2 Ways To Grow And Squad Goals

Five can't-miss data points this week on CreditUnions.com.

This week, CreditUnions.com shows what a chief growth officer can do, analyzes the industry’s member growth, profiles Navy Fed’s new mortgage platform, and more.

Here are five can’t-miss data points:


When Alissa Sykes was named the first chief growth officer at Sunmark Federal Credit Union in January, it continued a trajectory of personal and career growth that began in high school. Sykes says she never envisioned herself as an executive when starting out, but that she always set goals for personal and professional growth. Now her charge includes broad responsibilities for guiding the growth at her upstate New York credit union, including spending 25% of her time focused on business line management.

Read: What’s In A Name: Chief Growth Officer

50 Cents

Americans continue to join credit unions in record numbers. And while they may at first be attracted to higher interest on their savings and lower interest on their loans than competing banks, don’t discount the member-focused, not-for-profit model that often comes with a heavy dose of financial wellness. Mergers and expanding fields-of-membership are a few ways that individual credit unions can grow their membership base. Quality member service and keeping up with technology also help the cause, and credit unions aren’t shy about making sure Americans know the difference this type of financial institution can make. Those experiences include being exposed to increased marketing, among other things. Marketing expenses per member increased 50 cents year-over-year, from $14.23 in March 2018 to $14.73 as of March 2019.

Read: A Holistic Look At Member Growth


In early March 2013, a video on Business Insider talked about 2010s being the Age of the Customer. Advances in technology have underpinned the proliferation of competitors in the field of financial services, pushing credit unions to work harder to differentiate themselves to attract and maintain members. Nowhere on the balance sheet is that clearer than in the mortgage portfolio. In late 2017 online-only lender Quicken Loans overtook Wells Fargo as the nation’s largest mortgage lender, largely on the strength of its mortgage platform Rocket Mortgage. For credit unions to compete, simplifying the traditionally complicated application process is a good place to start. To that end, Navy Federal Credit Union, the nation’s largest credit union has launched HomeSquad, a mortgage application platform accessible through mobile app or online banking.

Read: Squad Goals: How Navy Federal Simplifies The Homebuying Process

Wave 1

It’s been 11 years since Apple launched its App Store on the iPhone 3G, kicking off a fast-paced mobile consumer revolution and creating an unprecedented opportunity for financial institutions to offer trendsetting features such as multifactor authentication, app-only ATMs, rapid mortgage origination, and AI financial assistants. Unfortunately, the proliferation of apps from an array of vendors has fractured the user experience. So, how can digital teams at credit unions stitch together disparate solutions under a unified corporate brand? 121 Financial Credit Union is tackling the digital experience with a multi-phase program aimed at reducing friction across channels and creating a more agile foundation for adopting future technologies. Wave 1 has a launch date of September 2019 and a two-year completion timeline. Wave 2, which the credit union expects to complete within the next five years, will provide a completely unified digital experience.

Read: An Enhanced Digital Experience Catches The Fast Track At 121 Financial

$272.5 Million

On Oct. 10, Hurricane Michael hit Florida with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph. It was the first Category 5 storm to hit the Panhandle, and the fourth strongest landfalling hurricane in the contiguous U.S. Hundreds of thousands of people had their lives impacted in one way or another: lives were lost, houses destroyed, businesses disrupted. On the ground, the affected communities lost electricity and cell service; fuel to power backup generators and vehicles was scarce; tires were easily damaged as people drove through town in the wake of the storm to begin a clean-up process that continues to this day. When disaster strikes, one thing that everyone needs is access to their money. The $272.5 million Innovations Federal Credit Union knew what it had to do: re-open and provide financial services to members in need. When it did open, four days later, it was the first financial institution to do so. Recently, the credit union and Callahan sat down with CUbroadcast’s Mike Lawson to talk about Innovations’ recovery efforts and Callahan’s Anatomy series.

Watch: CUbroadcast Highlights Callahan’s Anatomy Of Innovations FCU

Happy Reading!

July 29, 2019

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