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Posted: May 2, 2018
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Act Small to Gain Trust

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published in Credit Union Times, and has been modified.]

There is no doubt that the credit union industry has been and still is going through quite a bit of change.  From mergers and acquisitions, to regulatory changes, to incorporating technology and attracting younger demographics. Overall, despite the shrinking number of credit unions; membership, loans and share numbers are up. According to Callahan’s Trendwatch Year-End 2017, The Annual Report for the Industry data, total credit union membership reached 112.9 million, up from 108.2 million at the end of 2016. While new auto loans (13.2%), used auto loans (10.3%), first mortgages (10.2%) and credit cards (9.2%) lead the way in annual growth among loans outstanding, and year-over-year growth in share drafts (10.0%), regular shares (7.1%) and share certificates (6.3%) outpace the rest of the portfolio. However, after being somewhat of the “anti-bank”, many argue that credit unions today are beginning to minimize the fact that they are credit unions and changing their profiles to look and feel more like retail banks in order to compete with their financial counterparts. Many have also been incorporating as many banking lingos in their messaging as they can. However, this may not be a good strategy.

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Posted: Apr 16, 2018
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5 Best Practices for Building Your Brand Online

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published in CUES Skybox, and has been modified.]

“Are you using social media?” Often when a credit union’s management is asked this question the answer is almost always a resounding yes! However, for some, this ‘yes’ just confirms that the credit union has established a Twitter account, or that a Facebook page exists. It doesn’t mean that the credit union is engaged or actively participating in the social media space – meaning posting relevant, value-added content consistently; responding to comments from your members timely and/or garnering qualified leads from your social media presence. More importantly, having a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter page doesn’t mean that you are a part of the online conversation; if your social content is static, your credit union’s products and services are probably not being mentioned in any of the threads. Also, your brand does not show up in relevant searches by prospective or existing members or in any online reviews that inform potential members.

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Posted: Apr 5, 2018
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Journey mapping helps in eliminating pain points from the customer experience.

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published in CUNA News, and has been modified.]

If one of your members stopped using your credit card because they didn’t think it had adequate fraud protection, would you know? What if they stopped using your mobile banking app because they had a negative user experience, would you know that? This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the data and intelligence your credit union could learn if you engaged in a member journey mapping program. Knowing this information could mean the difference between retaining and growing that relationship or losing it.

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Posted: Oct 26, 2017
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5 Tips for Building Brand Recognition

(Editor’s Note: This article was previously published on CU Insight)

Back in the day, the standard to having the ultimate brand recognition was making your brand a “household name” meaning it would become a staple or necessity in homes, such as Kleenex and Band-Aids. Today, the standard is making it a verb, that is your brand becomes the word that names the action that is being taken. We no longer ask did you research it, we ask did you “Google” it. And in the payments space, we have observed the PayPal owned Venmo, the peer-to-peer (P2P) payment option of choice for many millennials, achieve this status in a relatively short period of time. We now say “Venmo” me the money.

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Posted: Oct 5, 2017
Categories: Credit Cards, Marketing
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Philadelphia’s American Heritage FCU offers a parachute to members in need

When it comes to the record growth of consumer debt, many questions come to mind. What do we know? What can history teach us? What should a credit union do to keep their members safe? According to Federal Reserve data, total U.S. credit card debt has reached $1 trillion, surpassing a previous mark set in April of 2008 just before the Great Recession. For households that carry credit card debt, the average amount per household is now $9,600, which equals 17 percent of an average U.S. household income. The average interest rate on a credit card is 16 percent, and about 24 percent for those with subpar credit, that debt grows between $1,600 and $2,300 each year. Yet, despite growing household debt at potentially increasing interest rates, most Americans appear to be optimistic about the future due to the stable economy and low unemployment. Unfortunately, all it takes is one major set-back in the way of a job loss or major medical situation to turn the tide and create problems for consumers with high credit card debt.
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