It’s Time for Back to School


It’s that time of year when the focus turns to the beginning of a new school term. But it’s important not to forget the value of ongoing education when it comes to financial literacy. Do your employees have the knowledge and tools they need to educate your account holders about the services you provide to protect their financial security? Learn five steps you can take to create an employee training and account holder education strategy that deserves top honors.

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More Loans, Less Risk...100% LTV Equity Lending

With the Protequity program from Members Insurance Agency, your credit union is able to say “YES” more often.  If a loan policy that caps LTV at 80% is the only reason for not granting a loan to an otherwise qualified borrower, Protequity is the solution!


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More Loans, Less Risk...100% LTV Equity Lending

With the Protequity program from Members Insurance Agency, your credit union is able to say “YES” more often.  If a loan policy that caps LTV at 80% is the only reason for not granting a loan to an otherwise qualified borrower, Protequity is the solution!

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More Loans, Less Risk...100% LTV Equity Lending

With the Protequity program from Members Insurance Agency, your credit union is able to say “YES” more often.  If a loan policy that caps LTV at 80% is the only reason for not granting a loan to an otherwise qualified borrower, Protequity is the solution!


in Blog
More Loans, Less Risk...100% LTV Equity Lending


With the Protequity program from Members Insurance Agency, your credit union is able to say “YES” more often.  If a loan policy that caps LTV at 80% is the only reason for not granting a loan to an otherwise qualified borrower, Protequity is the solution!


in Blog
More Loans, Less Risk...100% LTV Equity Lending

With the Protequity program from Members Insurance Agency, your credit union is able to say “YES” more often.  If a loan policy that caps LTV at 80% is the only reason for not granting a loan to an otherwise qualified borrower, Protequity is the solution!


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Break Free from Fear-Based Strategic Planning

By: Bo McDonald, Your Marketing Company President and CEO

When I encounter resistance during a strategic planning session with a credit union, I know it’s time to pause, regroup, and gain perspective. Resistance rarely happens because the board and leadership team don’t care; it’s surfaces because fear is making them freeze. In most of these sessions, we introduce ideas that are so different from anything the credit union has done before that the leaders have a hard time imagining how they will even attempt something so audacious.

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The Value of Cooperation
By: Todd Clark, CO-OP Financial Services President/CEO

Every time I attend a THINK conference I am always amazed at the level of collaboration and knowledge-sharing taking place. I can’t think of another industry that puts as much emphasis on partnership and cooperation and is as committed to thinking about the needs of its core constituents like the credit union industry. It’s what our members value most about us and will continue to be the key to the success of our movement.

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Automation: Great for Processes, Not-So-Great for Member Services

To recognize the potential in your core, remember that on-boarding isn’t just for members in the first 90 days. Current members who open a new product or opt-in for an additional service represent an incredible opportunity. As soon as that product hits the core, you can start setting expectations for them. Remind them of the product’s features. Remind them how to use it and when to use it. If you are consistently setting high expectations, creating positive member experiences, and effectively communicating the benefits of product or service adoption, everything else will happen naturally. Depth-of-relationship will flourish, single-service households will decline, and member growth will happen because people talk. 

in Your Marketing Company
By: Kelly Flynn, JMFA National Director

How to get the best deal on branch equipment management contracts 

How many different vendors do you use to manage and maintain all of your credit union’s ATM and branch equipment? And how many hours are you dedicating each week just to keep that equipment up and running? There’s likely a better deal out there — one that can save you both time and money. 

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Not Having Flood Insurance Can Leave Credit Unions and Members Underwater
By: Joseph Luedke, Senior Consultant - CUNA Mutual Group

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flooding is the most frequent and costliest natural disaster in the United States. Despite this, and frightening statistics such as the fact that as little as one inch of water in an average-sized residence can cause more than $25,000 in damage, people outside Special Flood Hazard Areas are not protecting themselves by purchasing flood insurance. This “coverage gap” as FEMA calls it, can have devastating effects for credit unions and their members, as post-natural disaster flooding can leave them both literally and figuratively underwater.

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Will Your ATMs be Secure in 2020?
By: Kelly Flynn, National Director

Now is the time to plan for impending security issues

In January of 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7, spelling potential trouble and security issues for many ATMs still running on that software. Now is the time to take steps to upgrade equipment or software to address this issue, and with some strategic contract negotiations, you can keep your equipment secure through this as well as future compliance and security events.

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Are You Putting Your Members First?
By: Richard Miller, Executive Vice President, JMFA

Focus on consumer protection enforcement may be increasing

The shift away from implementing new regulations on financial products and services is welcome news for financial institutions already dealing with other present and emerging challenges this year. But recent signals shed light on possible efforts to strengthen the enforcement of some regulations already in place which protect consumers against unfair products and practices.

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Why 'Joisey' Credit Unions and CU-Centric Operate Their Way
By: Sarah Snell Cooke

Not ones for following the crowd, New Jersey’s nine state-chartered credit unions seem to be staying put with their choice of regulatory oversight – even as one or two of those state charters are in danger of being liquidated or merged. The state is home to a total of 161 credit unions.

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Five Economic Indicators Every Credit Union Leader Should Track

This year is off to a strong start. Despite the market roller coaster that ended 2018, CUNA Mutual Group continues to see strong jobs numbers, low unemployment rates, and high consumer confidence. As they monitor how the economy performs in 2019 and into 2020, it is important to remain watchful on a few indicators that provide insight for our industry. Here are five key economic indicators that CUNA Mutual Group recommends to watch in 2019.

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What is a Security Operations Center

With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the pervasive digitization of virtually all industries, information systems have become indispensable. Savvy organizations leverage them to improve efficiency in production and delivery of products/services to clients. With their widespread adoption and integration into nearly all areas of business activities, information systems now rule today’s business landscape.

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Three Branding Lessons for 2019

By now your credit union or community bank’s strategic plan is ready for the New Year. Hopefully, it’s a plan to help you close the gap and hold you and your team accountable – where you don’t find yourself overwhelmed by the day-to-day. What we don’t want to see is a plan that mimics that of the chronic resolution-taker.

in Your Marketing Company
Four Strategies to Stay Top-of-Wallet During Black Friday and Beyond

The holidays are the biggest time of year for consumer spending. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday, credit unions will see a huge spike in spending among their members, making it a unique opportunity to boost their credit card programs.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Seven Payments and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

Change is happening at an unprecedented rate within payments. Part of that is fueled by emerging technologies, but a lot of it has to do with the shift in consumer behavior and expectations. And while this will create a number of business challenges for credit unions – it will also generate a lot of opportunities.

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Pardon Our Dust: Conducting Business During an Occupied Renovation
By James G. Caliendo, President/COO PWCampbell

The carpet, wall coverings and general decor is worn and outdated. An increase in technology usage has affected the amount of space needed. You’ve decided to transition from a teller line to the universal pod concept. The reasons to renovate your existing retail space can be numerous but one thing remains constant – it is imperative that you are able to service your members during the transition. As if construction isn’t enough of a hardship, now you need to transform the main area where you transact business, all the while conducting business as usual. This requires well thought out architectural designs, constant communication, precise staging plans, sufficient contingency plans, comprehensive coordination of multiple vendors and a design/builder who can effectively manage and carry out the entire process.

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Are you Empowering Your Members in the Fight Against Fraud?

Fraudsters stole more than $16.8 billion from 16.7 million U.S. consumers in 2017, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. With payments shifting to online and mobile channels as well as P2P, wearables and other smart devices, fraudsters have more pathways to infiltrate a consumer’s account and are quickly exploiting any security gaps. For example, card fraud for online purchases alone rose by 15% in 2017.

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Plan Ahead: 5 Tips to Prep for a Natural Disaster

September is National Preparedness Month and the perfect time for credit unions to reflect on ways to prepare for when natural disasters strike.

2017 was a record year for natural disasters in the United States and 2018 is following suit with the recent California wildfires and with hurricane season now upon us. While these events have devastating effects on the land and communities in their path, the impact can be minimized with the help of the right support structures.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Five Must Reads: The ROI On Financial Wellness

Last week had CO-OP thinking about all the ways credit unions improve lives in their communities – especially as California’s raging wildfires prompted Patelco Credit Union, Members 1st Credit Union, Sierra Central Credit Union, Golden 1 Credit Union and no doubt many others to step up and help. (Check out if you want to help too.)

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Six Reasons Why Businesses are Switching to Office 365

Big Additions to O365 Hold Big Advantages for SMB

In the past 3 years, feature enhancements and consolidation of standalone products have made Office 365 more attractive to small business. But is it really enough for a small business to consider a move to Office 365? If Email and the Microsoft Office Suite come to mind when you hear “Office 365,” you’re off to a good start. But the real strength of Office 365 is the combination of powerful collaboration and sharing tools that, when combined, can transform your business to dramatically add competitive advantages in the way you operate.

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COOPER Pilot Marks Major Milestone for Future of CO-OP

COOPER Fraud Analyzer is now live and in production for five pilot credit union clients! Over the next 90 days, COOPER Fraud Analyzer will scrutinize the Shared Branch transactions of these credit unions to provide real-time fraud monitoring. And later this year, COOPER will begin analyzing your credit union’s Shared Branch transactions to help fight fraud.

in CO-OP Financial Services
In a Digitally-Transformed World, Partnerships Count

According to a recent CO-OP study, the vast majority of credit unions – a full 88 percent – view digital transformation as “extremely” or “quite” important. Even so, nearly half of credit unions surveyed describe the digital experience they provide as “inferior” or “far inferior” to that of today’s top brands.

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Four Travel Tips for Keeping Your Members Connected and Safe

If your members are among the 87 percent of Americans planning a vacation this summer, now is a perfect time to offer them a few tips on ways to keep their information and money safe. We all know traveling can be hectic and it can easy to forget to do things like setting up travel alerts, scheduling bill payments and safeguarding accounts against theft. Now, more than ever, keeping members’ data and accounts secure is a top priority for credit unions and your members will thank you for putting their travel safety top-of-mind (even if they forget to).

in CO-OP Financial Services
Five Must-Reads: Top of Wallet, Top of Mind

How do you make it to the top – top of wallet, top of app and top of mind? In the end it comes down to engagement: the more engaged your members are, the stronger the connection you will have with them. So how does a product, campaign or organizational culture inspire engagement? In a crowded, competitive marketplace, it isn’t just about having the latest technology or even the best product; trust, security, and human understanding must all factor into driving engagement and building connections with your members.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Deposit Taking FinTech Companies: What This Means For Financial Institutions

A new threat to financial institutions exists: deposit-taking Financial Technology (FinTech) companies.

Over the last decade, a number of direct-to-consumer FinTech companies have entered the market with attempts to deliver a more powerful financial experience to consumers. Examples of these companies include robo-advisors (Betterment, Wealthfront), personal financial management tools (Simple Bank, YNAB, Qapital), borrowing companies (SoFI, Lending Club) and many others. At first, these companies were focused on helping consumers improve a specific aspect of their financial life. Replacing the consumer’s primary banking relationship was either not the focus, or just not possible at the time (mainly for regulatory and scalability reasons).

in Narmi
Should You Be Preparing for a Cashless Future?

Are we becoming a cashless society? Research by Capgemini and BNP Paribas suggests that might just be the case; their recent study projects that digital payments will reach 726 billion worldwide by 2020. And we are only scratching the surface.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Five Must-Reads: Winning the Usage Game

Although we rightly invest a great deal of time thinking and reading about new technology, the real upshot is usage. How are members actually using (or not using) your technology, apps and services – and how might we cultivate greater usage going forward?

in CO-OP Financial Services
Winning the Race to Excellence with a Member-First Strategy

When it comes to achieving excellence, the term “experience” gets thrown around a lot. Companies and industries are constantly brainstorming ways to connect and build relationships with the consumers they serve, ultimately by providing a certain type of experience.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Closing the Access Gap Through Shared Branching

Today’s smartphone economy has given consumers instant access to more goods and services than they could have imagined even just a few years back.


in CO-OP Financial Services
What Does an AI-Driven Future Look Like for Credit Unions?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already having a big impact on financial services. Chatbots are taking over online customer service, robo-advisors are automating asset management, and fintech companies are investing significantly in AI-powered solutions.

in CO-OP Financial Services
How to Talk to Your Members about Cybersecurity

Cybercrime incidents are at an all-time high. According to Accenture, last year the average U.S. business dealt with over 130 instances of successful data breaches. This is an alarmingly high number that will only rise as hacking, cyberattacks and fraud have become more sophisticated. Now hackers often use cyberattacks on a single account to penetrate the broader network and commit large scale fraud, like what happened with the recent cyberattacks in Mexico.

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Dodd-Frank Rollback: Why Deregulation is a Huge Win for Credit Unions

Last week ushered in a big legislative win for credit unions on Capitol Hill. Following a major industry push to reverse restrictions that Dodd-Frank legislation placed on credit unions after the 2008 financial crisis, the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” better known as S. 2155, was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. The new legislation is a first step towards providing relief to smaller banks and credit unions from what some would call costly and burdensome rules.

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How CO-OP is Helping Credit Unions Evolve to Become a Dominant Financial Ecosystem

A common debate in the digital era is which type of organization has the advantage. Startups have little risk, incredible agility and the freedom to let imagination run wild. Incumbents have data, customers, an established brand and financial resources. Credit unions, incumbents in a quickly evolving financial services marketplace, have one more valuable asset startups do not – trust.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Is Your Members’ Information on the Dark Web? Free Scan from EverSafe Available to NJCUL Member CUs to Find Out

In light of the number of recent data breaches (e.g. Equifax, Sears, Delta), in which personal information was exposed, it’s more important than ever for your members and their families to keep an eye on their personal finances and identities. Thieves, who have access to the Dark Web’s illicit databases, sell this personal information to scammers, resulting in loss and immeasurable hardship to victims.

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Your Race to Excellence Starts Now

Thanks to the rapid evolution and adaptation of technology, business – even society – is changing faster than ever before. This transformation and its numerous layers and complexities can be intimidating for seasoned business executives, not to mention those just joining the credit union movement. With both the technology ecosystem and consumer expectations changing daily, how do we know when and where to “jump in”?

in CO-OP Financial Services
Is There A Cost to Convenience?
The financial sector has been on a mission to redefine the experience it provides. Companies continue chasing new channels, faster technologies, less friction in the customer journey and any other innovation to reach the holy grail of convenience.
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How Digital Is Sparking a Credit Union (R)evolution

According to Jamie Dimon, “Silicon Valley is good at getting rid of pain points. Banks are good at creating them.”

With the digital demands of credit union members advancing all around us, the question remains: how can we better address their “pain points,” and is the best approach evolution – or revolution?

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Risks as You Grow: Critical Considerations for the C-Suite from CUNA Mutual Group

The C-suite plays a critical role in growing your credit union’s assets, employees, product portfolio, and membership reach. But with growth comes more potential for risk and a new level of scrutiny from competitors, members, potential consumers, regulators, fraudsters, and even your employees.

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Open Banking is Coming and May Change Fintech Forever

Open Banking essentially creates an ecosystem of data sharing, which in theory could revolutionize the banking industry. While still a new concept, Open Banking has been embraced by many countries in Europe, with the European Union already supporting regulation through the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in January 2018.

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5 Must Reads: Innovating on the Member Experience Through Multi-channel Integration

As our lives become increasingly integrated, the boundaries between consumer channels continue to blur. This week, CO-OP Financial Services takes a selective look at how multichannel/omnichannel integration is changing everything from how we shop to how we exercise, buy gas for our cars and order hot coffee and donuts.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Digital, Data and the Race to the Home Screen

For decades, payments teams have chased “top-of-wallet” status. With the rise of mobile, though, our ambitions have changed, and now we’re competing for “top-of-device” status. We want our apps front and center when members unlock their phones, open a Chromebook or power on an iPad.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Meet the People Behind the Passion: How CO-OP is Integrating to Innovate

The world is changing more rapidly than ever and so are the needs of today’s credit unions. That’s why at CO-OP, they’re constantly evolving our products, services, and partnerships in order to provide the best solutions to our clients. But innovation is about more than just building new products; it’s also about seamlessly integrating existing ones. That’s why CO-OP created MyCO-OP, to unite all of their tools and applications into a single access point.

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Keeping a People-Helping-People Industry Relevant in a Digital World

It is undeniable that physical money is disappearing from our financial lives. A lifetime ago, standing in line to deposit a paycheck, stopping by the ATM for weekend cash or viewing payment cards as the physical mechanism for accessing accounts was normal. Now, these representations of money are becoming invisible, replaced by digital transactions that exist as data only. Direct deposits, P2P money transfers and mobile payments are the new normal, and their functionality is measured in terms of effortlessness.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Making Digital Click with Legacy Channels

Engaging consumers wherever and whenever they want means engaging across multiple channels, including a full complement of digital and physical options. Realizing this potential isn’t easy.

“Consumers want to transact in a multitude of ways: by phone; at an ATM or shared branch kiosk; inside a credit union branch; by PC, tablet or smartphone; or using an IVR system. Consumers demand payments anytime, any way they choose to suit any scenario,” says Dr. Kathy Herziger-Snider, senior vice president of Debit/Prepaid Shared Branch Product. Upgrading legacy channels with omni-channel features like the ability to conduct ATM transactions using a mobile phone helps credit unions make the leap into this new reality.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Fintech: Friend or Foe?
Brian Kaas, Managing Director, CMFG Ventures

Over the last several years, credit unions have shown tremendous growth, even alongside the uprising of many “fintech” companies. In the last number of years, credit union membership has experienced robust growth, with this year exhibiting the fastest member growth in more than 25 years, as measured from October of 2016 to that point in 2017; meanwhile, fintech companies have seen a 778% increase in funding in the last five years.

in CUNA Mutual Group
Is Your Credit Union Prepared for These Emerging Risks?

For many credit unions, identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks can be a challenge, considering nearly every aspect of the business can pose a risk.  While some credit unions have a solid strategy for recognizing existing risk and anticipating emerging ones, others are less proactive in their pursuit of risk mitigation. 

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2017: A Truly Transformative Year for CO-OP Financial Services

At the beginning of 2017, we set a goal to deliver more seamless, more secure payment experiences to more credit union members. That theme took on even deeper meaning as we began to apply that same promise to the ways our credit union clients could expect to interact with CO-OP.

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Stay Strategic for Stronger Planning

By DeLania Truly

Strategic planning is both an obligation and an opportunity. Credit unions who plan well and execute well are the ones you read about today … growing faster, staying more relevant and becoming financially stronger. What makes one credit union’s plan better than another?  Often, it is about how you plan as much as what you plan.

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Grow Your Credit Union Membership with Insights About Non-Members

Is your credit union leaving opportunities to grow membership on the table? If you’re not actively engaging non-members, you might be. The latest research from CUNA Mutual Group,What Matters Now®: Insights from the Non-Member,” is a deep-dive into non-member and under-engaged member mindsets, lifestyles, attitudes, and habits. These crucial insights can be invaluable tools for your credit union to reach this audience.

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CU Direct’s Michael Cochrum on the Benefits of Autonomous Lending…

CU Direct VP of Analytics and Advisory Services Michael Cochrum joined CUBroadcast at the DRIVE '17 Conference to talk innovation, Millennials, automation, and autonomous lending—and how they all work together for a better member experience.

in CU Direct
3 Ways to Build Better Member Experiences

This article previously appeared on CUinsight.

“Wow, what a great experience.” Those five words should be at the top of members’ minds after every interaction with their credit union. Whether they’re engaging in person, online or over the phone, members should be guaranteed a positive experience. In fact, it’s what they expect.

For three out of five Americans, getting a better experience is a reason to try a new brand or company (or credit union). First Technology Federal Credit Union, a $10 billion institution based in Silicon Valley and serving technology-driven companies, wants to ensure its members don’t feel that need to switch. Creating member loyalty involves three key steps at First Tech.

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From Burgers to Banking

By: Frank Allgood

I’m the dad that follows everyone around the house, flipping off the lights, clicking off unwatched TVs and lowering the thermostat in the dead of winter to save a buck. But on a recent Saturday night, I surprised the family when I pulled into a local gaming and amusement venue that had one of those 1950s diner-style burger joints. You know, the one where the staff dances and sings? Well… at least they used to.

My wife has been a longtime fan of Johnny Rockets. The paper hats. The 5-cent jukebox. The upbeat wait staff who would squirt ketchup smiley faces on your plate when your fries arrived. About every 15 to 30 minutes the entire staff, even the cooks behind the shiny chrome bar, would breakout in a dance. And with our two fussy-eating children, Johnny Rockets was one place where everyone had an awesome time.

This time, however, the experience we had known and loved was gone. We had to order our meals from a more expensive, limited menu with no children’s items from a counter outside the restaurant. There were no paper hats or cheerful staff. While the jukebox played music, you couldn’t flip through the charts and select a tune despite it taking your money. And if you wanted ketchup, you made your way to a toppings bar.

Notice I didn’t say anything about the food. The food was good and on par with what we’ve experienced before, although it’s funny how a heftier bill can impact your senses. When you consider, however, the current burger craze where there are casual dining and midscale restaurants competing well on taste, flavor and freshness, it became a big bowl of OK.

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Embrace and Employ the Innovators

By: Bob Trunzo

Remember being told to “think outside the box”? It used to be such a common phrase; asking you to forget the norm and imagine greater possibilities. Throw a curveball. No idea’s a bad idea. Blue sky thinking.

When a group of college students visited CUNA Mutual Group earlier this month, it occurred to me just how obsolete the phrase has become.

in CUNA Mutual Group
Tell Your Members: 19 Hotels in NJ included in Credit Card Data Breach

International Hotels Group (IHG), which includes Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza and Staybridge Suites brands issued a statement of a data breach that took place between September and December 2016. The data breach is much larger than IHG reported in February and it expands to include 19 hotels in New Jersey:

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Where Will CO-OP’s Security Roadmap Take Us in 2017?

Fighting fraud is one of the biggest challenges credit unions face right now. CO-OP has developed a four-part roadmap for 2017 to help clients mitigate fraud and reduce false positives.

"Throughout this year, we are introducing new tools in a layered approach,” says Stephanie Pike, senior product manager for CO-OP. Because fraud is such a complex, rapidly-changing threat today, this means using a variety of tools and approaches. “Sometimes clients will ask why there have to be so many mechanisms in place,” Pike says. “Fraud is changing so rapidly, you can’t just rely on one tool or technology.”

It’s equally important to balance security against member experience. While members want greater security, they do not want to sacrifice effortless transactions to achieve it. “Right now, we’re seeing this dynamic at work with fallback transactions. Some issuers are being overzealous and blocking all transactions,” Pike says. “The vast majority of these are legitimate, so issuers have to find a way to balance security against the members’ need to complete transactions successfully.”

Sharper tools and support from CO-OP can help. The four key elements to CO-OP’s security roadmap are:

in CO-OP Financial Services
Increase Giving—and Reward Deserving Directors & Employees—With a Charitable Donation Account

Credit unions are seeing the value in improving their charitable giving strategy through a charitable donation account (CDA) program. In the past year alone, CDA investments have increased by 39%.*

A CDA’s primary objective is to help credit unions donate to their favorite charities and foundations, which may include the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), a League’s foundation, or a credit union’s own foundation, while simultaneously increasing return on assets (ROA).

By using professionally managed investment portfolios, your credit union’s CDA has the opportunity to invest in equity andbond portfolios that have not been available through traditional credit union investments. In turn, you may have more to donate. It’s a great way to recognize a board member or employee, by making donations in their name.

In the NCUA board minutes** from the meeting at which the CDA rule was unanimously approved, then NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz mentions that the new ruling sets safeguards to ensure that CDAs are used for their intended purposes.  

in CUNA Mutual Group
Spam, Shams, and Other Scams

Scams, scams…go away! Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Spam, shams, and other scams are on the rise. Fraudsters use clever schemes to defraud millions of people for billions of dollars every year.  In fact, 27 million Americans lost a total of $7.4 billion dollars to telephone scams alone in 2015, according to a survey by TrueCaller.1

Fraudsters are crafty. They pressure people to make important decisions on the spot by using innovative schemes and new twists on existing age-old scams. Their multi-channel approach can involve phone calls, emails, online banking, and mobile technology. Fraudsters look for victims who find their stories convincing and will willingly share sensitive information, which can be used to authorize and transact wires, ACH, plastic card, and other types of transactions. Unfortunately,

in CUNA Mutual Group
New Shopping Innovations Bring Traditional Cards and VR Together

Earlier this year, billionaire technology and entertainment entrepreneur Mark Cuban told CNBC he believes the next 10 years will produce the biggest technological revolution in history.

That’s a tall order, given how much technology has changed our lives in the last decade or so. From the iPhone and Facebook to Uber, Snapchat, Spotify, AirBnB, GoFundMe, and Pinterest, it’s hard to imagine how we ever socialized or did business in the past.

Technology continues to shake up the payments landscape, too – which has credit unions and other financial institutions scrambling to keep pace.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Meet the Helpful Expert

Every single social media post is an interaction with your target market. Every interaction will impact the public’s perception of your brand and your company in a positive, negative or neutral way. The obvious goal is to intentionally and continually improve your target market’s perception of your brand through your social media presence.

in Your Marketing Company
CU Broadcast Episode: How to Win the Cherry Blossom Race with CUNA Mutual Group's Chris Roe

In a recent CU Broadcast episode, Mike Lawson invites CUNA Mutual Group Senior Vice President Chris Roe onto the show to talk about the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run & 5K Walk/Run. Roe shares the importance of this race not only to the credit union industry but to CU4Kids, as well–which has raised over $7 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide.

in CUNA Mutual Group
Building Brand Awareness with CUNA Mutual Group ‘CU Thrive’ Videos

There are probably hundreds of credit union brand awareness efforts in our industry, ranging from the national and the state to the local. Some feature ads and traditional media, while others are more focused on story-telling and leveraging the power of social media.

in CUNA Mutual Group
Income Opportunities: Launch a No-Cost, Turnkey Credit Card Program Within Two Weeks

Today, our focus is on what should be a no-brainer for any credit union without a current credit card program: EZ Launch, offered by the Illinois Credit Union League’s Service Corporation, LSC. EZ Launch is a product without set-up or monthly fees. Getting started with EZ Launch is easy and fast; the current estimated time for implementation is just two weeks!

in LSC
Income Opportunities: Sprint Program

As we head into 2017, I’m reasonably sure that everyone is doing the same thing we are—looking at our income growth forecasts, and working on ways to meet or exceed the target.

We’ve got a few programs that can help your credit union generate income opportunities, and will be highlighting them in blog posts and Webinars in the coming weeks. 

First up is our Sprint program, from CU Solutions Group’s Love My Credit Union® Rewards. Those of you that have been involved with this program in the past will know that the structure has changed, with far greater opportunity for credit unions ready, willing and able to undertake a few straightforward marketing initiatives.

in CU Solutions Group
Give the Gift of Financial Education

As soon as they come, the holidays have gone again, but for millions of people, the cost of food, gifts, decorations and travel will linger long into 2017. The cultural norms many of us take for granted over the festive season, can be an overwhelming burden on many budgets.

This new year is an opportunity for credit unions to stand out from the crowd and offer more than just the products and services of a financial institution. Instead, let us demonstrate our authentic difference by reaching out to our members and helping them manage their expenses by providing financial education and counseling, too.

in CUNA Mutual Group
How to Increase Your Email Clicks by 41%

We’ve all heard the statistics surrounding ROI and effectiveness of email marketing. With ROI numbers estimated to be above 3000%, there is no doubt why large companies and small agencies alike use email marketing as a vital part of their strategic plans. With incredible email and marketing automation platforms, it has never been easier to create a compelling email filled with promotional items and other offerings from your company. In fact, it is as simple as one or two clicks.

So what is the difficult part of email marketing?

in Your Marketing Company
Mobile Payments 2.0: How CO-OP is Redefining the World of P2P

Fintech is advancing quickly, bringing a host of new mobile payment options to a world of consumers on the go. From Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Google to Facebook, PayPal, FIS and others, never in the history of payments have so many major players vied for what many believe is such an enormous future market opportunity.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Trends in Social Payments: Why Venmo Leads the Way with Millennials

The race to the top of the mobile P2P payments market is on. In fact, global research firm Ovum projects that the value of mobile P2P transfers will reach $270.93 billion worldwide in 2019.  According to Ken Research, P2P transfers will emerge as one of the two fastest growing segments of U.S. fintech between now and 2020.

in CO-OP Financial Services
Break Down Life Insurance Barriers by Focusing on the Member
How much coverage should I have?
Which type of coverage fits my needs?
Can I even afford coverage?

We frequently hear these questions from members when discussing life insurance. It’s not surprising, considering insurance ranks as one of the most complex industries in the United States. This notion is supported when we see the numbers; many Americans are underinsured and 43% have no life insurance coverage all.

So, what prevents them from purchasing coverage? According to LIMRA, the top barrier is price, with 65% reporting they haven’t purchased life insurance because it’s too expensive. Yet, four out of five consumers overestimate the cost of term insurance, with Millennials overestimating by 213% and Gen Xers by 119%.

To overcome these barriers, it’s important to focus on the member. Help members get started by using these member-centric strategies to simplify the process.

in CUNA Mutual Group
It’s Better to be Different

Originally posted on on October 20, 2016.

Every day, millions of lives are touched by credit unions, and millions more are looking to join. In the United States alone, we saw membership increase by more than 4% since last July1 – the fastest rate of growth in a generation.

The credit union message spreads far beyond our shores, though. Globally, there are over 220 million members in well over 100 countries. It’s an impressive foundation but there’s still a way to go if we’re to reach WOCCU’s target of 260 million members by the year 2020.

Having spent my career working with and for credit unions, I am confident we will reach that number; in no small part because the movement is – as it always has been – steadfastly committed to its founding principle of people helping people.

in CUNA Mutual Group
Military Lending Act: A Member Example

The Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Military Lending Act (MLA) final rule becomes effective on October 3, 2016 for closed-end credit and open-end credit other than credit card accounts. As the mandatory compliance date approaches, review the following examples of how to comply with the rule across several interactions with members.

Loan Event #1: Vehicle Refinance

Eric and his wife Mallory join The Best Credit Union (TBCU) to take advantage of low interest rates and exceptional member service. On October 7, they apply jointly to refinance a loan they have with a local bank that is secured by Mallory’s car. TBCU knows the loan type is subject to MLA, since the exclusion that relates to vehicle-secured loans only applies when the vehicle is being purchased. Since the loan type is covered, TBCU will check whether Eric and Mallory are “covered borrowers” for MLA purposes. TBCU obtains information on Eric and Mallory from a nationwide consumer reporting agency, and learns that Eric is an active duty member of the U.S. Army. As a result, Eric is a “covered member” and Mallory, as his spouse, is a “dependent”; they are both “covered borrowers”. TBCU retains a record of the information from the consumer reporting agency, which provides TBCU with safe harbor status.

TBCU’s data processor calculates the Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR) for the closed-end loan, and it is well below the MLA cap of 36%. TBCU’s MLA-compliant loan document is used for the transaction; it does not contain any contract terms prohibited by the MLA final rule. The document does contain both the MAPR statement required by MLA and the Truth in Lending disclosure required by Regulation Z, which includes a description of their payment obligation. The document also lists TBCU’s toll-free phone number, which Eric or Mallory can call to receive the required oral disclosures. Their call will be routed to TCBU’s MLA expert, who is responsible for providing the oral disclosures of the MAPR statement and payment obligation to all covered borrowers to ensure consistency and compliance.

in CUNA Mutual Group
One Word You Need to Know for a Successful Planning Session

As the famous philosopher Bob Dylan once said, “the times, they are a changin’.” If your strategic planning session isn’t changing with the times, you’re not having the conversations that will help take your credit union or community bank to the next level.

If you set out to tackle this strategic planning exercise in the traditional way, you will be disappointed. You know the kind of thing… spend a few days offsite doing a SWOT analysis and capturing everything in spreadsheets. Some would say it’s as simple as asking “where will we play and how will we win?” Great questions, but the discussions before you arrive at those questions and answers will give proper perspective in the decision-making process.

in Your Marketing Company
Agility Recovery Disaster Tip: Take Advantage of Back-to-School Time

This month, millions of students will fill their backpacks and head back to school. And during this time of year, it’s also the perfect time to pack another type of bag, a “bug-out-bag".

This quick and easy to access bag is essential to both personal and office preparedness plans. During an evacuation, you're often left with little to no time to gather essential supplies, such as a first-aid kit or other important items, including insurance documents.

Remember, you don't need a fancy bag or kit – keep it simple. A backpack filled with the essentials outlined in their What to Take When You Evacuate Checklist will get you started.

in CUNA Strategic Services
Why More Employers Are Improving Financial Wellness Tools for Employees

Recent research shows a big increase in American employers’ commitment in 2016 to do more to improve their employees’ financial wellness, such as teaching basic money skills and providing better retirement saving tools.

The credit union movement grew out of employers trying to serve their employees’ best financial interests, so we should be encouraged by these results. We should also help set the bar even higher by providing tools our own employees can use to make good financial decisions.

According to Aon Hewitt’s “2016 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Well-Being,”1 56% of U.S. employers said they were “very likely to create or focus on the financial well-being of employees in ways that expand beyond retirement decisions in 2016.”

In 2015, only 46% agreed with that statement, and in 2014 it was 40%.

in CUNA Mutual Group
Losing auto loans to dealers? Stop the bleeding

By: Bo McDonald, yourmarketingco

“It’s not personal. It’s business.” When you end up paying more and borrowing more, it gets personal quickly.

You’ve purchased a car before and, most likely, experienced the financing procedures at the dealership. Do you really know what goes on behind the scenes at a car dealership?

What happens when your sales person scurries away to his finance manager?

What conversations happen between the sales people, managers, and finance people?

Do you know exactly how dealerships make their real money?

in Your Marketing Company
Corporate Social Responsibility Can Be Impactful and Easy

CO-OP Financial Services is announcing CO-OP Purpose, a new corporate social responsibility program for credit unions that provides turnkey, impactful community initiatives to help credit unions advance their mission of empowering people to achieve financial well-being.

“CO-OP Purpose combines social mission with innovation to give credit unions a unique way to capitalize on their opportunity to attract consumers looking for both in a financial institution,” said Samantha Paxson, Chief Marketing Officer for CO-OP. “The program extends our movement’s traditional commitment to ‘people helping people’ and includes financial literacy education outreach, philanthropic and charitable giving, new ways of collaborating with colleagues and consumers, and access to research on the business case for corporate social responsibility.”

According to the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer, public levels of trust in business are at their lowest since 2008. Organizations that are able to enhance their net positive contributions to society are more likely to earn the trust of consumers.

Promoting corporate social responsibility is more than a feel-good initiative. At CO-OP’s THINK 16 Conference, attendees will be hearing from Perry Yeatman, External Director for Mission Measurement, who will be speaking on how corporate social responsibility programs can be profitable. She will be offering examples from companies such as Kraft and Unilever. In addition, CO-OP has commissioned a study by Mission Measurement to look at the business case for such programs specifically for credit unions. The results of the study will be available this summer.

in CO-OP Financial Services
DRIVE16 Interviews: CU Direct's Tony Boutelle Shares Latest Auto Lending Trends and New PSCU Partnership...



Hanging out at CU Direct's DRIVE16 Conference in San Diego, CUBroadcast ran into CU Direct President & CEO Tony Boutelle to discuss the latest auto lending trends, stats, and more. CUBroadcast also touched on the organization's new partnerships with PSCU and Lending Tree and how those work to benefit credit unions. In addition, Tony provided a 2016-17 outlook for auto lending, giving credit unions a heads up of what's to come.

in CU Direct