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 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.


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 Future of Credit Unions – Planning for 2021 & Beyond

 

Last year at this time, your CU team was making plans for 2020 – how to create growth and continue to serve your members to the best of your abilities. But no 2019 business plan could have foreseen the crazy year we just had. So what does the future of credit unions look like now, and how do we plan for 2021 and beyond?

Here are some strategies and lessons credit unions learned this year.

Member-Facing Strategies

Optimizing member-facing technologies is a must. COVID-19 was a big catalyst for moving products and services online, and a great digital presence will be expected from now on. From apps to online forms to chatbots – contactless and convenience will be the big drivers for process change in 2021.

That technology also means it will be easier than ever to get your members connected with the right financial education classes and offerings your credit union is hosting or featuring. While the financial woes of 2020 could not have easily been anticipated by anyone, it’s no secret that everyone – especially small businesses and lower-income households – struggled to make ends meet this year.

Credit unions are essential contributors to financial education and literacy, and this will only be more important as we try to rebuild and recover all the things we lost in 2020.

Employee-Facing Strategies

The rise in technology can allow for more automation to take over tedious or repetitive tasks at your credit union, but with great tech comes great margin for error. Your employees are the face of your credit union, and your strategies for the future must include their opinions, fears, and concerns.

As you navigate the uncertain waters of 2021, be mindful of their needs – are there new or existing technologies that could reduce stress and increase productivity? Is there a recently-implemented technology that does not mesh well with your staff? Are your employees reporting member dissatisfaction with a new program?

Each of your associates has weathered a difficult year, some even by being laid off or downsized. Ensuring they are treated as a critical member of your credit union team can often result in better customer service, higher productivity, and more positive office morale.  

Community-Facing Strategies

The communities your credit union serves each have their own individual needs, just like each member and credit union employee does.

Community outreach has a number of benefits ranging from strengthening brand image to increasing collaboration within your own workforce. Customers and potential members are increasingly aware of the social and political implications their patronage of any business will have. Creating a brand that consistently cares for and works with local communities can go a long way in creating growth for your credit union in the coming years.

Take the First Step Forward in Your CU’s Future

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.


Changes Credit Unions Saw in 2020

 

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.


Payment Preferences Have Changed This Year

Since the start of the pandemic, new and expanded technology has become a way to move through the world safely. And that means your credit union’s contactless payment solutions are probably here to stay.

Here are some of the ways payments have changed this year, and how those changes may look in the future.

Contactless Is Key

As of July 2020, the NAFCU reported a “259% year over year increase in contactless volume.”

Contactless transactions and operations are safer during this pandemic, but there’s no denying that many of these options are also more convenient for Americans, especially right now as they juggle remote work, online schooling with their children, and other COVID-related changes.

A study done recently by Mastercard shows that 46% of cardholders have moved their contactless cards to the Top-of-Wallet positions in their physical and digital wallets.

Online Shopping Is Preferred in 2020: Banking Trends Are Shifting, Too

This holiday season, 77% of online shoppers are planning to do more than half of their holiday shopping online. 

Credit unions often struggle to adopt the latest technology, but that will have to change as the future is becoming more and more digitally-based. Consumers, shoppers, and credit union members are increasingly trusting of online banking and payment technologies.

Some good news here for credit unions is that mobile payments are taking a backseat to contactless cards for the top payment method. Credit unions can work with this by increasing those contactless options with their credit and debit card offerings.

Moving Forward

These payment preferences may have been impacted by the protocols and changes COVID-19 has affected, but the trend toward digital and contactless transactions is here to stay. So what does that mean for your credit union?

It will be wise to plan on implementing and bolstering contactless card options – for debit and credit card options. This could include promoting these contactless options in everyday purchases, like grocery and pharmacy expenses, as well as highlighting the health and hygiene benefits of contactless payments.

74% of MasterCard customers state they will continue using contactless payments as a primary practice post-pandemic, according to a report in April of 2020. And these trends have only gotten more popular as the pandemic continues to impact the activities of daily life.

Upgrade Your Business-Facing Technology, Too

The customer-facing technology updates are only as good as their back-end support and infrastructure. 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.