Vendors to credit unions: Focus on members, we’ll take care of the rest

Credit unions have done an amazing job of serving their members through the COVID-19 pandemic. From skip-a-pays to loan payment deferrals to emergency loans, you’ve been there for your members, demonstrating our people-helping-people mantra.

Very often, credit unions are able to remain laser-focused on serving their members, because someone has your back. Your board members. Your community. Your business partners. Collaboration with business partners helped credit unions through the fallout of the pandemic and as we move forward.

While no one saw COVID-19 coming– nor its vast psychological, social, or economic impact –until it was too late, many of the companies that support credit unions have been working diligently to help keep credit unions up and running through these challenging times. For example…

  • Central Willamette CU was able to stand up cloud services from AWS in a day when the full effect of coronavirus was becoming known–from Virtual Desktop, which allowed staff to work from home, to Amazon Chime, that allowed for digital communication and collaboration. Joey Rudisill, CIO for the credit union, said he loved the data, quick charting and analysis capabilities of Amazon Quick Site, which helped in the short-term, but also set the credit union up for the future.
  • One of the most critical pieces of member service during a crisis is clear, consistent communications. Total Expert Founder & CEO Joe Welu explained that credit unions must consider what they can do to help members regain control of their financial picture. When 83% are scared that COVID-19 will negative affect them and information is changing all the time, their credit union can be the calm in the storm through its communications. Welu conveyed that his company moved swiftly to build a rapid deployment of its data and technology solution to help credit unions educate and inform their members through the crisis, even while branch access was limited or closed.
  • In times of crisis, there are inevitably bad actors who are going to take advantage. Mastercard Senior Managing Consultant Katie Steel shared that her No. 1 recommendation for handling claims and charge backs, is a streamlined, clean intake of the claim with a centralized team working through what’s true fraud versus something like buyers’ remorse. But that’s not always feasible, so equip the people who will be doing any intake (call center or branch rep) with the appropriate training, a strong recognition script, and decision matrix, including identifying relevant transaction elements. Bonus: Since mid-April, CUs can choose to go to arbitration under Mastercard’s rules rather than the merchant controlling the final steps of the process.
  • The SBA Payroll Protection Program was a massive undertaking that moved forward very swiftly; and despite the problems, FIS EVP Rob Lee said that in that context, it actually functioned pretty well. FIS was on the frontline of helping credit unions and other financial institutions handle the massive transaction flow into SBA’s E-Tran System to push through PPP loan applications for small business applicants. Because the company was already working with SBA lenders, it was able to pivot quickly to get money back in small businessowners’ and their employees’ pockets. FIS culled down the intensive process to just 10 minutes for clients that automated it.
  • Patch. Patch. Patch. That was the clear message to credit unions from DefenseStorm’s CISO Bob Thibodeaux. Credit unions should have an ongoing process in place to scan all infrastructure to determine the greatest vulnerabilities and then analyze that data.  Don’t wait too long to patch critical vulnerabilities – no longer than 90 days, but if you have to: prioritize. From there, follow standards and frameworks. Thibodeaux highly recommends taking advantage of free membership from the Center for Internet Security.
  • With so many working remotely, Brian Bodell, AdvantEdge Analytics’ vice president of product management, advised credit unions on a number of must-haves to ensure security of member data. For example, using only company-issued devices for work activities and ensuring the security of home WiFi networks. Simple things like sharing a screen on a video conference can cause problems, so he cautioned to always count to five first to ensure all screens with sensitive data are closed. Additionally, employees should be mindful of their privacy to keep personal information or images to themselves. Finally, always be on guard against cyberthreats. 
  • And Allied Solutions continues to deliver new research and insights on risk mitigation and fraud protection—including up-to-the-minute alerts on the latest scams. CEO Pete Hilger and his team have been coming to market with a constant flow of new products and services to help credit unions and their members protect themselves.   

Based on the efforts of the companies featured, a few things become clear. The future is melding the human and the digital worlds for comprehensive member service, whether in economic prosperity or crisis. The only way to get there is with precision expertise and knowledge that few credit unions, if any, can achieve on their own. Collaboration with the many CUSOs and vendors will help your credit union fill the gaps with domain knowledge and innovation.

NAFCU’s Preferred Partners are constantly investing in next-gen technology, cutting-edge products, and innovative campaigns to help credit unions thrive. To learn more, register for our upcoming 2020 Partner Innovation Spotlight, July 8, 2020 from 2:00-4:00 PM EST. This virtual event will include keynote addresses from NAFCU President Dan Berger, Co-Founder of CUInsight Randy Smith, and CEO of Neural Payments Mick Oppy. See quick and informative demonstrations from our trusted partners on their innovative solutions, enjoy networking opportunities via social media, and much more. Complementary registration is required to attend.

Randy Salser

Randy Salser

Randy Salser was appointed President of NAFCU Services Corporation in October of 2013. He comes to the credit union industry with over 15 years of executive-level experience in the areas ... Web: Details