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Posted: Dec 1, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published on “Anthem”, the online News & Info site of the Northwest Credit Union Association, and has been modified.]

When members think about services provided by their credit union, they might first think about their share draft account, a debit card, bill pay, loans, and credit cards - basic services offered by almost all financial institutions. But, something new is happening when it comes to these services. No, not new services, but rather something called “banking on the fringes.”

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Posted: Nov 3, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

Another way Credit Unions can keep members happy, reduce declines, and keep cards top-of-wallet.

The ability for an issuer to approve a “Partial Authorization” has been available since 2005, yet most issuers and merchants still don’t take advantage of it. As a result, transactions on debit, prepaid, and gift cards frequently get declined, resulting in frustrated cardholders, and lost sales. 

Simply put, a Partial Authorization occurs when an authorization request for a card presented to a merchant is attempted for the full amount of the transaction and, if there are not enough funds in the debit or prepaid or gift account available to cover the full amount, the authorization is approved for the amount available. This allows the cardholder to use the available amount in the account, and for the merchant to obtain an additional form of payment for the difference. For non-reloadable gift Cards, the issuers will also return a card balance which will be printed on the receipt. Partial Authorization keeps transactions alive without the merchant telling a customer it has been declined and allows the cardholder to pay the remaining amount with another form of payment.

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Posted: Oct 26, 2017
Comments: 0

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: Sep 21, 2017
Comments: 0
Author: Michele Featherstone

As “banking at the fringes” chips away at traditional banking services, credit unions need to shore up their offerings.

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published on CU Today and has been modified.]

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (the OSFI is the Canadian equivalent of the US Office of the Comptroller of Currency) has issued a restriction – that any non-banks must remove the terms “bank”, “banker” and “banking” from any references provided by that financial institution. Any financial institutions that continue to use these terms can face criminal charges. “The restriction applies to all non-bank financial service providers, including both federal regulated trust and loan companies and provincially regulated institutions (i.e. credit unions). So processing checks, granting loans, and managing individuals’ wealth is not considered banking in Canada.

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Posted: Jul 13, 2017
Categories: Regulations, Consulting
Comments: 0
Author: Lou Grilli

Thanks to recent NCUA changes to open up and simplify member business lending.

In Callahan & Associates’ most recent credit union Trendwatch, record high loan originations was one of the highlights of the growth of credit unions’ portfolios, placing the total loan portfolio held by credit unions in the U.S. at close to $900 billion. While auto loans led the growth in percentage terms at 16.8%, a surprising category emerged in second place at 15.5% growth – Member Business Loans (MBL). The driver of this come-from-behind category of lending is the recent changes made by the NCUA to open up and simplify member business lending. While some credit unions have jumped on the opportunity created by the changes, many credit unions still have not dove back into granting the type of loans that first created credit unions – member business loans.
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