3 New Year’s resolutions to make in December

Make sure your credit union hits the ground running on January 2, 2019

In the midst of the holiday season, people have to-do lists longer than the strings of twinkle lights they’ve clipped to their gutters. So it’s easy to lose sight of 2019 – to wait until you’re back in the office in January to start gearing your credit union up to succeed in the last year of this decade. But with new technology, marketing tactics and service offerings constantly popping up, you’ll already be behind. Does this mean you need to resolve to jump on every fintech bandwagon, or sleigh, that drives by?

Nope. As with personal resolutions, business resolutions take a little reflection on the past, in addition to looking into the future. The three resolutions below are based on insights from this May 2018 blog.

Resolution #1: Maintain your values

Insight: “Credit unions are not-for-profit, because their purpose is to serve their members and their communities. They have been doing so in the U.S. for more than 100 years. Promoting financial literacy, hosting charitable golf outings, honoring local teachers, awarding scholarships, supporting sustainability and more, credit unions are advocates and avid supporters of their membership and communities.”

No matter how fast the financial services industry moves, credit unions must stay focused on the values that separate them from other financial institutions. And luckily, credit unions share major values like community, sustainability and social responsibility with millennials, one of the largest and most influential populations (estimated at 86 million) in the world today.

Inc.com offers this description: “entrepreneurial and independently minded, millennials care about the world around them and are characteristically more tech-savvy, more well-informed, more product-driven, less brand-focused, and more civic-minded than their predecessors.” Who wouldn’t want to be in a mash-up with millennials? However, credit unions do need to remember that this savvy group is also all about doing things digitally. Maintaining values while prioritizing digital transformation is key.

Resolution #2: Keep setting records

Insight: “Credit unions are also setting records in their own right. Total assets at credit unions reached a record high of $1.4 trillion at the end of 2017. Starting 2018 with a slam dunk, credit unions added 463,000 memberships in January, which is considerably higher than the 209,000 gain recorded in January 2017.”

Ready for an update? CUNA Mutual Group reports that “credit unions added more than 4.208 million memberships in the first nine months of 2018, the fastest pace in credit union history and significantly above the 3.625 million added in the similar time period of 2017.”


Will credit unions keep setting membership records year after year? With the huge millennial market noted above, the opportunity for continued success is real. What will it take? Work to ensure that members have great digital experiences that work across devices and speed up your banking processes with robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent capture, advanced electronic workflows and core banking system integrations.

Resolution #3: Keep an eye on the competition

Insight: “Credit unions are also very aware of their opposition and competitive threats. Many have their eyes on big box banks and fintechs. All are focused on security and how to keep member information safe. It’s an important topic. In fact, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. was $7.35 million, according to a recent study from Ponemon Institute.”

There are a lot of people out there who love the core values of credit unions. Membership is increasing at record rates. Unfortunately, your credit union isn’t the only one who knows this.

Other credit unions, big banks, fintechs and yes, hackers are all aware of the opportunities that connecting great principles with online tools and digital interactions present. The former are digging into research and looking for opportunities to do it better than anyone else. The latter are salivating over the data of millions of credit union members who like to perform banking transactions online.

What can you do? Start looking for high impact customer journeys that can be greatly improved through digital transformation. And don’t try to tackle too many journeys at once. It takes time and resources to perform this kind of discovery. But the benefits can be huge. Redesigning a credit lending journey helped one bank cut the time to fund loans in half and reduced costs by 30 percent. Another bank saved $200 million over four years by transforming the same journey.

As for keeping your customer journeys secure, it’s truly all about choosing the right technology. A content services platform, like OnBase, gives credit unions the ability to capture information securely, keep unstructured data out of risky systems, collaborate securely, and minimize information touch-points.

Take a breath

You may be thinking, there are only three weeks left in 2018, how am I supposed to tackle resolutions now? Resolutions are simply a set of intentions for the New Year. Creating them for your business now can help you get focused and back on track quickly when the holiday craziness simmers down. So take a few minutes. Take a deep breath. And use these resolutions as a jumping off point to tackle 2019 with gusto.

Rick Hiles

Rick Hiles

Rick Hiles is the Credit Union Industry Team Lead at Hyland. His past 6.5 years with the company includes various roles and responsibilities within Marketing and Sales supporting Financial ... Web: https://www.onbase.com/en Details

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