The environment credit unions operate in is constantly changing amid new regulations and compliance issues, evolving technologies and shifts in members’ needs. But while these changes present their own set of challenges, they also come with great opportunities.
When leveraged correctly, today’s financial services environment offers many ways credit unions can stay ahead of the curve while stimulating their own growth. Here are a few options to consider as you seek new ways to help your members and grow your credit union’s bottom line:
Investing in technology
Credit unions are investing significant resources in new technologies, and it’s no wonder why – technological advancements are disrupting the way consumers use financial institutions. From online banking to remote deposit or contactless payment, credit unions need to embrace the tools and services that can make it easier for members to manage their finances. Credit unions that stay ahead of the technological curve – in both services and the protection of members’ sensitive data – will be the ones best positioned to grow and thrive in the marketplace of tomorrow.
Member business lending
Credit union member business lending – commercial lending – can be critical to boosting local economies and strengthening credit unions’ bottom lines. Commercial lending can mean the difference between the success or failure of a member small business. When conducted in a safe, sound manner, it offers an avenue for diversifying the credit union loan portfolio and growing net interest income.
Investing in a credit union service organization (CUSO)
CUSOs can offer a cost-effective means to expand member services and strengthen the bottom line. As fintech expands and more market disruptors enter the financial space, CUSOs can help drive down costs per loan, increase access to new technology and expertise and give credit unions a stronger foothold in the consumer financial services market.
Other growth opportunities
My own expertise in strategic growth planning includes significant experience guiding Webster First Federal Credit Union through a number of mergers over the past many years. Some institutions approach mergers as a way to strengthen and diversify the balance sheet, but it’s important for credit unions contemplating a merger to consider how the institutions involved will complement one another and ensure the best outcome for members.
I’ll be speaking about the merger process during the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions’ Strategic Growth Conference March 5-7 in Nashville. I’m excited to be part of this conference – NAFCU has built the agenda to give attendees revenue-boosting solutions that are achievable now.
We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing world, so it’s important for credit unions to take advantage of these opportunities before they’re gone. I hope to see you at the Strategic Growth Conference in March – the strategies it will cover will help you as you forge a path to keep your credit union the best financial institution it can be.