sure members understand the benefits – not just for the convenience of easy retrieval, but also the protection offered by a quality online storage program. And offer suggestions about the types of information that should be stored, like marriage licenses, birth certificates, wills and car titles.Remember the old saying, “forewarned is forearmed”? The reason it has such staying power is that it’s true. Everyone knows life seldom goes as smoothly as planned. But your credit union can help lessen the frustration of members’ unexpected events by offering safe, secure storage for critical papers – just like the physical safe-deposit boxes of old.From tornados and wildfires, to irritating hassles like finding the kids’ inoculation records, having the relevant information readily available can alleviate stress. Offering the means to be forearmed will delight members and set your credit union apart.center_img Every day, events happen that can turn lives upside down. Maybe it’s a wildfire in California, forcing people to quickly flee their homes. Maybe a medical emergency occurs when someone is out of town, away from his regular doctor. Or perhaps a water pipe breaks, damaging mortgage documents, photos or birth certificates.While no one can prevent every traumatic event, your credit union can make it easier for members to meet life’s challenges. You can help them prepare for emergencies by providing personal safe-deposit boxes. No, not physical boxes in the vault, like the “olden” days; instead, offer a digital solution, before disaster strikes.What’s a digital safe-deposit box?Individual, secure space – With a quality online StrongBox, members can safeguard important papers, such as insurance information, medical records and treasured photographs, as well as titles, deeds and other vital records. Virtual StrongBox enables financial institutions to offer each accountholder digital, private storage space that is protected by patented encryption technology. In case of fire, flood or other disaster, members’ critical information is available right at their fingertips, anywhere they have an internet connection. And unlike typical commercial services, which commingle stored documents, Virtual StrongBoxes are private; only the member can access her files. For someone facing a significant loss, it’s a relief to quickly retrieve needed information so recovery efforts can begin.last_img read more

3 training techniques to adopt from Olympian athletes

first_img 50SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr I have been captivated by the strength, resilience and talent of all the athletes competing in the summer Olympics. From Michael Phelps winning his 23rd gold medal of his swimming career to Simone Biles clinching gold in the all-around gymnastics competition by a wide margin, these athletes never fail to impress. And even though their bodies are well trained for competition, what is even more impressive is their mental toughness.I ran across an article recently by author Amy Morin on three things mental strength trainers teach Olympic athletes to do, and found her list applicable to leaders too. Here’s her list:They regulate their emotions. “Elite athletes know which emotions help them perform at their best,” Morin writes. Some perform best when they stay calm, others might do better when they’re excited. What emotional state helps you perform at your best? continue reading »last_img read more