Posted May 19th, 2020 No Comments
Army of Volunteer Advocates Enrollment Begins

The Nebraska Credit Union League (League) launched the Army of Volunteer Advocates (AVA) earlier this year to engage credit union volunteers interested in getting more involved in credit union advocacy efforts. Credit union volunteers can now enroll in the program.  {Read The Full Article}

Posted April 20th, 2020 No Comments
What Can CUs Do to Bring A Positive Message in This Time of Fear

We are facing an unprecedented time in our lives with the coronavirus upon us and people taking every imaginable precaution to “be safe” and survive the aftermath.  {Read The Full Article}

Posted April 20th, 2020 No Comments
Upcoming NCUL Events

Mark your calendars for the Fall upcoming events:

 

CU4Kids Carnival – August 4

Capital Club Classic Golf Outing – August 26

Social Media Bootcamp – September TBD

Compliance Conference – September 23-24

Annual Meeting & Convention – October 15-16

 

Posted April 20th, 2020 No Comments
MembersOwn CU Defeats NE Bankers’ FOM Lawsuit

A tremendous victory for MembersOwn Credit Union, and all Nebraska credit unions, is official following the passing of the deadline for the Nebraska Bankers Association and Nebraska Independent Community Bankers Association to appeal the District Court of Lancaster County’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the bankers against the credit union for expanding their field of membership into eight additional Nebraska counties.  {Read The Full Article}

Posted April 20th, 2020 No Comments
Exceptional Service in Unprecedented Times

Amid the daily release of new information regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), the idea of business as usual has been turned upside down. In fact, there’s not much “as usual” going on anywhere these days. {Read The Full Article}

Posted April 20th, 2020 No Comments
How to Help – CU4Kids & Children’s Hospital During the Pandemic

During this uncertain time, we know that operations in your credit union have been changing by the day.  For many, fundraising has maybe been put on the back burner as we have to focus our energies on serving our members and taking care of our employees.  {Read The Full Article}

Posted April 20th, 2020 No Comments
Helping Credit Unions Cope with The New Normal

As credit union begin to adapt to a new reality to meet members’ needs – the League is here to help. We recognize that credit unions are having to remain nimble, find workarounds, and respond quickly as the situation develops. {Read The Full Article}

Posted April 20th, 2020 No Comments
Heartland Credit Union Association Councils

These councils will promote collaboration among all Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska credit unions as the primary source for uniting individuals and credit unions by sharing best practices, education, and resources. {Read The Full Article}

Posted April 20th, 2020 No Comments
Debit in the New Decade

Advance Your Digital Debit Experience

This past decade has been one of constant innovation in the financial space with new technologies and solutions being driven by consumer demands. For example, it was the consumer demand for safety and privacy that birthed the EMV chip card which has now become the standard for all debit and credit cards. However, with the additional security measures came longer checkout times, which caused consumer preferences to swing to a frictionless checkout process, with 61% of consumers stating this in a Celent poll of 40 financial institutions. This brought about contactless cards and mobile payments which use tokenization technology to both fulfill the need for safety while also drastically cutting down checkout times.

Technologies such as these will only continue to expand in this new and exciting decade and will affect the entire financial industry, especially the Debit space. It is imperative that financial institutions listen to what their consumers want and deliver the right technology that fits their customer base.


Why upgrade now?

Historically, merchants of all sizes have been slow to upgrade their Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals to allow customers to use the latest technology. This is due to most merchants preferring to wait and see if there is an actual need for it before investing in a widespread adoption. This has caused some financial institutions to take the same approach, waiting to invest in mobile/contactless payments until a clear market has been established. However, as Millennials and Generation Z continue to gain spending power, and with these customers wanting the latest tech, financial institutions need to make the switch now or risk losing this customer base.

Through expansion of their mobile and contactless payments offerings, financial institutions (FIs) can boost their debit business and create benefits for both them as well as their customers. Currently, debit cards are the most popular payment type for Millennials (39%) and Gen Z (31%) and second for Gen X (29%) and Baby Boomers (28%) (Statista). By allowing consumers to put their debit cards onto their phone through a mobile wallet, FIs are giving people convenience and ease of purchase. Whether they are buying online or at the register, empowering consumers with this safer, frictionless purchasing technology allows FIs to build a brand around innovation and being technology frontrunners. Banks and credit unions that are quick to adopt also begin to penetrate their cash-oriented transactions which do not gain revenue. In fact, according to a study by AT Kearney, contactless payments are expected to boost global card expenditure to $45 trillion by 2023.

There is also a lot of room for this technology to expand. With more and more technology being added to automobiles, it is only a matter of time before some type of payment method is integrated. Imagine uploading your debit card into your car and being able to use it for gas, toll booths, parking garages, drive through’s, etc. Not only would this provide even more convenience for the consumer, but would allow merchants to cut their bottom line by investing in this new tech.


Creating a common experience

For mobile and contactless to reach their potential in the Debit space, there needs to be a common, universally accepted experience. This can be done by creating a set process and expanding consumer awareness on where and when they can use their mobile wallets. Consumers need full transparency and an assurance that their mobile wallet will work at where they like to shop. By taking the thinking out of mobile and contactless payments, consumers will begin to develop the habit of just bringing their phone with them to shop, meaning the need for a physical plastic card will decrease.

Regardless of whether financial institutions remain skeptical, these new technologies are already here and the need to adopt is imperative in order to capture a market of consumers that want the newest tech. Certain FIs may not have to be the first to adopt, but by continuing to prolong the inevitable presents a risk that most banks and credit unions cannot afford to take.  For more information on FIS Debit, please Dan Collins @ dcollins@nebrcul.org

 

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Posted April 20th, 2020 No Comments
Three Ways to Stay Connected and Support One Another During Uncertainty

In just days, our world has dramatically changed; and our day-to-day realities have been flipped on their head. {Read The Full Article}

Posted March 25th, 2020 No Comments
A Message from the President: Battling the COVID-19 Outbreak Together

The League is committed to partnering with member credit unions to navigate the outbreak of COVID-19. Our number one priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff, member credit unions and the communities in which we are engaged. {Read The Full Article}

Posted March 17th, 2020 No Comments
INTECH Rebrands as VisiFI

Three innovators come together to develop pivotal tools for financial institutions. {Read The Full Article}

Posted March 17th, 2020 No Comments
CO-OP Empowering Member Experience

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Posted March 17th, 2020 No Comments
NCUL and Chapter Cancellations

Recently the following events/meetings have been cancelled due to the effects of the COVID-19 hitting our state.  If you have any other meetings or events scheduled in the upcoming weeks, please be sure to check to make sure they are still taking place. {Read The Full Article}

Posted March 17th, 2020 No Comments
VICTORY for MembersOwn CU

In a tremendous victory for MembersOwn Credit Union and for all Nebraska state-chartered credit unions, the District Court of Lancaster County Judge Andrew Jacobsen ruled on March 11, 2020 in favor of the credit union by dismissing a suit brought by the Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA) and Nebraska Independent Community Bankers Association (NICBA).  {Read The Full Article}

Posted March 17th, 2020 No Comments
CUMONEY Visa Gift Cards

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Posted March 17th, 2020 No Comments
Don’t Hitch Your Strategy to a Rate Forecast

Fate Has Earned its Reputation

Twenty-nineteen may best be remembered as the year when things that weren’t supposed to happen, happened anyway. The world’s major economies weren’t supposed to have spiraled downwards, but they did. Bond yields were not supposed to have fallen, but that’s what happens when growth decelerates. The Fed was not supposed to have reversed monetary policy and cut rates, but that happened, too. Three times. The presence of these conditions would be less significant were it not for the fact that most community financial institutions have been readying their balance sheets for rising interest rates ever since the end of the Great Recession almost eleven years ago.

And who could blame them? Since the beginning of the current growth cycle in mid-2009, regulatory authorities of all ilk have been loudly and repeatedly sounding the alarm of higher interest rates couched in their concern that this inexorable fate would harm earnings and impair capital. Risk, though, is a tricky thing. Its genesis does not typically spring from what is expected, it comes from the unexpected things that sneak up on us.

As a result, most credit unions are very well prepared for rising rates, a condition that doesn’t exist, but less well prepared for low and falling rates; circa 2019. Preparing an institution’s risk profile for only one environmental condition is the perfect strategy to employ as long as one’s prescience is also perfect. But, managing interest rate risk and/or an investment portfolio should not be about outguessing the market. Nor should it be about trying to get ahead of the Fed or making bets based upon economic forecasts that are less reliable than astrological ones. What if a credit union could make itself indifferent to interest rates? What if earnings projections could be made to be consistent across a wide spectrum of interest rate backgrounds? What if risk managers prepared their balance sheets for more than one outcome?

Accomplishing those ideals sounds great as a concept, but in practice, very few institutions ever reach the promised land of interest rate indifference. One reason for that may just be the nature of human nature. Most people tend to think that their beliefs and perceptions about the universe, including interest rates, are the correct ones. If they didn’t believe that, they would have different ones. Self-belief is a good thing, but so is self-awareness and managing risk for multiple outcomes requires at least a tacit admission that one’s view of the future might be wrong. Such an epiphany can suggest behavior that might seem to go against the grain.

The Boy That Cried “Bear”!

In 2009, the winter edition of the FDIC publication Supervisory Insights contained a piece entitled “Nowhere to Go but Up: Managing Interest Rate Risk in a Low-Rate Environment.” It was filled with cautionary encouragement for institutions to make preparations for higher market rates; not at all unreasonable given that short-term rates were barely hovering above zero. But also back then, Ten-Year Treasuries were yielding close to 4% and the nominal yield of the Bond Buyer 20 Year G.O. Muni Index was around 4.25%. Needless to say, those risk managers who were only managing for a single outcome, the one defined by higher rates, avoided such things. The “smart” money was staying short because that’s what smart money does when it “knows” that rates have nowhere to go but up. As a result, many “smart” portfolio managers missed some big investment opportunities because their strategy was too invested in a perception that allowed no room for any world that didn’t involve higher and rising interest rates. A world that is still worlds away.

What If You Didn’t Have to be Right?

What about risk managers who operate without an overriding market bias? How do managers manage without an emotional investment in a rate forecast? They do it by allowing for the possibility of multiple outcomes; even some unlikely ones. Those portfolio managers who invested in long-term, taxable municipal bonds back in 2009 didn’t do it because they “knew” rates were going to fall, which they did, they did it because they didn’t know what rates were going to do. They loaded up on high cash-flow instruments at the same time and for the same reason: they didn’t know where rates were headed but they wanted to be ready for anything. And they have been. Their long-term, high-yielding bonds have provided much needed income during times when yields trended downward, and their reservoir of short-term cash flow has been a repricing boon for those times when rates trended higher or back-up liquidity was needed. Successful risk managers don’t have to be smart enough to see into the future, they just have to be smart enough to realize they can’t.

 

Lester Murray joined The Baker Group in 1986 and is an Associate Partner within the firm’s Financial Strategies Group. He helps community financial institutions develop and implement investment and interest rate risk management strategies. Before joining The Baker Group, he worked at two broker/dealer banks in Oklahoma City and was also an assistant national bank examiner. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, he holds Bachelor of Science degrees in finance and economics. Contact: 800-937-2257, lester@GoBaker.com.

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Posted March 17th, 2020 No Comments
Data Privacy and Credit Unions: What to Expect in 2020

In a changing digital world, many consumers continually weigh convenience and customized experiences with the privacy of their personal information. {Read The Full Article}

Posted March 17th, 2020 No Comments
CUFN Creates High School Scholarship

As a reminder, we are proud to announce the newly created CUFN High School Scholarship.  This scholarship will be available to any high school graduation senior that has been a credit union member for at least 60 days prior to applying.  There will be one $500 scholarship available for each of the credit union chapter areas.  Applications are accepted from January 15th through March 16th.  Please be sure to promote this within your credit union and chapter.

Click HERE for more information about the scholarship and to download the application.

 

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Posted March 17th, 2020 No Comments
COVID-19 Preparation and Planning for Your Membership

Over the weekend you may have seen the announcement by the Nebraska Bankers Association that numerous banks are planning to limit lobby access, are encouraging the use of technology to conduct and complete financial transactions and ask that in person meetings be requested in advance and by appointment. {Read The Full Article}

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The mission of the Nebraska Credit Union League & Affiliates is to protect, promote and perpetuate the credit union movement in Nebraska.
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