Credit Unions

NEW REPORT: Giving Credit Unions Their Due Credit

Is the credit union market ready for its close-up?

It’s a market that is showing clear signs of growth. In fact, the federally backed National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) reported credit union membership grew by 4.3 million in Q2 of this year alone, with the value of loans held by credit unions now almost at $885 billion.

To keep tabs on the latest developments in the credit union landscape, enter the PYMNTS Credit Union Tracker™, powered by CO-OP Financial Services. The Tracker is a monthly report showcasing the most significant developments reshaping the credit union market, with attention paid to the biggest partnerships and acquisitions in the industry, notable tech innovations and the shifting regulations that could drastically change how these institutions operate.

This inaugural edition of the Tracker covers the most significant recent developments from around the credit union market, including notable innovations, industry partnerships and efforts to challenge and change regulations.

The Shifting Credit Union Market

Staying competitive in the financial market is a priority for credit unions, and many institutions have issued challenges to regulations in recent weeks. First, the Treasury Department is considering, among other potential steps, raising the scope of “stress testing” for federally insured credit unions from $10 billion to $50 billion in assets. Another potential rule change is being considered in court, as the American Banker Association (ABA) is challenging the new membership rules of the NCUA, claiming the administration is overstepping the limits imposed by Congress. If these challenges are successful, the results could significantly change how credit unions operate and innovate to serve their members.

In recent innovation news, some credit unions took major steps forward by turning to machine-based products that rely less on human input. CO-OP Financial Services, for instance, announced plans to launch an artificial intelligence solution to tackle fraud prevention by quickly processing data, learning patterns and quickly adapting to changes with little human supervision.

And, in California, First Financial Credit Union announced it will use digital security solutions provider IMM’s eSignature and eTransaction solutions to move toward paperless document transactions, a move that could offer the credit union cost-savings by freeing staff from dealing with paperwork.

Other innovations for credit unions were developed as a result of collaborations with financial services technology providers. Some of these partnerships were specifically aimed at helping SMBs. In an effort to better serve millennial business owners, Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union partnered with Alkami Technology to offer more digital banking solutions, including bill pay, personal finance management tools and P2P services. And speaking of P2P services, several credit unions joined Early Warning System’s Zelle Network, a move that could help both credit unions and banks compete with newer innovations such as Venmo and Facebook Messenger.

For all the latest notable news and trends from around the credit union space, download the Tracker.

NAFCU EVP: ‘Credit unions need to be allowed to be credit unions’

Each edition of the Tracker also includes a feature story highlighting interviews with notable players and thought leaders who are changing the credit union market. For the inaugural edition of the Tracker, PYMNTS spoke with Carrie Hunt, executive vice president of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), about how regulations imposed by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau are slowing down credit unions’ ability to innovate and offer innovative services for their members.

To read the story, check out the inaugural Credit Union Tracker.

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About the Tracker 

The PYMNTS Credit Union Tracker™, powered by CO-OP Financial Services, serves as a monthly resource for staying up-to-date on the most significant trends and developments in the credit union market.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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