Beginning in 2001, and every three years since, the Federal Reserve System has conducted its Federal Reserve Payments Study to estimate aggregate trends in noncash payments in the U.S. Noncash is traditionally defined as card payments and debit or credit transfers, and this year’s report is no different; virtual currencies are not included in the study. But that may change three years from now, as many experts predict cryptocurrency, bitcoin, and blockchain will continue to gain in use and importance.
Credit unions continue to gain popularity among consumers who want the greater financial benefits member services provide: fewer fees, lower loan rates, and higher interest on savings accounts. In fact, more than 3.964 million credit union memberships were added in the first nine months of 2017 - that's the fastest pace in credit union history. And this is in spite of CUNA research that indicates consumer perception is that credit unions aren’t big or sophisticated enough to handle typical financial problems people face.
Modern members are no longer willing to wait for their credit union to provide them with what they need. Instead, they want it to provide the products and services they need now, when they need them – or even before.
Through ups and downs, thick and thin, traditional and emerging schemes, one thing remains constant for credit unions: budgeting season. As we all know, October is the month credit unions start to strategically plan and budget for the coming year and beyond. The season typically begins with big ideas for growth and improving customer relationships, but sadly ends with a tight budget that reflects must-do tasks driven by government regulations.
Members are the driving force behind all your credit union’s activities, and that’s understandable. Not only does your business strategy focus foremost on fulfilling their needs, but with directors who are members it’s a given that member interests will be top of the priority list. That makes your credit union budget strategy different from that of a for-profit bank, in the following ways:
The future of your Credit Union depends upon how you adapt to the changing landscape of the financial industry. One aspect of the change is leveraging your greatest tool for fee income—debit and credit card interchange revenue. Take a look at some of the emerging strategies, then compare them to your CU's current approach.
The widespread use of smartphones and the Internet is changing the way a lot of people live their lives and giving rise to a range of new terminology. According to research by Pew, smartphone usage is not just growing in America but around the world. This has lead to service providers in a wide assortment of industries creating apps for goods, services, and subscriptions. What this means for credit unions is the increased use of "apps" to make purchases using credit and debit cards.
As consumers increasingly shop online and pay bills with debit and credit cards, it’s more important than ever for credit unions to improve cardholder experience, providing them swift, easy access to accounts and data anytime, anywhere. For the credit union itself, it’s vital to maintain up-to-date cardholder information in order to ensure members consistently use the credit union’s card for all their payments. It’s a challenge, particularly when competing with institutions that have a far greater marketing reach.