Monday, January 15, 2018

A New Year of Giving

By Beth Cutler, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility

CUNA Mutual Foundation's 50th Anniversary
As we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the start of the new year, I naturally reflect on our company’s past accomplishments related to giving back.

Each and every day, our employees come to work serving our customers across the United States and parts of the Caribbean, and their efforts do not stop here.

In 2017, our employees took their passion for serving others into their communities, clocking more than 6,000 hours! Their dedication and passion has driven the success of our company, and as the CUNA Mutual Foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we are grateful to each and every one of them. It is because of them that we are celebrating fifty years, and look forward to another fifty.

Fifty years is a major milestone and one we are very proud of. To recognize our Foundation’s 50th anniversary, rather than hold a party, we will be highlighting non-profit and credit union industry organizations that make an impact. We want to celebrate those who make serving others a core mission of theirs too.

I hope that many of you are making it a day “on,” and not a day off today. While 2017 is a wrap, I look forward to sharing our corporate social responsibility work with you in 2018. Maybe it’s no coincidence that we start off each New Year with quotes like this from Dr. King; Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?"

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Stay Ahead of the Top Risks for Credit Unions

By Laura Williams
It’s 2018—and we’re living in a world where we make can purchases instantaneously from the convenience of our preferred device. Machines recognize our faces and cars drive themselvesWhile emerging technologies can enhance efficiency and growth at your credit union, they also create many potential risks.

Today, consumers are more connected than ever; and, as they willingly store personal information online, they can become easy targets for scam artists. In a world of digital ransoms, fraudsters and data thieves, it can be challenging for credit unions to prepare, plan and manage risks.


So, how can you mitigate risk and protect your credit union, employees, and members? Two solutions include our Risk & Compliance webinar series and our Office Hours sessions. We provide these to our Bond policy holders at no cost.

Throughout the year, we’re hosting 12 live sessions that can help you manage the complex, emerging risks and compliance issues you face today. Four of the live sessions will be interactive Office Hours, where you can ask our risk and compliance experts burning questions about your challenges. See the complete schedule here.

The first webinar this year, “Scams Targeting Your CU, Employees and Members,” is Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. CT. Register to attend. Or, access webinars on-demand through our Protection Resource Center.

Our Credit Union Protection webinars have helped nearly 40,000 registrants over the last five years. Over 40 percent report that the sessions have helped them mitigate risk and/or recover from loss.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Wondering About Diversity

By Ce Xiong, Actuary
Recently I watched the movie Wonder. It’s an inspiring and heart-warming movie, based on R.J. Palacio's award-winning novel of the same name.

It centers on Auggie Pullman, a young boy with a genetic facial difference. As an ordinary kid with an extraordinary appearance, Auggie meets both cruel bullies and good friends as he attends school for the first time.

As I left the cinema, I found myself thinking that “Wonder" truly can happen when we choose kindness over cruelty; when we appreciate everyone for who they are, and embrace their differences.

While the movie centers around a young boy’s school experience, the central tenets and message are just as applicable to the adult world, too. We are all different from some perspectives. We look different, we come from different regions or countries, with different cultures and beliefs. However, we all share common needs: we all want to be understood, respected, appreciated, and valued.

As I considered this, I started deeply appreciating CUNA Mutual Group’s continued commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I feel so fortunate to work for a company actively working to create a culture of belonging and understanding – both for our employees and our diverse customers.

Imagine a workplace where everyone is treated respectfully, the voice of everyone is heard, opportunity for growth is available to everyone, ideas are freely shared, teams are more productive, the company attracts more talent and serves more diverse customers. How wonderful it would be!

Every big vision starts with a few little steps, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here at CUNA Mutual Group. We know there’s a journey ahead of us, but we’re heading in the right direction. And, I’m excited to see how much we’ll learn and grow on this path.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Credit Union Trends Report: December 2017

Our December 2017 Credit Union Trends Report is now available. Highlights include:

-During October, credit unions picked up 215,000 in new memberships.

-The nation's credit unions increased their loan portfolios by 0.9 percent in October, faster than the 0.7 percent pace reported in October 2016.

-Credit unions now make up 11 percent of the overall consumer credit market, up from 10.5 percent one year ago.

-At the end of October, CUNA's monthly estimates reported 5,815 credit unions in operations, down 34 credit unions from one month earlier.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Supporting Our Credit Union Community

By Beth Cutler, 


As 2017 comes to a close and we prepare to spend time with family and friends over the holiday season, it’s fitting to talk about giving back – to get out and make a difference in our communities.
In fact, one of the more satisfying elements of my role is seeing my colleagues do just that, year-round. The credit union movement stands apart from the many others in the financial services industry through our genuine commitment to helping the communities we serve.
But this year, let us not forget the other community that needs our support – the one I’m so proud to be a part of: our credit union community.
There are still credit union people struggling to recover from the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas. And, let’s not forget about those in California who continue to suffer through a series of catastrophic wildfires.
One way to directly help is to donate to CUAid, the National Credit Union Foundation’s disaster relief fund. Every penny raised goes to support credit union employees and volunteers in areas affected by natural disasters. And the CUNA Mutual Foundation has pledged to match all new donations, up to $100,000, now until December 31, 2017.
Credit unions can also help raise awareness of CUAid and encourage donations with these social media banner images.
In times of crisis, we have always come together, rallying as a cooperative movement to support a common cause. We may belong to Credit Union X or Credit Union Y, but we all know it’s not the name above the door that makes a difference; it’s the people walking through it – from member to teller, branch manager to CEO.
So let us make a difference now for our friends and colleagues who need us. Let us demonstrate that our founding principle of ‘People Helping People’ is as true today as it ever has been, and that while the news cameras may have moved on, we have not.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Post-Loan Mechanical Repair Coverage Now Includes ForeverCar Marketing Program for Credit Unions


We're adding a new marketing program, powered by ForeverCar, to our MEMBER’S CHOICE® Mechanical Repair Coverage (MRC). Combining traditional and digital marketing, ForeverCar’s platform can help credit unions reach members with an eligible vehicle, even if that vehicle has no loan or is financed somewhere else.

The expanded marketing program will help credit unions connect beyond the traditional loan officer transaction through targeted email marketing, social media digital ads and direct mail. The program also provides the ability to co-brand the consumer-facing platform that helps members research, compare and purchase extended service protection plans.

Earlier this year, ForeverCar and CUNA Mutual Group partnered with Neighbors Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., to pilot the new marketing program to help the credit union identify members who were in need of extended coverage for auto repair costs. The credit union reported the new program increased its MRC sales by 128 percent compared to 2016 sales.1

“The new MRC post-loan program expanded our reach to more members, helping them limit the cost of repairs,” said Marc Walls, vice president for consumer lending, Neighbors Federal Credit Union. “It took minimal staff time to get this channel up and running quickly, and our initial campaign results have been better than expected.”

ForeverCar was one the first InsurTech investments for CMFG Ventures, the venture capital entity of CUNA Mutual Group. CMFG Ventures actively engages and evaluates startup investments in data and analytics, consumer lending and asset protection technology, and advanced mobile channels that best support credit unions in serving their members with new and innovative technology products and services.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Chartway FCU and STCU Choose AdvantEdge Analytics

Today, we announced Chartway Federal Credit Union, with $2.1 billion in assets, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and STCU, with $2.6 billion in assets, headquartered in Spokane, Washington, will partner with CUNA Mutual AdvantEdge Analytics  to implement integrated data management and analytics services.

Both Chartway and SCTU are looking to AdvantEdge Analytics to help them strengthen operational excellence through data management and build out their data analytics capabilities with improved reporting and performance management. Both have also signed on as charter members. They will offer industry insights and strategic guidance to enhance AdvantEdge Analytics to benefit the credit union industry.

AdvantEdge Analytics provides an industry-leading integrated suite of software, analytics and business intelligence tools. As part of our multi-year investment in innovation and data analytics, the company is focused on significantly expanding the scale of data to help credit unions gain stronger member intelligence, accelerate analytics adoption and strengthen market share. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Supporting Military Members and Their Families is an Honor

We're honored that Wisconsin Employer Support ofthe Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, awarded the ESGR Seven Seals Award to our director of talent acquisition, Allison Osting, today.

The award recognizes Osting for extraordinary support of our military service member employees and their families who serve in the Wisconsin National Guard and Federal Reserve. 

“The ESGR Seven Seals Award was created to publicly recognize those outstanding citizens who provide meritorious leadership and initiative in direct support of their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Michael Williams, Wisconsin ESGR State Chair. “Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of our Nation’s Guard and Reserve units.” 

Osting said she was accepting the award on behalf of our company and everyone involved in supporting active military member employees today: “Our employees are what make CUNA Mutual Group both a strong partner to our customers and a great place to work," she said. "Those who answer our nation's call to serve deserve both our full support and our gratitude.” 

ESGR seeks to foster a culture where all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

TruStage® Debuts Simplified-Issue Whole Life Insurance Product

TruStage, our consumer brand, announced the launch of its new entirely digital simplified-issue whole life insurance product today. The product is available to consumers after answering just a few questions and delivering an automated underwriting decision within minutes.

TruStage is among the first insurers to bring a fully digital whole life insurance product to market. This follows the success of its similar simplified-issue term life product launched in June 2016, which is available in 49 states with more than $1 billion in issued coverage in less than one year. 

“We want to continue to fill the sizable need for accessible, user-friendly life insurance in the market,” said Susan Sachatello, senior vice president, TruStage. “Expanding on the tremendous momentum of our simplified term life insurance product launched just one year ago, we seek to further grow our offerings to make it simple and easy for consumers to secure coverage that protects families and meets their specific needs.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

AdvantEdge Analytics Launches Next-Generation Data Management Solution For Credit Union Industry

Our data analytics company AdvantEdge Analytics launched its next-generation data management solution today, integrating with non-traditional data sources to help credit unions strengthen data access, analysis and insights.

Among the first for the industry, the new solution incorporates a hybrid data warehouse with a new data lake. Credit unions can use it to combine and mine data insights from both traditional, structured and non-structured data sources like social media, personas, segmentations and voice-to-text. This combination allows credit unions to build a more comprehensive, integrated 360-degree view of their members, channels, and products.

“An enormous amount of data is available from non-traditional sources that should be part of a credit union’s data strategy," said Tim Peterson, president, AdvantEdge Analytics. "It is critical for credit unions to integrate this data to improve member insights. Not only will they know more about their members, but they can deliver better value and create new opportunities for their business."

According to an AdvantEdge Analytics survey of more than 400 credit union executives, almost 73 percent of credit unions indicate most of their member data is not easily accessible, and ruoghly 28 percent believe fragmented data is the biggest barrier to successful analytics execution.

Click here to read the full press release.