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
Monday Morning Economic Update: Week Ahead: Yellen Sets Jobs Bar Low for March

A barrage of Fed comments in the last few days led the markets to price in a close-to-certain probability of a March rate hike. Fed Chair Janet Yellen supported her colleagues' calls for a rate increase "relatively soon," specifically mentioning the March meeting. A rate hike would be "appropriate" if employment and inflation continue to meet policy makers' expectations. Fed officials seem eager for further policy tightening now, while the global environment allows them to focus on domestic goals.

This leaves the February jobs report, scheduled for release on March 10, and to a lesser extent February's CPI report, released the same day as the Fed's announcement on March 15, as the only potential stumbling blocks to a rate hike this month. The recent indicators point to a strong payrolls print.

in UBS Credit Union Advisory Group
Monday Morning Economic Update: Week Ahead: Consumer Health in Focus as Fedspeak Sets Tone

The February jobs report is due on the second Friday of March, nonetheless, the coming week is loaded with important economic releases. The January personal income and spending report is probably the most important data release, as it will provide validation to the recent surge in retail activity. A crowded roster of Fed speeches will also hold the market's attention, providing officials with the chance to proffer last minute guidance for the March 14-15 FOMC meeting. Chair Janet Yellen will get the final say on Friday.

in UBS Credit Union Advisory Group
Tuesday Economic Update: Week Ahead: Economists Ponder Data, How Fed Rate Hikes Might Play Out
By: Carl Riccadonna, Yelena Shulyatyeva, and Richard Yamarone, Bloomberg Intelligence Economists.

Ample Fedspeak will reveal how officials' views are evolving in response to recent events in a data-light, holiday-shortened week. Strong data could pull rate hikes forward, but a cautious FOMC may be yet unconvinced by March 15.

Tuesday, Feb. 21
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will have a fireside conversation with the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota. Kashkari is scored firmly in the dove camp, and recently issued a statement detailing his reasons for holding rates steady at the last meeting, which included unknown fiscal and regulatory policies, lack of inflationary pressures, and a strong dollar.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker speaks on the economic outlook at Wharton. Harker is likely the most hawkish voter on the FOMC this year. His views, however, seem to be very much in-line with the FOMC's consensus in that he favors three rate hikes in 2017 and does not see the Fed being behind the curve in keeping price pressures in check.

in UBS Credit Union Advisory Group
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
Monday Morning Economic Update: Week Ahead: Chair Yellen's Testimony to Signal Patience

The economic data docket this week will contain early indications of how consumer spending, inflation, industrial activity and home building are performing at the start of the year. The prevailing view is that the persistent sluggishness of last year will extend into early 2017.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen's semi-annual testimony before Congress may be of even greater relevance to market participants than the economic data. The January Fed statement provided little guidance regarding the timing of the next rate hike, so she may use her remarks to provide more clarity on FOMC expectations for March.

in UBS Credit Union Advisory Group
Monday Morning Economic Update: Happy Days Not Yet Here Again for Fed Still Wary of 0 Rates

Sentiment brightening but the U.S. economy is still far from normal trend growth and still weighed down by productivity and demographics.

Things are looking up. U.S. growth forecasts are on the rise, employers continue to add jobs without stressing inflation, and consumer and business sentiment have bounced impressively.

But don’t get too excited. Recoveries don’t last forever, and whenever this one comes to an end, it may be difficult to argue the economy will have, in fact, recovered.

in UBS Credit Union Advisory 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
Monday Morning Economic Update

With all the attention being devoted to the policy intentions and actions of President Donald Trump, there has been a lot less focus on this week’s four meetings at systemically important central banks—the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve, and the European Central Bank (though that meeting doesn't involve monetary policy).

Here are the six things to know about what is likely to transpire and why.

in UBS Credit Union Advisory Group
Investment Implications of Likely Trump Administration Priorities

History will remember 2016 as a year of once unthinkable outcomes that marked a break with decades of prevailing orthodoxy. No break was bigger than the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. But if these political shockwaves hit in 2016, the economic and investment implications will really begin to take effect in 2017 – and perhaps as soon as the first 100 days of his presidency. For that, investors need to be prepared for what the policies could be and their potential implications.

in UBS Credit Union Advisory 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
TCT Can Help Credit Unions Manage Loan Delinquencies

For the past nine years, credit unions have enjoyed loan growth by extending loan payment terms and loosening borrower standards. Larger credit unions especially have been seeing growth in their loan portfolios. Much of the new loan activity in the past several years has been in the "less-than-prime" market. This could be good news providing loans are priced appropriately and managed carefully - especially when it comes to less-than-prime loans.

in TCT Risk Solutions
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
Regulators Will Test Your IRR Using Their New NEV Model

Don’t Panic TCT Has You Covered 

By Dennis Child, Research Specialist, TCT Risk Solutions, LLC 

The National Credit Union Administration Office of Examinations and Insurance has introduced a new standardized Net Economic Value “NEV Supervisory Test” that will be phased in over the next six months. NCUA plans to distribute a Letter to Credit Unions within the next 60 days that will provide a workbook and explain the testing process more clearly. This standardized NEV test will be used to determine the relative interest rate risk each credit union poses to the NCUA Share Insurance Fund. Credit unions under $50 million are exempt from NCUA’s standard NEV test. NEV is a model typically used to determine the liquidation value of a financial institution. Even though NCUA will perform their IRR evaluations using their NEV model, credit unions will be expected to perform IRR tests using their own, statistically validated A/LM models. It has always been a debate within the credit union industry as to which type of A/LM modeling best reflects the real IRR in credit union operations. The most common A/LM model credit unions use to test their IRR is some form of an NEV (or Value at Risk) model.

Dr. Randy Thompson, founder of TCT Risk Solutions, LLC, as well as this author have long argued that Earnings at Risk (EAR) is a better model for measuring IRR (for credit unions). NEV is of little value to determine the Interest Rate Risk (IRR) exposure of an “on-going” credit union. EAR is an operational measure. As a result of years of research and testing, TCT has designed, and provides to credit union clients, an IRR model that uses EAR. TCT will continue to provide clients its EAR reports for measuring IRR. However, as a result of NCUA’s announcement that NCUA will be using a standard NEV test to determine IRR in credit unions, TCT will also provide an NEV (Value at Risk) report in addition to its EAR report to its clients. In this way, client credit unions will be prepared for IRR conversations with NCUA.

in TCT Risk Solutions
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
CU Solutions Group President Drew Egan Discusses "Love My Credit Union"

CU Solutions Group President Drew Egan joined CUBroadcast to discuss the company's second annual "Love My Credit Union" video contest. Drew addressed how powerful video is when it comes to communicating inspiring messages – and credit unions certainly have plenty of them, which show their difference quite clearly.

in CU Solutions Group
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
You Cannot Manage Interest Rate Risk without Setting Limits

By: Dennis Child, Research Specialist, TCT Risk Solutions, LLC

A credit union’s Asset/Liability Management process represents one of the most important functions in its operations. That is why TCT Risk Solutions has invested so much of its resources in developing an effective A/LM model with easy-to-understand Interest Rate Risk (IRR) simulation tools.

Paramount to any A/LM process are the Interest Rate Risk (IRR) and equity-at-risk limits recommended by its A/LM Committee and established by its board of directors. Limits are established so a credit union can continually measure to what degree it is placing its balance sheet and profitability at risk in changing rate environments and thereby create strategies as needed. Setting limits to risk is too important to leave to guess work or using peers’ numbers. Every credit union needs to set its IRR limits by using empirical, statistically-validated processes. Calculating and setting risk limits using empirical methods assures that a credit union is managing and monitoring its exposure to risk according to its unique objectives, operations, and tolerance for risk.

in TCT Risk Solutions
CUNA Mutual Group’s Steven Rick Shares 6 Ways CUs Can Be the Disruptors…

Steven Rick, Chief Economist for CUNA Mutual Group joined CUBroadcast to share how credit unions can be the disruptors -- not the disrupted. Steven outlines six ways credit unions can achieve being the disruptors in today's volatile market.

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
Prepare Now for CECL

By: Dennis Child, Research Specialist, TCT Risk Solutions, LLC

The Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued in the past few weeks some clarification regarding Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) standards.  First, we in the credit union industry can look forward to a final draft of standards in June.  Second, the compliance deadline for credit unions has been delayed by a year to December 2020 (all affected organizations can adopt the new standards beginning after December 2018 if they choose).  Third, the Board decided to scale back on some requirements regarding how financial institutions disclose credit quality indicators by year of origination.

in TCT Risk Solutions