FedNow + Cloud: The Perfect Match for Credit Unions?


The financial landscape is going through a significant shift with the launch of the Federal Reserve’s instant payments service, FedNow. Designed to enable real-time payment processing, this service is set to revolutionize the way financial institutions operate, driving them towards embracing cloud-based solutions, such as IMS’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). As credit unions try to keep up with the demands of real-time payments and deliver enhanced member experiences, the cloud is a key catalyst of innovation and growth.

Let’s dive into the impact of the FedNow launch on financial institutions and discover how cloud adoption can drive credit union evolution.

The FedNow Initiative: The Push Towards the Cloud

The FedNow service, set to revolutionize the payments ecosystem, has captured the attention of financial institutions across the United States. According to a recent report by PYMNTS.com, the launch of FedNow is pushing financial institutions to embrace the cloud. 

Real-time payment processing capabilities pose unique challenges and opportunities for credit unions. With payments happening instantly, credit unions must ensure their infrastructure can handle the volume of real-time data and transactions without disruptions. 

Here’s how the launch of FedNow is driving credit unions to embrace cloud-based solutions:

Scalability for the Modern Digital Landscape

Cloud computing empowers credit unions with a highly scalable infrastructure, tailor-made to meet the demands of real-time payments. With the ability to dynamically adjust resources based on transaction volumes, credit unions can ensure a seamless experience for their members, even during peak times.

Cost-Effectiveness and Resource Optimization

Cloud-based solutions offer credit unions a cost-effective approach to adopting cutting-edge technology. Unlike traditional on-premises systems that require significant upfront investments, cloud services such as IMS’s IaaS follow a pay-as-you-go model. This allows credit unions to allocate resources efficiently, focusing on providing value-added services to members without compromising their financial stability.

Enhanced Security and Fraud Prevention

Data security is critical. The FedNow service requires robust security measures to protect against fraud and data breaches. Cloud service providers invest heavily in security protocols, offering advanced data encryption and continuous threat monitoring. By leveraging cloud-based security solutions, credit unions can bolster their fraud prevention capabilities and safeguard sensitive financial data, earning their members’ trust.

Seamless Integration and Simplifying Member Experiences

Credit unions thrive on personalized member experiences, and the cloud’s seamless integration capabilities enable them to deliver just that. By connecting core banking systems and payment platforms with cloud-based solutions, credit unions can facilitate real-time payments through FedNow with minimal disruptions. This frictionless integration enhances member experiences and fosters loyalty.

Innovation and Future-Proofing Credit Unions

Beyond instant payments, the cloud opens doors to innovation for credit unions. With a flexible cloud infrastructure, credit unions can experiment with emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies empower credit unions to optimize operations, personalize member interactions, and proactively detect and prevent fraud. Embracing the cloud future-proofs credit unions, ensuring they stay relevant and resilient.

Pioneering FedNow & Real-Time Payments with IMS’s IaaS Solution

After the official launch of FedNow last July 2023, credit unions find themselves on the verge of a digital revolution in real-time payments. While only a small portion of banks have taken the lead, credit unions can seize the opportunity to redefine their member services.

By embracing cloud-based technologies like IMS’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service, credit unions can leverage scalability, cost-effectiveness, enhanced security, and innovation to meet members’ growing expectations.

Connect with IMS today and revolutionize your credit union’s real-time payment capabilities.

Embracing Costovation: How Credit Unions Can Adopt Lean Business Practices


In today’s rapidly changing financial landscape, credit unions face increasing competition from traditional banks and fintech companies. To stay relevant and continue providing exceptional member experiences, credit unions must find innovative ways to streamline their operations and reduce costs while maintaining high-quality services. One approach that has gained traction is costovation — a strategy that combines cost reduction with innovation. Let’s discuss the concept of costovation, its benefits, and why credit unions should embrace it to enhance member experience and stay competitive.

What is Costovation?

Costovation refers to the process of reducing costs while simultaneously improving products or services, resulting in an enhanced customer experience. It is about doing more with less, finding creative ways to deliver value without compromising quality. This approach can help credit unions differentiate themselves from competitors while maintaining efficiency and financial stability.

Benefits of Costovation for Credit Unions

By focusing on cost-effective innovations and streamlining processes, credit unions can offer better products and services tailored to the specific needs of their members. This can result in higher satisfaction levels and increased member loyalty.

Implementing costovation strategies can also help credit unions identify inefficiencies and optimize workflows. This can lead to reduced operational expenses and improved resource allocation, allowing credit unions to focus on member-centric initiatives.

As credit unions embrace costovation, they can develop unique offerings that set them apart from traditional banks and fintech companies. This differentiation can help credit unions attract new members and retain existing ones. But with the vast amount of data available, credit union data analytics and discovery is essential. Raw, unfiltered data is unhelpful because you’re unable to use it to discover new insights and inform your approach moving forward. 

This Credit Union National Association (CUNA) article goes into more detail on how costovation can help businesses innovate without the high price tag.

5 Ways Credit Unions Can Implement Costovation

  1. Embrace Digital Transformation: Adopting digital solutions can help credit unions automate manual processes, reduce costs, and enhance member experience. For instance, investing in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) allows credit unions to leverage a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure by outsourcing their computing resources, storage, and networking components to a third-party provider. 
  2. Leverage Data Analytics: Utilizing data analytics can help credit unions gain insights into member behavior and preferences, enabling them to develop targeted products and services. This can lead to increased member satisfaction and reduced operational costs by eliminating offerings that do not resonate with the target audience. It can also help credit unions avoid the pitfalls of bad data.
  3. Optimize Branch Operations: Credit unions should evaluate their branch networks to identify areas for improvement, such as consolidating underperforming branches or adopting lean staffing models. Additionally, implementing self-service kiosks or video teller machines can help reduce staffing costs and provide members with faster, more convenient service.
  4. Collaborate with Fintech Companies: Partnering with fintech companies can enable credit unions to access innovative solutions at a lower cost than developing them in-house. These collaborations can help credit unions enhance their product offerings, streamline operations, and improve member experiences.
  5. Invest in Employee Training and Development: By investing in employee training and development, credit unions can equip their staff with the skills and knowledge necessary to identify cost-saving opportunities and implement costovation strategies effectively.

Costovation in Action for Credit Unions

Some credit unions have simplified their loan application processes by leveraging digital platforms and data analytics, resulting in reduced processing times and improved member satisfaction.

Another common example of costovation is the introduction of remote deposit capture technology, which has allowed credit unions to reduce costs associated with processing paper checks while providing members with a convenient way to deposit funds.

By participating in shared branching networks, credit unions can offer their members access to a wider range of services and locations without incurring the costs associated with operating additional branches.

Costovation is an innovative approach that can help credit unions reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance member experience. By embracing costovation strategies, credit unions can differentiate themselves from competitors, attract new members, and ensure long-term financial stability. Ultimately, adopting costovation can lead to the development of lean businesses that people love, fostering a strong sense of community and loyalty among credit union members.

Costovation for your Credit Union with IMS Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) can play a vital role in helping credit unions implement costovation strategies. This approach eliminates the need for credit unions to invest heavily in on-premises hardware and maintenance, resulting in reduced capital expenditure and operational costs. By adopting IaaS, credit unions can allocate their resources more efficiently, focusing on member-centric initiatives and delivering better services without compromising on quality.

In addition to cost savings, IaaS also promotes innovation by providing credit unions with the agility and flexibility to quickly scale their infrastructure as needed, enabling them to respond to market changes and member demands more effectively. With access to state-of-the-art technology and tools, credit unions can develop and deploy new products and services faster, enhancing their competitiveness and member experience. 

By embracing IaaS with IMS as part of their costovation strategy, credit unions can build leaner, more agile organizations that are better equipped to adapt to the evolving financial landscape and deliver exceptional value to their members. Connect with us today if you have any questions or let us discuss our solutions tailored to your credit union!