Friday, November 17, 2017

NAFCU Services and AdvantEdge Analytics Announce Preferred Partnership

NAFCU Services Corporation and CUNA Mutual AdvantEdge Analytics announced a new preferred partnership this week to empower credit unions with improved data management and advanced analytics to support better member experiences. 

This industry collaboration will provide ways to not only help credit unions overcome challenges in their data infrastructure, but also identify new growth opportunities through business intelligence and advanced analytics.

As credit unions transition into data-driven organizations, we are seeing an industry-wide push to further expand data insights and innovation throughout the credit union system,” said Tim Peterson, president, CUNA Mutual AdvantEdge Analytics. “We look forward to working with NAFCU Services and their partnership to help us build and strengthen data analytics for the credit union industry.”

NAFCU Services selected AdvantEdge Analytics as a strategic partner on the basis of its integrated analytics solution capabilities. AdvantEdge’s industry-leading, end-to-end data solution equips credit unions with the tools and strategies that will help them leverage the full value of their data assets. This solution brings together data management, reporting and performance management, and advanced analytics services into one complete offering.

Click here to read the full press release.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Turn Your Checkers and Hawkers Into Solvers

By Karim Habib, Director, Sales & Marketing Lender Development Program

Connecting and consulting with your members in today’s convenience-driven world isn’t easy. They are time-stressed, and they expect a fast and simple process. To meet these rising expectations, credit unions strive to deliver a superior member experience through the staff they have in service roles. 

That’s not as simple as it may seem. When you don’t strike the right balance between offering an efficient process and delivering appropriate products and services, some of your staff could morph into one of two personalities:

  • The Checker: Think of a grocery store. The customer fills their cart with what they want, takes it to the register and the checker dutifully rings up the items and completes the transaction. From a convenience standpoint, it’s certainly fast and easy. But financial services are much more complicated than groceries, and members aren’t always in the best position to know or understand, all their options.

  • The Hawker: Have you ever walked into an electronics store and told a staff member you’re thinking about changing your entertainment set-up? Before you know it, you’ve seen 55” LED screens, Blue Rays, DVRs, ROKU, Apple TV, and a host of other choices. That rep conveniently laid out a glut of options. Unfortunately, none of it helped you because it wasn’t focused on your needs. For financial services, running through a variety of products and services is of little help without any context around the member’s financial situation and stage in life.
Instead, imagine your staff as Solvers, engaging members in a conversation revolving around financial needs the member has or a problem they’re trying to resolve. 

Learn more about implementing a member experience culture and up-skilling your staff. 
Read the full article here.

Monday, November 13, 2017

We Salute the 2017 Excellence in Lending Award Winners!

Six credit unions have earned the Excellence in Lending Award, as announced during the 23rd Annual CUNA Lending Council Conference in Nashville today.

With CUNA Lending Council, we recognized credit unions that have implemented outstanding lending programs while demonstrating sound financial performance.   

This year's winners include:
  • Citymark Federal Credit Union, Wilkes Barre, Penn., Consumer Lending (Assets less than $250 million) 
  • Y-12 Federal Credit Union, Oak Ridge, Tenn., Consumer Lending (Assets greater than $250 million) 
  • Pima Federal Credit Union, Tucson, Ariz., Mortgage Lending 
  • VyStar Credit UnionJacksonville, Fla., Business Lending 
  • Fitzsimons Credit UnionAurora, Colo., Low-to-Modest Means Lending (Assets less than $250 million) 
  • CASE Credit Union, Lansing, Mich., Low-to-Modest Means Lending (Assets greater than $250 million. 
The Excellent in Lending Awards accepts all affiliated credit unions in the United States, except for credit unions that received an award within the last three years. Applications are evaluated on the credit union’s strategy, programs and performance, and awarded based on the credit union’s ability to serve members while sustaining sound financial performance for the year 2016 

This annual program provides an opportunity for credit unions to share best practices and ideas, network and celebrate lending excellence across the industry.  

 Click here for the full details in today's announcement.


Friday, November 3, 2017

CUNA Strategic Services and AdvantEdge Analytics to Empower Credit Unions with Data Analytics


CUNA Strategic Services announced a new strategic alliance with our data analytics company, AdvantEdge Analytics today.

The new industry collaboration will support credit unions with solutions to the challenges they face with data fragmentation, business intelligence and analytics capabilities.

CUNA Strategic Services Inc. is owned jointly by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the state leagues. It saved credit unions more than $20 million in 2016 through its alliance program. With its providers, CUNA Strategic Services offers products and services that contribute to credit unions’ bottom lines, add to their peace of mind and enhance their relationships.

As an end-to-end data management and analytics solution, AdvantEdge Analytics can help users take full advantage of their data assets. A first for the credit union industry, it brings together data management, reporting and performance management and advanced analytics services into one, seamless offering.

Click here to read the full announcement.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

As Hurricane Season Continues, Remember Storm Safety

By Laura Williams
This year's hurricane season has been devastating. In addition to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Hurricane Nate was the fourth hurricane to make landfall in the United States in 2017. According to The Weather Channel, this is the first time that's happened in a single hurricane season since 2005. 

The Atlantic hurricane season normally lasts through the end of November. As devastating as these events have been, it's important to be prepared, no matter where you live. 

One of our partners, Liberty Mutual Insurance, has put together several guides on their MasterThis site to help you learn what to do before, during and after a storm. We'd like to share a few of them with you:
  • Prepare a Storm Safety Plan 
    Set up a storm safety plan so you and your family know where to go, what to do, and who to call in a worst-case scenario. 
  • Create a Storm Emergency Kit 
    Keep a well-stocked hurricane emergency kit at home in case of a storm. A few must-have items to include: first aid supplies, emergency blankets, flashlights, and trash bags.
  • Know What to Do After a Storm 
    It's a good idea to brush up on these key safety do's and don'ts so you’re prepared if a hurricane impacts your area.
Visit this MasterKit site for more storm safety tips. Additionally, if you’d like to help those who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes, here are a few ways you can make a difference:
  1. Donate through CUAid to support those across the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico.
  2. Donate through WOCCU's Caribbean Aid Fund to support those across the Caribbean.
  3. Spread the word for hurricane relief options with these social media graphics.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Credit Union Trends: October

Our October Credit Union Trends Report is now available. The report is a monthly "pulse check" on the state of the credit union marketplace, often placed in a historical context. 

October 2017 Report Highlights: 
  • Credit union loan balances rose 1.1 percent in August, the same pace set in August 2016. During the last 12 months, credit union loan balances increased 10.8 percent, a similar pace as seen during the last 3 years. 
  • Savings balances grew at a 6.4 percent seasonally-adjusted, annualized growth rate in August, continuing the downward trend in growth reported over the last year as members spend more of their windfall from low gas prices. 
  • Credit union memberships rose a record 543,000 in August, or 0.50 percent, much better than the 483,000 new members, or 0.45 percent, added in August 2016.
To access the full report, click here.

Building Structures of Inclusion

By Katie Meyer, Product and Compliance Risk Manager 

“Belonging is the most important good we distribute in society, as it is prior to and informs all other distributive decisions. We must support the creation of structures of inclusion that recognize and accommodate difference, rather than seek to erase it. We need practices that create voice without denying our deep interrelationships.”  John A. Powell and Stephen Menendian. 

That was a quote taken from the YWCA’s 2017 Racial Justice Summit program, an event CUNA Mutual Group has sponsored for a number of years. 

Personally, am proud that the company I've worked with for 12 years recognizes the importance of such an event and supports it. Like many of my peers, was actively encouraged to attend, learn and engage in conversations that may not, at first glance, relate directly to my company’s work but, instead, are unequivocally linked to our values. 

The value I kept thinking about was inclusion. At CUNA Mutual Group, we believe you can’t have diversity without it. You can bring in all the different minds, cultures, backgrounds and ages you want; but, unless the people sharing them feel equally included, nothing will change. 


It’s our commitment to inclusion that sees people like our own Opal Tomashevska speaking at the YWCA Racial Justice Summit, not as a CUNA Mutual Group employee, but as a poet. An artist. A powerful woman with an incredible voice, whose words spoke into our souls and brought the room to its feet in applause. I encourage everyone to watch Opal's performance, at the 1 hour-42 minute mark (or the video clip above).

Another colleague, Angela Russell, also facilitated a panel and co-led a break out session called Transformational Leadership from Tolerance for Diversity to Deep Systems Change for Equity. 

For me, the conference was a space where I could walk in inclusion, be in inclusion and work in inclusion. I could me and fill my cup in inclusion. 

During the conference, I heard the phrase “