As all 4,682 days of 2020 finally come to an end, it’s impossible not to recognize how different the world looks now. And here are some of the big changes credit unions saw in 2020.
Technology Led the Way
A major effort for all businesses this year was learning to do more with less – less face-to-face contact, fewer resources, fewer people in the assembly line for all goods and services. New and existing technologies have created many of the changes credit unions saw in 2020.
More and more large banks created pathways for services previously handled at physical locations, and many small community banks and credit unions either implemented or expanded their app technologies to ensure all members were still able to be served with minimal staff and shorter lobby hours.
As a result of these changes, payment preferences have changed drastically this year as well. While the beginning of the pandemic was marked with a coin and bill shortage – due to people stockpiling cash assets in fear of what the future would hold – the trends later shifted toward online shopping, digital wallets, and other tech-based forms of payment like PayPal, Venmo, etc.
Cash and Payments Had to Move Faster Than Ever
As this shift in technology got underway, the processes that have long been standard for banks and credit unions alike – days-long holds on transactions and payment transfers were shortened or eliminated entirely to allow individuals and small businesses access to funds they desperately needed as unemployment rates and shutdown expenses skyrocketed.
Mobile banking also surged. Not only did payment processing speed up this year, but mobile fintech solutions were encouraged because of their contactless and social distancing-friendly nature.
The Latest COVID-Based Scams Are Tied to Vaccines and 2nd Stimulus
After all this, 2020 isn’t over yet – there are new players in the field of fraud, and this time they’re creating scams centered around the new COVID-19 vaccines and stimulus uncertainties.
Stimulus scams have been targeting Americans since the first round of checks went out in the spring, but as talks of a second stimulus payment bombard the media – scammers are taking advantage of the conflicting information by sending out text messages aimed at collecting direct deposit information from their victims – “As of September 2020, the FTC reported that there had been $145 million in pandemic-related scams.”
Because of the big changes credit unions saw in 2020, there is now a bigger need for secure financial systems and good financial education than there ever has been before. Credit unions can provide the services and security local communities need as we finish out this year of unprecedented events.
Let Us Help Make Sure 2020’s Mistakes Don’t Happen Again
IMS has a host of virtual private cloud and other tech services for credit unions. If you are interested in upgrading some of your technology with core hosting, virtual desktop, and disaster recovery tools, contact us today.