The Future of Banking

 

What do credit unions need to focus on to stay relevant in this new future of banking?

Though we may not have known it at the time, COVID-19 has created a need for better digital solutions. The hurried changes that were made to continue business operations as the coronavirus pandemic took hold have changed the world, and many of these changes are here to stay.

There is a unique opportunity to update and digitize your credit union’s process in ways that will keep you and your customers safer and cut costs over time.

Disaster Planning vs. Pandemic Planning 

Disaster planning is a necessary exercise and typically includes processes and protocols to “tide your business over” during a short-term but high-impact event. The goal is to use the disaster plan to get through hardship or an unforeseen issue by mitigating the damage so you can return to your normal business practices.

Unfortunately, this pandemic has changed the future of banking in such a way that “getting back to normal” is probably never going to happen. The good news is: now is the perfect time to implement large and radical changes in your virtual offerings and security.

A Virtual New World

 The ability to work, and bank, from home has been gaining momentum over recent years, but 2020 created a trend that will likely have virtual desktops and remote offerings become a staple in businesses of all sizes. The future of banking will require digital solutions like these to keep people safe in the coming months and create consistent expectations for how your credit union conducts business.

More and more young people are flocking to businesses that have a jump on their digital offerings, and implementing virtual processes will not only keep you, your staff, and your customers safer – it can also increase your value proposition and allow you to reach more customers in these tech-savvy demographics.

Off-site Peace of Mind

Diversifying and flexing the physical space in which you do business not only opens up many doors for customers who aren’t willing or able to come to your branch’s location, it also protects your business by spreading out your assets. If backups and other important items are stored off-site, the risk of losing everything at once will decrease drastically.

Sounds like more risk, you say? Before this year, many companies had strict policies prohibiting credit unions and other businesses’ employees from taking computers and files off company property. But now, it is imperative that some or all of your workforce be able to work remotely.

Rather than worry about the liability, credit unions that are investing in the future of banking will take this time to survey their digital offerings and security measures in the hopes of implementing newer, bolder solutions like IaaS (infrastructure as a service), virtual desktops, cloud storage, and offsite data backup.

Many of these solutions have the added benefit of being more cost-effective than their previous counterparts.

Let IMS Help

Contact us to see what solutions we can create for your credit union.


Preparing for Hurricane Season

 

The official start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and runs until November 30, but there’s already a tropical storm developing off the coast of Florida. That means it’s time to take another look at your disaster recovery and backup systems to make sure you’re prepared for any storms.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information, the U.S. South, Central and Southeast regions experience a higher frequency of billion-dollar disaster events than any other region in the country. Severe storms like hurricanes and tornadoes lead to extensive power and telecommunications outages, mail service disruption, facility damage and transportation restrictions that impact how people access their money. Credit unions are no exception and may have to shut down or move operations for safety. In these moments it’s crucial your members can rely on you to continue serving the community.

Our client Louisiana Federal Credit Union has experienced many storms over the years, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Isaac. During the aftermath of every storm, their community has relied heavily on Louisiana FCU to provide full financial services. Knowing they are located in a hot zone for natural disasters, the credit union decided to move their core system to a safer region in the Northwest. By upgrading their core system, they now have peace of mind during hurricane season knowing that their services will be available to its members in their time of need.

business people planning at meetingMajor storms can disrupt a financial institution’s operations, sometimes lasting a significant period of time. While some interruptions can be anticipated, others cannot. That’s why it’s critical to have a business continuity plan in place. This is how the DuGood Federal Credit Union was able to effectively begin its backup plan when their data center was in the direct path of a large-scale hurricane.

The credit union knew they needed to act fast for the safety of the business and their staff. Members would be evacuating soon and it was important they could access their funds. After contacting our team, we worked together in coordinating a graceful shutdown of their systems and implemented a remote backup solution. It took less than three hours to back up systems, recover servers and bring up third-party vendor services like the ATM and internet banking. Ultimately, we were able to help with other technical operations as the team evacuated to another office.

With a continuity plan in place, your credit union will be able to jump into action if there’s any disruptive event. Test your disaster recovery service and reassess how well your institution is prepared for threats across all levels. When working with our team, you can count on no-cost annual testing to verify the integrity of your data.

We cannot predict the severity of all disasters, especially when it comes to natural disasters, but there is practice and preparation. Know where to go, identify what critical functions are needed and develop planned responses. 

Don’t wait until a storm is on the horizon to start making plans for your credit union. Contact our team to talk about the disaster recovery solution your credit union has in place. When disaster strikes, you’ll want to focus more on your members, staff and service than on complex logistics.