Welcome to the March 2019 edition of the MCUL Priority Report. This month, we’ll highlight our successful CUNA GAC, progress made with our launch of the Open Your Eyes Awareness campaign, and updates on CUSG’s new directions.
2019 CUNA GAC
Well, another CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference is now behind us. Over 130 Michigan credit union advocates joined a total of 5,300 strong in our nation’s capitol. In addition to the lobbying efforts, there were numerous great speakers and lots of networking fun. While in DC, we talked about these issues:
This week in D.C. provided an excellent opportunity to educate members of our congressional delegation, particularly our four new members and their staff on the credit union difference. And I want to thank the incredible 130 advocates from our Michigan credit union community who showed up strong in Washington for the GAC.
On the state side, Data Breach is our primary focus as new legislation has been recently introduced. Legislation has been introduced that provides for a 45-day notification window in which merchants who have experienced a breach would have to provide notification. We will continue to work with all industry groups to enact legislation that is a reasonable and meaningful solution to help with the data breach challenge faced by card issuers. We’re working on this issue both in Washington and Lansing.
On the regulatory front, our team has met with representatives of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to discuss payday lending, HMDA and the bureau’s rulemaking under new leadership. Additionally, we met with the NCUA Board Chairman, McWatters, to discuss a handful of issues, including their concerns over the Financial Accounting Standards Board – Current Expected Credit Loss model – and how the NCUA is working to assist credit unions with implementation. We also spent quality time with our new DIFS CU Division Director, Denise Schulteiss in Washington. So, the GAC was productive on the regulatory front as well.
Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union
This year’s GAC also gave us a deeper look at the new CUNA national awareness campaign, dubbed, “Open your Eyes to a Credit Union.” Currently, our team is coordinating with CUNA on brand messaging platforms while our own FocusIQ and CUBE TV partners are scheduling out the commercial tapings. We are proud to be completely synced up with the CUNA national campaign. And if you wonder if you should contribute to that effort, just know that you already are. That’s right. By supporting the MCUL CU Link campaign this year, all of those dollars will go into Michigan media buys for ads that promote the new CUNA theme in our state.
Our goal now is to reinforce the reasons why 550 Michigan consumers and 10,000 nationally are joining a credit union each day. When it comes to consumer and small business financial services, credit unions are the highest-value, most-trusted offering available. This is what the CUNA/League system is all about — being a catalyst for cooperative efforts that advance the credit union model state by state.
We expect to hit the media markets this coming spring with more than $2.2M in advertising over a full 12-month cycle. Look for more information in the weeks ahead on our social media platforms and on our website. And thank you in advance for your strong financial support for the promotion of the credit union difference in Michigan and nationally.
You should also know that the MCUL Board authorized an additional $250,000 to be sent to CUNA to help with research and future ad creation to help credit unions nationally. We did this on your behalf.
Money Smart Week
March 30 kicks off Money Smart Week, which has been extended to the cover the full month of April. Preschool financial education books will be read and distributed to 8,000 families attending story time events at public libraries across the state. Sixty-eight libraries have teamed up with credit unions to offer supplemental financial education for the youth or for the parents during these events.
With a goal of helping people build a strong financial future, MCUF is again funding the Enhanced Financial Counseling Certification Training program. CUNA’s enhanced FiCEP curriculum features webinars and live training sessions giving staff the ability to guide members and increase their financial capability. MCUF funding contributes to lower costs and provides full scholarships to small credit unions. Additionally, the Foundation is contributing professional development by providing 6 full scholarships to the CUNA Management School this year. Visit the website for more information and to apply.
2019 Compliance Conference
Last month, MCUL wrapped up a highly successful Compliance Conference. We’re happy to report this year had the highest attendance ever. Nearly 40 percent of all Michigan credit unions had at least one individual register and benefit from the many values the event offered. We are proud to deliver networking and educational events that showcase up-and-coming technology, influential speakers and industry best practices.
The 2019 calendar is full of professional development opportunities, including the Lending and Marketing Conference as well as the Spring Leadership Development Conference, coming up in April. We encourage you to take advantage of these unique experiences. Also, don’t forget to register for this year’s Annual Convention in Detroit. We’re looking forward to another year of outstanding keynote speakers Will Bowen and Rick Barrera. Visit our website for more information on our big event.
Our Michigan credit union community knows how committed we are to provide a full array of compliance tools and consulting to Michigan credit unions. Our Destination Compliance houses all of the resources and tools available to affiliated credit unions. They of course include the InfoSight product, Policy Pro for model policies and Complysight for an affordable compliance auditing tool.
We’re excited to be announcing soon that we will also offer a service called AffirmX in our state. The AffirmX platform provides credit unions with a more full-service compliance audit and remediation solution. Yes, it will cost more, but for credit unions who don’t have in-house compliance staff, this is a great product for satisfying examiner requests for a risk monitoring and compliance program inside your credit union.
CUSG is working to finalize the acquisition of AffirmX products in the credit union sector and we will have more information on this product suite by the end of June. We will also showcase this at our annual convention.
So, speaking of CUSG…
CU SOLUTIONS GROUP
In addition to the announced CUSG acquisition of AffirmX’s patented risk management and compliance solutions, CUSG’s Technology and Marketing Solutions divisions continue to keep a pulse on the latest technology trends so that we can deliver cutting-edge tools to credit unions. Our LifeSteps Wallet app enables credit unions to meet members’ mobile banking expectations by leveraging its one-app mobile banking+ strategy including a full suite of features that help members with banking, home, auto and financial wellness activities.
Upcoming developments for the app include single sign-on mobile banking, account aggregation, a credit union–centric P2P solution, updated ATM locator, engaging educational videos and more.
CU Ledger Partnership
CUSG is also exploring partnerships that will help credit unions offer small-dollar, fractional share investing tools to members as well as more features for home and auto buying and maintenance. Our announced partnership with CU Ledger will also integrate blockchain technology to help provide a more secure authentication process for mobile banking and related services through LifeSteps.
If your credit union is interested in seeing how easily this solution makes enhanced mobile banking for your members, we are happy to share more information and regularly host live demonstrations.
Our technology team also continues forward with a full reinvention of our web CMS interface. Because many of the developments in progress were inspired from client feedback and input, we’re confident this reinvention will grow the appeal and heighten the usability of this pillar product. If there are features you would like to see in the future, this is a great time to reach out and let us know. We’re proud to be a partner with over 100 Michigan credit unions for their website enhancements and hosting.
Moving to our Marketing Solutions division, tax season is nearing its end and to help our current Love My Credit Union Rewards clients, we’ve posted late-season TurboTax assets in the Partner Center. These marketing materials will help motivate and capture members who haven’t yet filed their taxes — and as the IRS reports, we have a relatively high number of late filers this year. This latest promotional messaging highlights the protection offered when members use TurboTax during this time of complex tax reform. Always up-to-date on the latest tax laws, TurboTax guarantees 100 percent accuracy in its calculations, so your members can be confident their taxes are done right and that they will get the largest refund possible.
These promotional assets offer a great opportunity for you to speak with members about how to use their tax refund, like opening a share savings account at your credit union. They also position your credit union as a trusted resource, encouraging members to return to you for more of their financial questions and needs.
LMCUR Sprint Promotion
Of course, consumers are always looking for deals to save money, not just at tax time. The current LMCUR Sprint promotion is a great example of why more and more people are finding their way to a local credit union to take advantage of these incredible offers. With Sprint’s Unlimited plan, your members can now save more than $1,000 in their first year over Verizon and AT&T with five lines. As part of this current promotion, when your members switch to Sprint, they get their 3rd, 4th and 5th lines free. That means they get Unlimited for just $20 per month per line for five lines, which is phenomenal savings delivered by your credit union.
Beyond these enticing deals, we’re working to expand LMCUR. We’re currently in talks with several companies that offer products in the areas of home security, insurance, car maintenance and more to join the LMCUR program. If you’re not currently taking advantage of the Love My Credit Union Rewards membership enhancement program, we’re happy to help you get started. Of course, all of these offers can also be included in your credit union’s LifeSteps Wallet app.
Performance Pro and Compease
Our Performance Solutions division continues to work on our industry-leading Performance Pro and Compease products that are used by over 700 U.S. credit unions, of which roughly 50 are in Michigan.
The team is also in the process of incorporating a learning management system into its HR performance management software, Performance Pro. This will enable credit unions to customize training curriculums with each performance review and coaching session. In addition to being a strong motivating factor for employees, a unique and structured plan for professional development is a sound way to continually grow talent within your credit union. I take a deeper dive into this concept, and more specifically the balance between structure and creativity in the performance management process, in my latest installment of CEO Connect. I invite you to listen to the video or read the article and give me your feedback.
Strategic Advisory Services
Finally, our newest division, Strategic Advisory Services is preparing to introduce a new approach to eAdvisory — a digital way to deliver consulting and subject-matter expertise. CUSG’s eAdvisory Services will include digitally delivered consulting modules, such as webinars and white papers, that will be available to credit unions. The purpose of these modules is to expand the reach of consulting services to those individuals or credit unions with limited budgets, such as a small asset–size institutions or young leaders, and to develop scalability with the most in-demand topics. The team’s first two videos will address BSA training and board financial literacy. We’ll have more details in the coming weeks.
Also, those of you who attended the MCUL Compliance Conference know that CUSG Strategic Advisory is rolling out a Marijuana-related Business Analysis. Available to Michigan credit unions, this data scrub service will help financial institutions draw attention to potential exposure from marijuana-related businesses. Credit unions interested in this service should reach out to our team for assistance.
And I also want to put a plug in for CUSG’s Planning Pro product as you think about planning season coming up. It will help with the planning process and your refreshed plan metrics. But we also have great consultants who can facilitate this year’s planning.
And finally, look for our new governance policy product, Governease soon. Similarly, both the product and the associated consulting will help your credit union develop and enhance the kind of board level policies needed for effective Board execution.
Our mission is to help credit unions serve, grow and remain strong. We are proud of the impact our industry has on the state, our communities and your members.
If you have questions or suggestions on how MCUL and CUSG can better meet your needs, you know where to find us.