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The Value of Community

Did you know that the credit union movement is over 150 years old? The movement started when a group of neighbors pooled their resources together to create a better standard of living by offering easy access to funds for neighbors who needed loans. And thus, the creation of a global community based on the premise of people helping people was created. Fast forward to 2021 and we see that the credit union mantra of “people helping people” is still an excellent example of a community and business model built on a shared philosophical principle. And as we have seen with the changes in consumer preferences over time, values-based companies are preferred when consumers decide with whom and where to conduct their business.

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Rethinking the Loan Application Process

At Connect, we have continual dialog with our credit union clients to ensure we deliver the ultimate online and mobile loan application user experience for their loan applicants. Today’s consumers expect an expedient application process with quick, if not immediate, decisioning on their loan application.

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Balancing the Digital-First Strategy

At Connect, we believe several components create a successful digital banking experience for you and your members. Consider the financial services digital ecosystem as a three-legged stool. Each leg on the stool is of equal importance to maintain the balance of the ecosystem. The first leg of the stool is the digital application. The second leg of the stool is the end-user experience. The third leg of the stool is the credit union’s corporate culture.

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Essential Questions for your Prospective Digital Banking Services Provider

The move to digital by many consumers as a result of COVID has caused financial institutions to re-examine their digital strategy. Credit unions are considering expanding, refreshing or switching to a new digital banking provider to deliver services that better meet the needs of their members. To fulfill your digital strategy and compete to retain existing and acquire new members in the digital channel, here are a few key questions to help you qualify prospective digital services providers. Whether you are adding a new product/service or conducting discovery for a new digital banking provider here are the tough questions to ask to ensure the product/service meets the specific needs of your digital strategy. After all, it is critical to have digital partners and not just providers.

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Learn From the Past, Design for the Future

It's hard to believe that the first quarter of 2021 has come to a close. This year's first-quarter performance analysis will be slightly different from past years as the changes in channel delivery strategies are examined for growth, retention, and profitability. Chances are your organizational performance goals and the channels used to meet those goals are prioritized differently than they were a year ago. As you look in the strategic rearview mirror, it’s clear that the shifting member behaviors resulting from 2020 require a "fresh" review of your digital banking strategy. In the past, ongoing product planning and marketing would add additional features to draw members and prospects into a branch continuously. With the prioritization of the digital channel as the primary acquisition and retention channel in 2021, those strategies and resources allocated to the branch are probably shifting to your digital banking platform.

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Simplicity in the Digital Age. Where Have You Gone?

Simplicity. How we tend to forget it in our quest for innovation. What consumers really want in technology is simplicity. Why? Simplicity creates processes that increase efficiency. The simpler the technology is to use, the more tasks can be done in the same amount of time, making it efficient. And efficiency creates increased productivity. Consumers want a digital experience that is simple (easy to use), efficient (saves time), and productive (complete multiple “to-do” items) in the digital channel.

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Combating Remote Check Deposit Fraud with Technology

One of the most frequently used features of any mobile banking app is Remote Deposit Capture. Mobile deposits are quick and convenient, and they encourage adoption of digital banking by increasing the member’s flexibility in conducting their financial transactions when they want, where they want. The increased adoption of mobile banking as a result of COVID and the corresponding increase in the usage of Remote Deposit Capture have led to a rise in the potential for fraud. While smartphones have made it easier for members to deposit their checks, check fraud is pervasive in the digital channel. Technology can increase the consumer convenience to conduct a transaction and potentially reduce expenses for the institution, but it can also lead to additional fraud losses from charge offs and delinquencies.

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Digital Disruption is All Around Us. Embrace It.

Digital disruption is defined by Gartner as an effect that changes the fundamental expectations and behaviors in a culture, market, industry, or process that is caused by, or expressed through, digital capabilities, channels, or assets. Digital disruption, then, generally signals a shifting consumer landscape. It is important to note that cutting-edge technology is being developed every day, however, the true disruptors in a given industry are technologies that meet an evolving or perceived need. Changing demographic needs are often the catalyst for digital disruption, such as the Millennial preference for electronic shopping and banking.

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The Future of Shared Branching

Spring is just around the corner and with it comes change, new ideas and fresh starts. It serves as the perfect point in time to discuss strategies that will usher in new growth for the organization. In the credit union world, shared branching has always been a unique feature which allowed members access to a greater number of branches and ATMs by linking otherwise independent credit unions. This, in turn, has enabled credit unions to compete with financial institutions that have a larger branch footprint.

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Generation Wealth: The Great American Wealth Transfer

Once known as the largest generation of the American population, Baby Boomers, identified as people born between the years 1944 and 1964, are about to transfer $68 trillion in wealth to the younger generations in the coming years. Today, Baby Boomers overwhelmingly control the majority of wealth in the United States and with more than 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day, experts agree that it will be the biggest wealth transfer in American history.

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