Having just returned from CUNA’s GAC, I’m feeling energized and excited about the opportunities ahead for the credit union movement. The numbers speak for themselves. As CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle highlighted at the conference, last year “more than $16 billion in benefits [were] provided to members and non-members alike. Credit unions added nearly 5 million members last year and grew five times faster than the U.S. population.”
Our industry’s growth story is punctuated by the outsized impact credit unions have had in serving local communities: in the midst of a government shutdown, the movement helped provide over $46 million low or no-interest loans to federal employees, showing once again that in times of need, credit unions answer the call.
While credit unions continue to provide an important service, we are constantly reminded that our industry is changing faster than ever. Yesterday, Apple announced the launch of the Apple credit card. Last week, another ground-shifting acquisition was announced between FIS and Worldpay. It was the second big shakeup in the payments industry this year, following the Fiserv/First Data acquisition announced in mid-January. While it is too early to know for sure what implications these consolidations will have on the world of payments processing, they underscore two truths that we have believed for years:
continue reading »