How Can Credit Unions Prepare for Regulatory Changes?

 

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have not only changed daily life but also many industry futures. As credit unions take stock in the amazing transformations that took place in 2020, many regulatory bodies are taking a hard look at their best practices through the lens of a global crisis.

Let’s discuss how credit unions can prepare for regulatory changes.

Preparing for Regulatory Changes

Recently, Credit Union Business News featured an article by Joel Schwartz, Founder & Co-Chief Executive Officer of DoubleCheck Solutions. This article highlights the ways credit unions will be facing regulatory changes as the world moves out of the pandemic.

Many expect consumer protection and financial transparency regulations to take center stage.

Consumer Protection & Empowerment

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is waiting on a Congressional vote to institute Rohit Chopra as Director, and if that happens, consumer protection and empowerment regulations are likely to be more heavily enforced. But what does that mean?

It means more guidelines will be put forth to promote more financial transparency for consumers, thus empowering them to make better-informed decisions regarding their banking and other financial activities.

This enforcement comes on the heels of heavy amounts of class-action lawsuits being filed against credit unions. Many of these lawsuits stem from “deceptive practices in assessing non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees.

Minimizing Operations Impact

This push for financial transparency is spearheaded by a goal of providing straightforward financial services without drastically impacting credit union operations.

This push will most heavily impact language and operations surrounding things like overdraft programs, to cut out excessive fees and vague language. This change, however, could easily wipe out a credit union’s main source of non-interest income: NSF fees.

These changes would affect your core system and its operations related to checking account structure. Alerts, notifications, and fee assignments would all have to be modified to reflect more transparent and specific situations and guidelines.

Your credit union would also have to put time and labor hours into alerting your customer base about these changes – what they are, who and what they apply to, and when they take effect.

This also means employees will spend more time auditing and ensuring compliance with the new, stricter regulations.

This would also have a financial impact. Members will love paying fewer overdraft fees, but bounce fees and late payments could be steeper, which negatively affects your credit union’s bottom line.

The Good News

Credit unions can get ahead of the curve by implementing better technology that can handle these regulatory changes now. Partner with a fintech or software provider that can customize your operations surrounding NSF fees before the government starts mandating it. This will help you work out operations kinks and train your staff on the new system before you are expected to have these protocols in place. It also gives your credit union reputation a boost, positioning it as member-centric and forward-focused.

Be sure to look for a fintech or software provider that already has a solid foundation in the banking industry. Or partner with a company that has solutions tailored to credit unions specifically, like IMS.

Get Your Revamped CU Solutions from IMS

IMS can help with the tech upgrades that will make your next regulation-based transitions easier on your credit union team and your members.

IMS has virtual private cloud services and solutions like core hosting, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and more for your credit union. Contact us today for more information.


Boost Your Credit Union Brand

 

Branding, in the information age, is hard. Because your credit union brand image doesn’t just come from you. It comes from your credit union’s interactions with every guest, affiliations with other businesses, and even its stance on social issues.

Is your credit union in need of an image upgrade? Here are some tips to boost your credit union brand.

Pump Up Your People

The most forward-facing aspect of your brand is your staff. Training your staff has to be more than just showing them how to enter data correctly and attend to customers’ needs in a timely manner. It’s about customer experience. If your credit union’s staff behave in a rote way, much like a computer program, then you aren’t boosting your brand image.

The human element of your credit union is why people want to come and do business with you. If it is absent, potential members will find easier, online-accessible options for their banking needs. The internet can’t replace your employee’s expertise and empathy when it comes to one-on-one interactions. Take a look at your team, find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Then, address them in the way you would like your brand to be known for.

Celebrate Your Members

Everyone loves a special occasion. And the best brand marketing comes from incentivizing members and potential customers with special days. Increase visibility for your credit union by posting events or promotions centered around International Credit Union Day, International Credit Union Week, and National Credit Union Youth Week.

Finding fun and clever ways to reach out to new audiences and celebrate your credit union within a community can help boost your brand and enhance your business.

Connect with Your Community

Being community-centered is more than just sponsoring a local sports team or running promotions during the local community festivals. If you can, use your employees and your members to keep your finger on the proverbial pulse of the neighborhood you’re serving.

Learn about the fun things people like to do in the area. Find out what the latest news is about the local high school sports teams or band competitions. Run polls and surveys to see what kinds of events, ideas, and services your community would like to see more of. Don’t just contribute to the community – make your credit union a part of its fabric.

Ditch the Inauthentic Brand Efforts

Not all brand efforts are created equal. Check the example in this article about how KFC tried to partner with Susan G Komen (a prominent breast cancer-focused non-profit), though recent studies showed fried chicken could contribute to cancer.

Make sure to do your research on what community causes and national charities would be a good fit for your credit union. Just because Make a Wish or Doctors Without Borders are huge, recognizable charities don’t mean it makes sense to tie your brand to theirs.

Take strategic approaches to each partnership and charitable effort to boost your brand in ways that can truly showcase your credit union’s mission, vision, and values.

Put Your Credit Union in the Cloud

Just like you want your brand to be unmistakable, IMS wants to tailor its data and security services to better protect your credit union and its data assets.

IMS has virtual private cloud services and solutions like core hosting, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and more for your credit union. Contact us today for more information.


The Role of Personalization in the Member Experience

 

For more than a year, businesses and citizens have been wading through a world that has all but killed the casual conversation and public gatherings. We are more acutely aware of even the most fleeting of interactions and relationships. And that’s why personalization is becoming more important in everyday communications and transactions.

Credit unions have continued to position themselves as the local, community-first banking option in towns and cities all over the country. To keep that reputation, credit union leaders are conducting studies and implementing new policies to analyze and highlight the crucial role personalization plays in the member experience.

The Importance of Personalization

A recent episode of the CUNA News Podcast, a panel of credit union leaders got together to discuss the importance of personalization in the member experience.

Personalization is a marketing strategy that can help increase customer satisfaction and engagement in businesses of all sizes, but it’s even more important for credit unions. Credit unions are the friendly, community-oriented banking option in many cities and towns. This means the personal touch is even more essential.

By creating a personal atmosphere that is optimized to create feelings of community and trustworthiness, credit unions can increase membership numbers and showcase what a positive presence they bring to the area business landscape.

“Personalization takes a lot of different shapes and forms. It can be empathy, it can be needs-based selling, it can be people helping people…All of those contain a great deal of personalization,” says Paul Robert, CEO of FI Strategies.

How to Personalize Member Interactions

There are so many ways to personalize the experience of your members. This can be spurred by brainstorming activities or having team huddles about the conversations that members seem to be having with credit union employees, to start. And the central question here should be “What are we going to do for our members?”

Can you engage with your members at a higher level? What does that look and sound like? How do we train or guide our employees to start generating more meaningful and helpful conversations with customers?

Many places from restaurants to doctors’ offices even keep notes in their database systems to add a more personal touch – these notes can include anything from their financial questions to the number of children they have, and other small or everyday details that can help your member to be recognizable by your staff.

Personalization Promotes Loyalty

We know, based on a variety of marketing and industry studies, that adding personalization elements to marketing emails is very beneficial.

Email analytic metrics show things like 31-67% decrease in bounce-back rates, affinity and interest segments perform 28-62% better for credit unions.

Adding personalization elements to all interactions, both digital and face-to-face, increases performance and is also more memorable in the minds of your members. Remember to personalize more than just the name in your email subject line. Now more than ever, people want to be seen as individuals and treated as valued customers.

Employee Team Building Also Plays a Part

Creating a community-oriented, personalized atmosphere starts with your credit union team. Fostering collaboration and creativity in your team can open the door for some great brainstorming sessions that could lead to a business-wide approach for personalizing the member experience.

Leave the Backups to Us

Just like you want personalization to be at the forefront of your member experience, IMS wants to tailor its data and security services to better protect your credit union and its data assets.

IMS has virtual private cloud services and solutions like core hosting, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and more for your credit union. Contact us today for more information.


The Benefits of Embracing Digital Lending

 

Digital banking trends are continuing to gain momentum as pandemic measures remain and customer preferences shift. And as these trends grow, they also expand to include more products and services. Enter digital lending.

Digital lending is the migration of most or all of the lending and loan origination process to online and mobile platforms. Gone are the days when customers went from bank to bank, trying to convince one to give them a loan. Customers are savvier – they want to compare financial institutions’ rates and policies online to find what they believe is the best deal. And right now, auto loans are seeing a big increase – mostly due to online loan process availability.

Digitizing the loan process allows your credit union to offer a straightforward, user-friendly process for applying for and receiving loans. Here are some of the benefits of embracing digital lending.

Enhanced Member Experience

When it comes to big decisions, consumers take their search to Google first. They want to see if your credit union has what they need before they ever call or step foot in one of your branch offices.

Often, when a potential customer can’t find what they need on your website, they move on to the next business in their search results, and you’ve lost that customer before you even knew they were there. Creating and integrating digital lending into your credit union’s repertoire allows you to meet customers where they are and give them a valuable online resource.

Many banking customers want to keep their business local to the community. While big banks have always had the advantage when it comes to implementing new technology, credit unions offer a more personalized, local service that people are craving. And opening new digital avenues for business can also improve your credit union’s positioning in your local and regional markets.

Improved Efficiency

By embracing digital lending, you can also improve the efficiency of your process, which in turn creates quicker turnaround times and more business for your credit union.

Allowing your customers to serve themselves relieves some of the burden from your employees and creates more time and availability for them to perform other duties.

Increased Analytics

Digital lending also improves many back-end experiences. The software used to create these online loan opportunities can also often create insightful reports and offer helpful analytics.

These resources can assist in your strategic and marketing efforts as well. You will have the ability to tailor your efforts to make a bigger impact on your members and your community.

Digital Lending Is a Staple of the Future of Banking

Self-service and online banking came to the forefront of customer service in 2020. What began as a necessary shift to accommodate social distancing and mitigate the spread of germs only accelerated the timeline for banks and especially credit unions to catapult their offerings into the digital realm.

To stay relevant and competitive, it’s important for your credit union to continue to focus on forward-thinking, online and mobile-based solutions so you can continue to grow your business and better serve your members. The transformation of banking was kick-started by a pandemic, but the momentum won’t be wasted by any enterprising business that wants to be a part of that future.

Digital Solutions for the Future of Banking

We know how important it is to safeguard your member data, especially as you continue to offer more online products and services. Having cloud-based backups housed offsite is a great way to ensure the integrity of your files and give you and your staff peace of mind.

IMS has virtual private cloud services and solutions like core hosting, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and more for your credit union. Contact us today for more information.


Business Continuity Planning Best Practices

 

We’ve talked previously on our blog about the difference between credit union disaster recovery and business continuity planning. A business continuity plan (BCP) is a series of protocols created to make sure an organization can keep operating during a disaster, and a disaster recovery plan is often a subset of the BCP that specifically plans for recovering lost data and restoring failed infrastructure. But no one could have guessed when we wrote that article in the fall of 2019 that we would have such an unprecedented year in 2020.

Here are some business continuity planning best practices for your credit union.

The Evolution of Business Continuity Planning

Originally, business continuity planning was created to focus on how businesses could plan ahead for natural disasters and similar events – fire, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. – but it quickly evolved to include cyber events – hackers, file corruption, system bugs, and the like.

Today, business continuity planning is more about assessing threats and risks and creating comprehensive protocols for increasingly complex businesses.

It’s become more about gap analysis and protecting your business than creating a step-by-step plan to merely react to issues that come up.

Document Core Functions – Focus on Details

This may seem like a no-brainer, but one of the first steps to creating a workable and comprehensive business continuity plan is to document the core functions of your credit union. These are the services that are central to your business’s success and that will have the greatest impact on that business, should something happen to your facilities, staff, equipment, or networks.

It’s also important to document the resources that will be required to fill these business functions and roles. The more detailed you can make your plans, the more prepared you will be in the event of a business interruption.

Mature Your Business Continuity Plan

Maturing your business continuity plan is just as important as creating it. Think of it like this: you have to have fire extinguishers inspected and replaced when they expire, right? The same is true for your BCP.

In this digital age, technology changes and upgrades so swiftly that it’s easy to become fatigued trying to keep up. But with business continuity planning, having an outdated plan is just as bad – if not worse – than having no plan at all.

Be sure to review and test your BCP on a regular basis. This means testing and working through all facets of the plan, not just a few items. Practice makes perfect, and spending quality time ensuring your plan is still effective can save you a lot of headaches later.

Develop a Communication Strategy

This goes hand in hand with the last point. Your plan is only as good as the people executing it, so frequent testing and practice drills are great ways to develop helpful and effective communication strategies before you need them.

Taking the time to educate your staff about business continuity planning is a great way to instill these ideas in the company culture, and to smooth out communication issues early on.

Have Offsite, Cloud-Based Backups

We know how important it is to safeguard your member data, especially when disaster strikes. Having cloud-based backups housed offsite is a great way to ensure the integrity of your files without having to worry about the what-ifs.

IMS has virtual private cloud services and solutions like core hosting, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and more for your credit union. Contact us today for more information.


5 Community Outreach Marketing Ideas for Credit Unions

 

Credit unions are unique in their positioning – they are financial institutions with a community-centered vision. This hometown, local feel is something that should be included in your marketing efforts. Nothing satisfies customers more than knowing a business can walk the walk. Here are 5 community outreach marketing ideas for your credit union.

Offer Helpful Free Content

The coronavirus pandemic has done a great job showing us all that we aren’t as financially savvy as we should be. With this in mind, you can create and tailor your free resources and tools to target areas of need in your community.

For example, lots of people are refinancing in the wake of the pandemic, trying to save money and take advantage of the economic market for themselves. Your credit union could create, partner with, and share resources like a free mortgage or rent calculators, budgeting templates and tools, and helpful videos on a wide range of financial topics.

Providing and promoting free resources is a great way to build brand trust and give back to the community – both local and global.

Host and Highlight Contests

Social media contests are a great way to boost your followings and generate buzz and revenue for your credit union. And you can definitely do that as an individual business, but why not reach out and get involved with local or seasonal causes as well?

Hosting and highlighting contests that are true to your credit union’s mission, or dear to the hearts of your members, is a fantastic way to showcase your financial and professional empathy as an organization. You can run giveaways, creative or arts-based contests, social media and video contests, and more.

You can also reach out to other business owners and community leaders for inspiration.

Talk to Local Leaders – Find Out What Community Needs Aren’t Being Met

And speaking of talking to community leaders – why not let them give you ideas for your next community outreach event?

Many times, we create a marketing plan that works, and we want to keep running similar efforts because we know they were successful in the past. But there are lots of things that may seem less catchy or glamorous that still need the attention of the community.

A great example of this is prevalent in a story Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water, often tells. His charity, which helps bring clean drinking water to people in developing countries, was built on a model of transparency – everyone who donates gets to choose where their money goes – to operations (the daily expenses like paying employee salaries, buying office supplies, and the like) or to projects (this money goes toward the trips that actually build the wells).

While this transparency is amazing, Scott talks, in an episode of the Armchair Expert podcast, about how his “projects” bank account had nearly $800,000 in it, but he was on the brink of having to shut down his charity because there were no funds in the less-exciting “operations” fund.

This illustrates a great point about community and business needs: sometimes, certain needs can be abundantly met, while others are being ignored. The best way to combat this is to reach out to community leaders and talk with them. Figure out what they need. We see this all the time with homeless shelters, animal shelters, and food pantries – often, the most needed items or help are the least given.

Finding these gaps – and helping fill them – is a great way to raise awareness for certain issues and position your credit union as a trustworthy and helpful business.

Sponsor Seasonal Teams and Events

This trick is an old one, but still a good one. Having your credit union sponsor a local team or event continues to be a great way to give back to the community and boost your brand locally.

Additionally, you can choose to partner with another individual or business to sponsor certain events. And with so many events being hosted online, there are more and more interesting ways to get involved with local sports, celebrations, and more.

This can be done strategically – again, look for those gaps. Concentrate on building a balance between larger, multi-sponsor events and smaller events where one or two sponsors could make a huge impact in the event or team’s success.

Include Your Audience in the Decision-Making

Social media makes it incredibly easy to increase audience participation. It seems like almost every year, the Columbus Zoo is asking fans to help them name their latest animal babies like they did in 2020 with a new polar bear cub. When it comes to choosing between which events and charities to support, why not give your members and social media followers a chance to help make the decision?

This does two things. First, it gets them invested in the community outreach marketing that your credit union is doing. And secondly, it also shows you and your CU what causes and charities are closest to your members’ hearts.

Don’t forget about including your community when you are planning your next community outreach marketing events!

Is Your Head in the Cloud? Let IMS Help.

Credit unions are built for communities. So why not let IMS help you focus on yours rather than worrying about your cloud data?

IMS can take care of some of the behind-the-scenes solutions so you can focus on your next community outreach marketing effort. Browse our private cloud services like backup, core hosting, IaaS, and virtual desktop – or contact us today!


4 Tips for Marketing to Gen Z

 

You may be thinking, why should my credit union already be marketing to Gen Z? Aren’t they a little young to be financially independent?

Many news articles and social media jokes paint Gen Z (the first demographic group born after the internet was commercialized) as children or young teens. But the reality is – the oldest Gen Z members (born between 1997 and 2012) are nearing their mid-twenties. And credit unions will miss out on their share of the generation’s estimated $44 billion in buying power if they don’t tailor marketing efforts to capture this audience.

Why Marketing to Gen Z Will Be Different

Gen Zers, like millennials, are more conscious of debt than previous generations. As children of the Great Recession, Gen Z is generally more averse to accruing debt as the cost of living, college, and having children continues to rise.

As a general rule, Gen Z is also much more purpose-driven in terms of engaging in discussions and activism surrounding social, political, and environmental issues.

And of course, as the first fully digital generation, they are more comfortable on the internet than any other generation before them. Your credit union needs to be aware of and cater to these characteristics in order to be successful in marketing to Gen Z.

Pay Attention to Gen Z Banking Preferences

47% of Gen Zers are big bank customers, but they don’t like it. Big banks are not in line with many of Gen Z’s socially conscious ideologies, but they have more advanced and diverse technology. So what can credit unions do?

The first logical step is to augment your digital offerings, which we’ll talk more about in the next section.

Other creative solutions for pulling attention away from big banks and towards your credit union include rethinking loyalty and account features. For example, Gen Z is less likely to be enticed by a loyalty program – but offering savings or checking accounts with zero overdraft fees is a huge draw.

Boost Digital & Mobile Banking Services

Gen Z is very tech-savvy, and they do most of their banking from their phones and other smart devices. Credit unions can optimize their online offerings to include mobile apps or mobile-friendly web design. Part of the draw of big banks, for Gen Z, is the ease of their online processes. Digital natives base more of their brand loyalty on the brand’s commitment to providing easy and quick solutions.

Another trend Gen Z prefers is the personalization of websites and services. They expect the websites they visit to include their personal preferences through targeted ads and other dynamic content that will lead them to the best product or service for them. Credit unions can do this by including more things like quizzes or other infographics that give visitors a clear path to their preferred solution.

Provide Dynamic Financial Education Resources

Here is another example of how Gen Z preferences perfectly line up with credit union offerings.

Gen Z spends so much time online, both for education and entertainment. Credit unions can take advantage of this by creating more online access to financial education resources. Many Gen Zers head to YouTube when they want to learn how to do something, look up product functions or reviews, and more.

Creating a robust and dynamic financial education blog or YouTube channel is a great differentiator that will really cater to the youngest generation as they try to navigate and learn about the current financial landscape.

Make Your Brand More Vocal about Community & Social Issues

A brand’s product or service is important, but the brand’s purpose is just as important to Gen Z. When marketing to Gen Z, it’s wise to remember that members of this group tend to choose brands and products that are committed to a purpose they see as valuable.

Credit unions are generally more socially responsible than big banks, as they feel a responsibility to serve the communities they do business in, which is a great cause to tout on your website, in your branches, and on your social media channels. Gen Zers want to support businesses that care about their customers, in outwardly authentic and genuine ways.

We’ve Got Your Back(up)

The great thing about credit unions and Gen Z is that many of the things your credit union is already doing can be easily updated to capture more of this audience.

IMS can take care of some of the behind-the-scenes solutions so you can focus on marketing your credit union services to Gen Z and beyond. Browse our private cloud services like backup, core hosting, IaaS, and virtual desktop – or contact us today!


Credit Union Tech: Bots & Virtual Assistant Trends

 

Credit unions have broken their own mold. No longer thought of as anti-tech, smaller banks and credit unions are harnessing the power of new technology practices for their employees to better serve their customers. New research on the increased use of bots and virtual assistants has produced some interesting insights.

Let’s take a look at what trends in the use of bots and virtual assistants are most popular, and the impact they make on credit union business, work, and customer service.

A SilverCloud Labs monthly report from November 2020 “examines Employee Virtual Assistants and what bank and credit union employees search for when they use conversational banking, virtual assistants, and bots.”

One of the most powerful aspects of this study is that it uses “real-time data showing real usage from financial institutions actually in production.” This means the study is measuring and analyzing real bank and credit union employees as they work, not in demonstration or test capacities.

Service Wins Over Sales in Employee Searches

When employees of credit unions and banks are using bots and virtual assistants, they focus 90% more on service than on sales. This is a heartening statistic, especially for credit unions. If your employees are using these resources to search for and talk about how to improve the customer experience, that lends credibility and reliability to your brand.

This focus on service over sales also leads many credit union and bank employees to search for solutions to assist their business customers. Since businesses tend to encourage their employees to call banks or credit unions, using bots and virtual assistants for business queries from a banking customer’s perspective is much less common.

Customer-Facing Trends: Digital Support Is Not One

One interesting positive finding from the SilverCloud study is that employees are not often using bots and virtual assistants to help customers navigate issues within digital banking platforms. But what does that mean?

It means that many digital banking apps and platforms are now very intuitive and user-friendly, which means you can focus your employee training on higher-level functions, like ACH and Wire Transfers, as we’ll talk about in the next section.

ACH and Wire Transfers Were the Top Search Terms

Employees searched for help with ACH and Wire Transfers in 65% of the top searches recorded in the SilverCloud study.

This is another really interesting insight that can help credit unions understand what types of training they may need to include or add refresher classes in. ACH and Wire Transfer questions are more commonly asked by employees who are older or less comfortable with changing technology.

COVID Caused Trends to Lean toward Bots and Virtual Assistants

The coronavirus pandemic caused many businesses to trim hours or employees, and discouraged face-to-face contact. That meant more and more bank and credit union employees were relying on bots and virtual assistants.

While this trend was jumpstarted by the pandemic, many reports and studies suggest that the convenience and safety of digital operations like bots and virtual assistants will still be preferred options even after COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

When you are thinking about implementing new digital solutions that will help your customer, it’s also wise to think about the digital solutions that will allow your employees to spend less time on low-engagement tasks and more time serving customers, whether at teller windows or in more support-based areas.

Looking into Tech-Based Upgrades for Your Credit Union?

IMS has a variety of cloud-based services that can ensure the integrity, safety, and efficiency of your credit union.

IMS’s Private Cloud Services Include:

Browse these and other offerings here on our website or contact us today!


3 Hallmarks of Credit Union Resilience

 

Just like people, businesses struggle during times of uncertainty. And after the year of uncertainty we just had, those credit unions that are looking to find success in 2021 are working on increasing resilience.

“Today, 80% of the work is centralized. It comes in a more traditional command and control structure,” Joe Perfetti, innovation fellow with Duke CE and RH Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park lecturer noted. “As we become more agile organizations, the unit of work going forward is going to be the team.” So what are the hallmarks of credit union resilience?

Perfetti says the three things a resilient credit union needs are realistic optimism, agency, and hope.

Realistic Optimism

Realistic optimism is all about setting realistic, attainable goals for your credit union.

The face-to-face aspect of your credit union’s business will likely never go back to the way it was. The COVID-19 pandemic still affects the daily operations of most businesses. And even if it didn’t, out of both necessity and convenience, credit union members of all ages are learning to embrace and even prefer contactless and online operations.

This means your 2021 goals will have to take these new preferences into account.

Agency

Realistic optimism and agency go hand in hand.

Many people all over the world have experienced great losses in agency this year – they lost jobs, houses, savings, and even loved ones. So giving your employees and members some of that agency back in 2021 should be a top priority.

Fostering agency and realistic optimism means giving your employees the tools and opportunities to work on problem-solving. Whether this means creating a space, either physical or digital, where employees can voice concerns and questions, and then offer possible solutions.

Team-building exercises and peer-to-peer discussion groups can help you, the credit union owner or manager, see the day-to-day struggles your employees are facing. And many times, these groups can come up with a workable solution much faster than you can.

A note on agency for your credit union members: the online solutions that have been implemented at credit unions across the country last year are also giving your members their own sense of agency. They may not be able to control how many paychecks they got last year, but they can now choose from a variety of easily accessible digital solutions to stay safe and increase their financial stability and education in the coming year.

Hope

Hope is the third hallmark of credit union resilience. As the vaccines are rolled out and credit union management choose to invest in upgraded solutions that make jobs easier and less stressful, this atmosphere of hope not only boosts workplace morale, but it also leads to better customer service.

Credit unions are unique beacons of hope for their communities in ways that big banks are not, because your credit union’s success is directly tied into the success your community has as well.

Spreading hope in the workplace is as easy as creating a recognition board, where employees and members can shout out exemplary behavior and customer service. Other ways include promoting and supporting charitable opportunities that are meaningful to your staff members.

When your credit union and its employees have hope for the future, it creates resilience.

Digital Solutions for Credit Union Resilience

IMS offers an array of digital solutions that help take care of the things you and your staff need, so you can focus on the big picture.

IMS’s Private Cloud Services Include:

Browse these and other offerings here on our website or contact us today!


The Importance of Cloud Consolidation

 

Every technology solution has dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of different apps, websites, and tools to get the job done. And if you are looking to carry your credit union’s offerings into the future, you and your staff are likely on a constant search for ways to upgrade your credit union technology solutions. Take cloud-based data solutions, for example.

Many people have a personal cloud where they store information and photos from their own personal smart devices. But wait there’s more – we often have many different cloud and onsite applications for work, family, side businesses, and random collaborative projects.

As credit union leaders, you are always trying to push for helpful, streamlined technology solutions. And one of the best ways to declutter your tech presence in the workplace is cloud consolidation.

The Importance of Cloud Consolidation

More than 88% of respondents in an O’Reilly study use the cloud in one way or another. And about 25% also said their companies planned to move “all of their applications to a cloud context in the next year.”

Currently, remote work is becoming a dominant force in workplace culture. And that is a perfect reason to consolidate all onsite applications to the cloud. Creating a central resource for all applications allows you and your credit union employees to remain adaptable. Whether they are working from their office, their home, a separate branch, or their preferred remote location like a café or library, cloud consolidation means they won’t lose focus or productivity trying to search for resources that aren’t accessible offsite or on their non-native computer.

Cloud Consolidation Boosts Tech Effectiveness

Along with convenience, cloud consolidation also increases cloud effectiveness. Now that we are winding down from the fervor of 2020, it’s time to look at those hastily-implemented cloud procedures to see which areas can be cleaned up to create a streamlined experience.

Here is a quick look at some reasons why cloud consolidation boosts technology effectiveness:

  • Ease of use – loud services are becoming more and more user-friendly
  • Cost efficiency – cloud services are almost always less expensive than legacy services
  • Increased productivity – as ease-of-use continues to be a top priority for cloud services, this allows credit union staff, from CEO to tellers, the ability to do better work faster.

Create Room for Expansion

The adaptability and scalability of a consolidated cloud system mean you can use it for the long haul.

This means whether you need room for multiple teams, branches, or credit union-specific focus areas, many cloud services are customizable by offering tiered services. This means your cloud service can be tailored for right-sizing and expansion in a short amount of time.

The Focus on Consolidation Means Built-In IaaS

Cloud services are no longer used for simply storing data. You can host video meetings, support team chats, and file sharing. Many even allow for seamless integration of third-party apps.

In the cloud computing world, small and singularly-focused service providers are beaten out by their IaaS-driven competitors. But why is this good news for your credit union?

By consolidating all your systems to cloud platforms, you are not only creating solutions to common problems, but you are keeping all the integrations and functions of your bulky onsite systems with none of the bulk.

Cloud consolidation is a popular trend that ramped up in 2020 and looks to be headed for more big moves in 2021.

IMS Has the Private Cloud Services Your CU Needs

Cloud services that are IaaS-focused and customization-driven are great solutions for your credit union.

IMS’s Private Cloud Services Include:

Browse these and other offerings here on our website or contact us today!