Business continuity planning is a crucial part of any credit union’s operations as natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, floods, tornadoes and more can strike at any time, anywhere and without warning. Whether it is increased demand for cash or the distribution of supportive messaging, it is imperative credit unions and their employees have well-practiced plans for weathering natural disasters.
The unknowns and uncontrollable factors following a natural disaster – severity of impact, access to power, availability of fuel and household goods, necessity of travel and medical attention, among other concerns – can impact even the best-prepared credit unions. Building relationships with trusted partners and key resources to leverage not only during the course of normal business but also during times of need can help an organization weather any storm.
A true cooperative partner, a credit union service organization (CUSO) adds value to enable the success of both the CUSO and its credit union owners. A CUSO delivers incremental benefits to its owners through scale in buying power, partnerships with industry leaders and direct access to the services credit unions need to compete with banks and other financial services providers in today’s marketplace. Partnerships with CUSOs empower credit unions everywhere to offer competitively priced and innovative products and services that make a real difference in members’ lives and during critical moments when members’ need for help is the greatest.
PSCU, the nation’s premier payments CUSO, makes it a priority to put the member experience first in everything it does for its Owner credit unions. This not only includes providing payments-related products and services on a daily basis, but it also means jumping in to help support Owners when they are in need of assistance to keep their businesses up and running – like providing extensions on card payments or advice in the aftermath of a natural disaster. All year long, PSCU’s 2,200 employees in locations around the country serve as an extension of their credit unions’ resources, making it possible for credit unions to deliver seamless experiences for members 24/7/365, regardless of the forecast.
Over the last two years, PSCU has assisted more than 75 credit unions during over 300 different, unforeseen crises, including eight hurricanes, three major wildfires, two earthquakes and numerous other events, including blizzards, power outages, floods and tornadoes. PSCU prides itself on working closely with its Owner credit unions before, during and after natural disasters, as well as throughout the year, to prepare for these types of events. The relationship between a credit union and its CUSO shows the real value of a CUSO goes beyond dollars and cents.
In times of the greatest need and uncertainty, a credit union can be more than the financial foundation of the community — it can be a reassuring sign that things will soon return to normal. Preparing for natural disasters, building key relationships with trusted partners and resources and ensuring members are able to receive the services they need without interruption will ensure a credit union is at its best, even in the worst of times.