5 Things To Learn From 4Q 2014 Strategy & Performance

What do dogs, iTunes, and road trips have to do with credit unions? More than you might think.

It’s almost summertime, and whether you are planning an escape to the coast or the mountains or looking forward to a poolsidde staycation, you’ll need plenty of good reading material.

Let me humbly suggest the 4Q 2014 edition of Callahan’s Credit Union Strategy & Performance, which hit desks in late April. It’s full of new ideas and verified best practices guaranteed to send you back to the office fired up and ready to make history at your own organization.

Here are five of the most important ideas and lessons we learned while producing this issue.

1. There’s Power Together

Although still small compared to the commercial banking industry, credit unions as a whole represent more than $1.0 trillion is assets. That’s an economic force comparable to approximately one-sixth of the annual U.S. GDP that is working for the good of members and local communities across the country each and every day.

2.We Just Flew In And Boy, Are Our Arms Tired!

For the past five years, Callahan has visited the hometowns and headquarters of credit everywhere to profile these organizations for the Anatomy section of Strategy & Performance. In all, we’ve flown and driven more than 40,000 miles. That’s equal to more than 11 coast-to-coast trips!

3. Sign On The Dotted Line, Then The Real Fun Begins

When you’re as complex an operation as Washington’s $13.6 billion BECU, you’re likely to need a little outside help. But managing that help which currently includes more than 776 external vendor relationships and 2,800 individual contracts is a full-time job. That’s why BECU hired Jennifer Hancock, its director of vendor management. To date, Hancock’s tracking and efficiency efforts here have saved BECU millions of dollars.

4.Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

When Idaho’s Capital Educators Federal Credit Union introduced its new Tunes checking account, which offers up to $5 reimbursements on Amazon and iTunes purchases, it thought for sure the product would resonate with a Gen Y market. That predication came true, but what the credit union didn’t expect was the ppopularity among Gen X and Boomers as well. As of fourth quarter 2014, checking accounts are up at the credit union by 11.3% year-over-year.

5. Dogs Are A Technologist’s Best Friend

Merrill Halpern, vice president of card services at New York’s United Nations Credit Union, helped his pioneering organization become a leader in EMV deployment far before the technology pinged other institution’s radars. He credits his dog Snickers for calling his attention to chip and pin capabilities, after coming across a treat machine in the vet’s office that accepted that form of payment.

May 8, 2015

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