The credit union (CU) market has long argued that rules intended for larger, more traditional banks have unjustly been applied to their industry, stifling their growth and pace of innovation. However, recent changes in regulations could open new doors for the credit union market to more efficiently serve its members.
The July/August Credit Union Tracker looks at how the credit union market is pushing back against regulation and pursuing new innovation strategies, how regulatory changes are creating opportunities for credit unions to expand into new markets, and how one credit union is stepping up to assist members displaced by a natural disaster.
Every interaction that a member (or potential member) has with a credit union, both in-person and online, can inform their overall impression of the financial institution (FI). That’s why one credit union is working to overhaul its customer experience.
Texas Tech Federal Credit Union (FCU) of Lubbock, Texas, recently announced a collaboration with omnichannel solutions provider NCR. Under the partnership, NCR will provide Texas Tech FCU with interactive teller machines (ITMs) and access to an online appointment-booking service that can manage customer experiences, interactions and perform additional functions.
Meanwhile, a recent regulation change could make it easier for credit unions to participate in the real estate underwriting process. Regulators recently raised the threshold that requires a human appraisal for real estate transactions from $250,000 to $500,000. The move could allow more credit unions to integrate automated valuation models (AVMs) into their underwriting process, allowing underwriting tasks to be completed much faster, and potentially doubling or tripling the loans that CUs issue using AVMs.
A credit union advocacy organization is pushing to make changes to regulations that would make it easier for credit unions to do serve businesses involved in the legalized marijuana business. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) recently threw its support for a trio of bills could allow CUs to accept deposits and offer credit and payment services to legitimate marijuana merchants and offer credit unions legal protections from federal regulators.
A recent partnership could make it easier for credit unions to instantly issue replacement payment cards to members. CPI Card Group recently integrated its Card@Once solution with data core processor FLEX to enable credit unions to instantly print EMV-ready payment cards to members who visit physical branches. The solution can put new payment cards in members’ hands within a few seconds, instead of waiting for them to arrive by mail.
Recent volcano activity in Hawaii has forced hundreds of Hawaii First Federal Credit Union members from their homes. These members, said Hawaii First CEO Laura Aguirre, are now waiting to determine the damage to their property before they can collect insurance and move forward with their own recovery efforts. But the continuing lava flow makes it almost impossible for emergency relief agencies and insurance assessors to access the affected areas, leaving these members in limbo.
To aid these displaced residents, Hawaii First is investing in smaller housing projects that can act as a temporary housing solution. For the July/August feature story, Aguirre discusses the smaller housing option and the “opportunity” she sees for credit unions to help victims regain stable financial footing following a natural disaster. To read the full story, download the latest Credit Union Tracker.
About The Tracker