Engagement Systems, Agile Method, CUSO Collaboration

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

This week, CreditUnions.com asks what a director of engagement systems does, finds out how to move at the speed of technology, profiles one CUSO that helps eight small credit unions compete in a big way, and more.

Here are five can’t-miss data points:


Ent Credit Union rolled out a new customer relationship management system earlier this year and at the same time made a significant personnel move. To help ensure its new CRM system meets its potential, Ent also has committed one of its senior managers to the newly created role of director of engagement systems. Amy Krasikov took on the title at the beginning of 2019, a few months before the Colorado credit union began using the bpm online CRM solution. In her role, Krasikov helps systems and people communicate successfully in ways that support Ent’s goals of service expansion, membership and deposit growth, and member engagement. She estimates she spends 80% of her time developing engagement systems, in design, or in project management.

Read: What’s In A Name: Director Of Engagement Systems

4 Years

IT is a fast-paced field, but Michigan State University Federal Credit Union keeps up with the constant change. Rather than partner with turnkey providers, the MSU-affiliated credit union custom develops services for its digital channels including its website, online banking, and mobile banking in-house. It also develops projects, such as a prepaid debit card and an internal intranet, for outside its digital channels. That ability to develop certain technological products and services internally brings with it the need for a different approach to project management. How does the credit union prioritize project requests? How does it incorporate feedback? With all that is tasked to IT, how does it make sure it gets things done? Four years ago, the credit union adopted the Agile Method of project management.

Read: How To Move At The Speed Of Technology

$3 Billion

A lifelong resident of El Paso, Crystal Long is wired for service and prides herself on being a good listener and collaborator. As President and Chief Executive Officer of GECU, Long was instrumental in leading the credit union to become El Paso’s largest independently owned financial institution. To date, it has nearly $3 billion in assets and more than 800 employees and 385,000 member-owners. In her 39 years with credit unions, Long has been involved in many local and international organizations. From serving as a trustee for two local hospitals and as a board member for multiple organizations to being appointed the fundraising committee chair for the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, Long is dedicated to serving a larger purpose. Here, Long shares her thoughts on what makes a great leader, teachable moments, and why more credit unions should strive to be active participants in a global movement.

Read: Crystal Long On Leadership

10 Months

When six credit unions founded rkGoBig in 2014, the group had one clear goal for the credit union service organization: Help small credit unions scale their operations without merging. It took the cooperatives 10 months to map out an initial three-year shared services integration plan, which included a common core system, online banking solution, and debit card processor. The plan also integrated the credit unions’ collections, compliance, and vendor management efforts. The idea of joining forces to achieve scale is nothing new, but that doesn’t make it easy to coordinate. For the credit union participants to increase efficiency and save money, the CUSO spent much of its initial years planning, negotiating, streamlining processes, and converting systems. Here, learn more about the growth of rkGoBig, achievements of the past five years, and lessons learned along the way.

Read: How 1 CUSO Helps 8 Small Credit Unions Compete In A Big Way

2% – 2.25%

The month of July concluded with a widely expected rate cut from the Federal Reserve, which lowered the fed funds target range 25 basis points (bps) to 2% 2.25%. The interest on excess reserves (IOER) rate was also lowered by 25 bps to 2.10% and the Fed will end balance-sheet reduction two months ahead of what was previously scheduled (also expected ahead of the meeting). Fed funds futures had been pricing for rate cuts since late 2018, and the probability of a July cut rose to 100% following Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before Congress on July 10. As such, market participants were more focused on the FOMC’s tone and forward guidance following its July 31 meeting. Would the Fed characterize the move as the beginning of a new easing cycle, or would the July decision be more of a one-and-done insurance cut? The official statement and press conference were not totally clear (or perhaps inconsistent) on that front.

Read: Markets More Skeptical On Economic Outlook

Happy Reading!

August 12, 2019

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