Callahan & Associates, the leading provider of resources for credit union professionals, introduces "A Conversation With…," an exciting new webinar series. These exclusive interviews with industry leaders provide valuable insights on top-of-mind topics derived from their extensive experience.
Callahan webinars have revolutionized learning opportunities for credit union professionals. The platform offers flexibility, allowing individuals to learn at their own pace, anytime, anywhere. Callahan’s Webinar library features an extensive directory of archived events complemented by monthly live events. No matter if one is a seasoned executive or new to the industry, Callahan’s webinars cater to professionals at all career stages.
The new "A Conversation With…" webinar series, hosted by Alix Patterson, Callahan’s chief experience officer, connects attendees with industry leaders through candid interviews, followed by an audience-driven Q&A session. Topics covered include industry trends, strategic planning, innovation, and member engagement.
The inaugural episode featured Steve Bugg, CEO of Great Lakes Credit Union, discussing his three-pronged partnership approach and its impact on GLCU's strategic objectives. Additional episodes from this series in the on-demand library include:
• Episode One: Steve Bugg, CEO of Great Lakes Credit Union
• Episode Two: Martha Fuerstenau, CEO of American1 Credit Union
• Episode Three: April Clobes, CEO of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union
Guest speakers are slated through October, including Jimmy Lovelace, CXO of Community First Credit Union of Florida, and Anjoli Walker, Director of DEI at BCU.
To register for an upcoming event through the Callahan Portal, please click here. To inquire about being a guest on the new series, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
Not a Callahan client but interested in experiencing a webinar? Click here to learn more.
Credit Unions Worry Most About Over-Extension on Used Vehicle Loans, says New Survey -- But Long-Term Loans Still Proliferate
Over-extension on used vehicle loans is the number one concern for credit unions in the 2023 auto finance landscape, according to Credit Union Leasing of America’s (CULA) Q2 2023 Credit Union Used Vehicle Loan Snapshot. But, the results, which are based on an online survey of credit union professionals, indicate that credit unions continue to offer car buyers a significant percentage of longer-term loans, with low down payments, on high mileage older vehicles – and the majority are extending LTV by over 125%.
“It was no surprise to us that over-extension on used vehicle loans is generating significant worry for credit unions, as is overall used vehicle affordability, but the results also uncovered a troubling disconnect: credit unions continue to offer car buyers a significant percentage of longer-term loans, with low down payments, on high mileage older vehicles and increased LTV,” said Mark Chandler, VP of Business Development for CULA.
Seventy percent of the credit union respondents say their longest-term loans are 72 months or more, and the majority will lend $75,000 or more on a used vehicle, with nearly one-third saying they would lend $100,000 or more. Meanwhile, 76% report a mileage limit on their used vehicle loans of 75,000 miles or more, with 30% extending that limit to 100,000 miles or more. The majority say they require a 10% or less down payment on used vehicle loans. Only 14% ask for more than 20%.
“As these survey results make clear, credit unions will continue to incur unnecessary risk if they don’t find an alternative to the long-term used auto loan, which they are continuing to offer in significant numbers – and on vehicles that present potential risk,” continued Chandler.
The results also confirm that the majority (52%) of credit unions’ used vehicle auto finance customers are most interested in long term loans of 7 years or more. But, nearly half (48%) are most interested in short term loans – the usage of a newer vehicle for a low payment. This almost even split is probably due to high used vehicle prices: consumers are either looking for the lower payments of a long-term loan or the lower commitment of a short-term loan.
“The vast majority of credit unions in this survey agree that they would like a better alternative, such as short-term financing with affordable payments and higher yield. Vehicle leasing, which checks all of these boxes, might just be the answer credit unions are seeking,” concluded Chandler.
Key Survey Takeaways
To download CULA’s “Q2 2023 Credit Union Used Vehicle Loan Snapshot” click here.
Gerber Federal Credit Union (‘Gerber FCU’ – $225M in assets) has partnered with Mahalo Banking, a CUSO that provides premier online and mobile banking solutions for credit unions, to offer member-centric features and streamline banking service processes for its members.
Gerber FCU is leveraging Mahalo’s banking platform to simplify the banking experience for members. Users of the credit union platform will be able to access a clean, user-friendly design with mirrored features across the online and mobile banking experiences. Members will be able to more easily join the credit union, onboard and fund their account to quickly begin using the credit union’s services. The credit union will also be able to use Mahalo’s platform to offer a more member-centric design through the neurodiversity features including colorblindness view options and left-handed toggle mode to improve usability.
Tina Spoelman, Senior IT Manager of Gerber FCU, explained, “Our goal was to partner with a mobile and online provider to ensure our members would have the modern services necessary for 21st-century banking. In Mahalo, we found a forward-looking partner who will help us unify the features found within our online and mobile offerings to create a more seamless omnichannel experience. We're also excited to implement Mahalo’s Thoughtful Banking™ neurodiversity tools. Ensuring successful platform navigation for those who have visual impairments is an important design aspect that many vendors don't take into consideration, and we are delighted to have a partner that values all member experiences.”
Led by credit union industry natives, the Mahalo Banking platform is designed to intuitively meet the needs of today’s credit unions and their members. The platform is also the industry's first online banking solution that has fully integrated comprehensive neurodiverse functionality to better serve the unique needs of all members. Mahalo’s technology offers modern features, deep core integrations and efficient third-party integrations that allow credit unions to better retain and grow their membership base.
Spoelman added, “We are proud to be working with a forward-looking company like Mahalo that is always imagining how they can transform the future of credit union technology. Not only is their team deeply ingrained in the credit union culture, but they also innately understand our local roots and values. We trust they will be a fantastic partner to help modernize our capabilities and streamline our member services.”
“Many credit unions today are searching for the right partner to advance their banking experience and maintain the competitive edge they need,” said Denny Howell, co-founder and COO of Mahalo. “We are delighted to be chosen to serve as Gerber FCU’s trusted digital banking provider. Our team is looking forward to driving the credit union’s technology innovation and empowering them to surpass their member expectations.”
World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) presented a pair of 2023 Digital Growth Awards and announced the winners of the new WOCCU Fellowship program during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the 2023 World Credit Union Conference.
Co-operative Bank of Vietnam and Unitus Community Credit Union (Oregon/USA) received 2023 Digital Growth Awards for implementing digital solutions that promote financial inclusion, innovation and scalability.
Unitus Community Credit Union received a Digital Growth Award for its “AZIE Mobile App”. Designed to connect members of Oregon’s Black community with financial products, services and education from local credit unions that best align with their unique needs, Azie aims to foster financial and housing stability while creating and sustaining generational wealth.
“At Unitus, we believe that if you focus on inclusion, inspiring service and innovation, our organization, our members and our community overall will thrive and be better for it. Azie was a product of those three I's and was built to support a very special collaborative,” said Megan Snyder, Unitus CCU Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Portfolio Management, in accepting the award.
Co-operative Bank of Vietnam received a Digital Growth Award for its creation of “A Digital Ecosystem”, which revolutionized cooperative financial services in Vietnam. The solution provides a diversity of digital channels through which a wide range of members can access products and services.
Elenita San Roque, CEO of the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU), accepted the award on behalf of Co-operative Bank of Vietnam, whose executives were unable to attend.
First awarded in 2021, the Digital Growth Award is presented annually to recognize one or more member credit union associations or individual member credit unions. A panel of independent digitization experts selected by WOCCU judged all nominations and selected this year's winners.
WOCCU Fellowship recipients announced
WOCCU also announced Eleonora Zgonjanin (North Macedonia) and Patrick John Rico (Philippines) as recipients of the 2023 WOCCU Fellowship.
WOCCU in April launched the first Fellowship nominations to encourage credit union leaders under the age of 40 and women of any age to apply to serve as “observers” on the WOCCU Board of Directors.
Zgonjanin and Rico were selected from a pool of 52 applicants from 12 countries. They will attend and participate in three WOCCU Board meetings over a one-year period, beginning in fall of 2023. Their travel expenses, including airfare, hotel and local transportation, will be covered by WOCCU, including registration to attend the 2024 World Credit Union Conference.
As observers, they will receive all material information provided to members of the Board but will not have formal voting rights during the Board of Directors’ meetings. They will also receive mentorship from members of the WOCCU Board, or from members of the WOCCU or Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ staff.
WOCCU Board welcomes two new directors
Delegates to the AGM approved the election of Grace Badilla López, President of the Board of Directors for Federacion Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito Financieras (FEDEAC) in Costa Rica, to the WOCCU Board.
Badilla López fills a vacancy left by Jaime Chavez, who steps away after representing the Colombian Federation of Credit Unions (FECOLFIN) on the Board since 2015.
The WOCCU Board also approved the appointment of Helene McManus, a member of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) Board, to serve out the final year of fellow ILCU Board Member Charles Murphy’s term. Murphy resigned his seat on the World Council Board, effective Monday afternoon.
Delegates also reelected current Director Rafał Matusiak (Poland) to a two-year term, while the Board reappointed current directors Diana Dykstra (USA), Erin Mendez (USA), Linda Bowyer (Canada) and Younsik Kim (South Korea) to two-year terms.
ACCOSCA promoted to direct member organization
WOCCU also announced the addition of a new direct member organization at the AGM. The WOCCU Board last week approved the African Confederation of Cooperative Savings and Credit Association’s (ACCOSCA) promotion from an associate to a direct member of WOCCU.
As the only pan-African credit union association representing national associations from 20 countries, direct membership will give ACCOSCA a significant number of votes at future AGMs and also qualifies the organization for a seat on the WOCCU Board—resulting in a stronger voice for Africa in WOCCU governance.
ACCOSCA becomes WOCCU’s sixth direct member organization from Africa.
Still to come
The 2023 World Credit Union Conference continues Tuesday morning with a keynote speech from Kim Lear on “Building Standout Experiences for Every Generation”. The day also takes on a sustainability theme with the launch of the WOCCU Climate Influencers Network and a beach cleanup led by Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions.
Follow conference activities and see daily event photos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram with #WCUC2023.
Presented in collaboration with the Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA), the 2023 World Credit Union Conference runs through Wednesday, July 26.
A record 3,000 attendees from 60 countries packed into the West English Bay Room of the Vancouver Convention Centre Sunday afternoon to kick off the 2023 World Credit Union Conference.
WOCCU Board Chair Diana Dykstra encouraged credit union professionals to embrace change and remain open to new possibilities at this year’s conference, co-hosted by World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA).
“It is in the spirit of adapting and becoming resilient that we gather this week to connect and learn from one another,” said Dykstra. “You will meet colleagues and friends from every corner of the globe and learn how our peers are addressing credit union issues like expanding membership, developing shared solutions, delivering better services through digital platforms and climate-smart, resilient solutions.”
WOCCU 2023 Distinguished Service Awards go to Lebedko, Branch
WOCCU announced its 2023 Distinguished Service Award winners as Oleg Lebedko, CEO of Ukrainian Federal Credit Union (Rochester, New York, USA), and former WOCCU President and CEO Brian Branch—both of whom were nominated by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) of the United States.
Lebedko was on hand to accept his Distinguished Service Award for international credit union work in Ukraine, specifically since the country declared its independence in 1991. Since 2017, Lebedko has participated as a volunteer for the WOCCU Credit for Agriculture Producers’ (CAP) Project, traveling to Kyiv to create a strategic plan for the All-Ukrainian Credit Union Association (AUCUA). In 2021, Lebedko began serving on WOCCU’s International Governance Committee for the CAP Project.
“While this award is recognition of my individual achievements, I firmly believe it is a reflection of the extraordinary work carried out by many credit unions worldwide and, specifically, by the activists of the credit unions in Ukraine and Ukrainian diaspora credit unions in the U.S. and Canada, representatives of which are present here today. I want to dedicate this award to the brave and courageous Ukrainians, including many credit union employees and members, who have been fighting for the sovereignty and freedom of Ukraine,” said Lebedko.
Brian Branch received a 2023 Distinguished Service Award for his 31 years of service to World Council of Credit Unions. During his career, Branch traveled to and worked in 104 countries, developing programs to start credit unions, conduct management training, expand outreach, build networks, improve regulatory environments and introduce technological innovations. Branch spent his last decade with WOCCU serving as president and CEO from 2011-21. Diana Dykstra accepted the award on behalf of Branch, who was not in attendance.
The opening ceremony was also highlighted by the traditional flag parade and musical performances by members of Canada’s First Nations.
Solution Center opens with welcome reception
After the opening ceremony, attendees flocked to the Solution Center at WCUC 2023, where WOCCU and CCUA co-hosted a welcome reception and exhibitors showcased their products and services.
“This is the largest number of vendors we’ve ever had exhibit at a World Credit Union Conference held outside of the United States,” said Paul Treinen, WOCCU Executive Vice President. “It presents a great opportunity for credit union representatives to find solutions that can help them streamline, improve and expand their operations.”
WOCCU and Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions also have a booth in the Solution Center where attendees can learn more about how the organizations work with and on behalf of credit unions worldwide.
Still to come
The 2023 World Credit Union Conference continues Monday with a focus on credit union resilience, highlighted by WOCCU President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde’s State of the Movement address, an International Regulatory Update and a breakout session on “Fostering Resilient Credit Unions in Ukraine”, presented by Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions. Monday also features a keynote presentation by The Ethical Futurists.
World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is happy to encourage the global credit union movement to participate in the landmark 75th anniversary celebration of International Credit Union (ICU) Day on Thursday, October 19, 2023.
This annual event raises global awareness for the credit union movement through outreach, volunteering, fundraising and other activities. Credit unions bring financial inclusion and a promising future to people all over the world. Since the first celebration in 1948, ICU Day presents a chance to spotlight and celebrate these achievements.
International Credit Union Day is brought to you by World Council of Credit Unions and Credit Union National Association (CUNA)—WOCCU's direct member organization in the United States—and America's Credit Unions.
“This day is internationally recognized as an opportunity to reflect on the movement's history, promote our collective achievements and prepare for the future,” said Elissa McCarter LaBorde, President and CEO of World Council of Credit Unions. “75 years is quite a milestone to observe and acknowledge the tireless effort of credit union employees and celebrate our members the world over.”
To help credit unions promote the 75th anniversary and plan their celebrations, WOCCU is once again offering free ICU Day materials, including this year’s logo, poster and coloring page at woccu.org/icuday.
CUNA is also offering additional resources available for purchase, including a design bundle with customizable creative assets, in its commemorative item store at cuna.org/icuday.
"Celebrating the 75th anniversary of ICU Day underlines the resilience and dedication of the credit union movement,” said Megan Crowson, Manager of Consumer Engagement Solutions, Credit Union National Association. “We are proud to commemorate this historic milestone in cooperation with World Council of Credit Unions and America’s Credit Unions, reflect on our collective achievements and engage with our members around the world in a day of celebration."
This year's event is proudly sponsored by Elan Credit Card. Learn more about their support of credit unions and their communities at Elan Credit Card's website.
Westerra Credit Union has launched a groundbreaking financing program that streamlines loans for new home construction or renovation projects. The “One-Time Close Construction-to-Permanent Loan” is a hassle-free solution for homeowners who, traditionally, faced the daunting task of securing separate loans for construction and permanent financing. With this unique loan program, members benefit from a simple, efficient and cost-effective financing experience.
During the construction period, which typically lasts between 12 to 18 months, the One-Time Close Construction-to-Permanent Loan operates on an interest-only structure. This allows homeowners to save money by only paying interest on the amount used during construction. After completion, the loan smoothly converts to permanent financing (subject to Westerra's underwriting requirements).
“Our One-Time Close Construction-to-Permanent Loan is a testament to helping our members’ dream homes come to life,” said Jeff White, Westerra's Director of Mortgage Development and Sales. “We take pride in being a local credit union, which gives us an understanding of the market, and the needs of our members compared to larger banks that process loans out of other regions."
Key benefits of Westerra's One-Time Close Construction-to-Permanent Loan include:
For more information about Westerra Credit Union's One-Time Close Construction-to-Permanent Loan, schedule an appointment with a mortgage loan officer or visit westerracu.com/borrowing/homes to learn more.
Juniper Payments, a PSCU company and the largest cloud-based non-bank third-party provider of inter-bank transaction and reporting systems in the U.S., announced today it is now supporting live transactions on the Federal Reserve’s new instant payment rail, the FedNow Service. Juniper Payments is among the first service providers supporting transaction activity for financial institutions on the service.
Through the FedNow Service, Juniper Payments is positioned to offer financial institutions access to instant payments, helping them remain competitive and offer best-in-class service for consumers.
“As a service provider of the FedNow Service, Juniper Payments demonstrates dedication to innovation,” said Ken Montgomery, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston first vice president and FedNow Service program executive. “Financial institutions benefit from the ability to offer instant payments through the seamless experience offered by service providers; these critical organizations expand the reach of instant payments and pave the way for industrywide progress.”
To support transaction activities for financial institutions participating in the FedNow Service, Juniper Payments completed a multi-step customer testing and certification program in the months leading up to launch. Early adopters of the service include a diverse range of financial institutions and service providers across the U.S.
“The entire Juniper Payments team is extremely proud and thrilled to be among the first service providers to leverage the powerful new FedNow Service, which is poised to truly transform the speed and transparency of sending and receiving money in our banking system,” said Jon Budd, CEO, Juniper Payments. “We are eager to see all the capabilities this new service will offer, as well as continue our pursuit to provide clients with access to the most cutting-edge payments solutions that meet the unique needs of today’s digital world.”
Financial institutions and service providers will continue to onboard throughout 2023 and beyond, helping the FedNow Service build a strong instant payments infrastructure across the U.S.
Bankjoy, an end-to-end digital banking provider, today announced its partnership with Plaid, the leading open finance provider powering the digital financial ecosystem. Institutions on the Bankjoy platform will now be able to offer their customers API access to Plaid’s network of more than 8,000 fintech apps and services.
Through the partnership, businesses can now securely and seamlessly add accounts from other financial institutions and fintechs to Bankjoy’s platform with Plaid’s account connectivity tool, giving business account holders a centralized place to view and manage their finances.
Bankjoy’s Business Banking platform is designed to deliver a superior digital banking experience for business and commercial account holders. By partnering with Plaid, financial institutions using Bankjoy’s Business Banking platform make it easier and more secure for businesses to connect multiple accounts from different financial institutions and third-party apps within Bankjoy’s digital platform.
Business account holders can also manage user permissions and securely add new users directly through the digital banking platform. Bankjoy’s partnership with Plaid transforms the way financial institutions engage the businesses within their local communities by giving account holders one place to access multiple accounts and manage their entire financial footprint via online and mobile banking. With Plaid’s account connectivity capabilities, Bankjoy empowers banks and credit unions to position their organization as the preferred financial service provider for the business and commercial account holders they serve.
“Amid the economic uncertainty, 95% of Americans say they feel some type of economic stress, according to Plaid’s 2022 Fintech Effect Report. Consumers and businesses alike are looking for financial institutions that provide them with the tools necessary to support them through this time,” said Michael Duncan, CEO of Bankjoy. “At the same time, today’s account holders often use multiple apps and financial institutions to manage their finances, which makes enabling multi-account connectivity crucial. Bankjoy’s partnership with Plaid supports this and we look forward to helping more financial institutions enhance the digital banking experience for their business customers and members.”
Engineered by credit union executives, Bankjoy’s modern banking technology includes mobile and online banking, e-statements, online account opening, online loan origination, as well as other features, such as conversational AI. Bankjoy continues to evolve its digital product offerings, rolling out several new features, functionalities, and integrations in the last 12 months, such as its new, standalone online account opening solution and its upgraded Business Banking platform. The partnership with Plaid will further enhance Bankjoy’s Business Banking platform, making it easier and more cost-effective to deliver truly feature-rich digital banking technology for business and commercial account holders.
River City Federal Credit Union Receives More Than $20 Million in Grants to Drive Positive Change in the San Antonio
River City Federal Credit Union (RCFCU) proudly announces the receipt of grants totaling more than $20 million. These substantial funds are being utilized to bolster lending initiatives for individuals in need of financial assistance while simultaneously fostering local economic growth.
The grant is made up of a recent $14 million investment from the Emergency Capital Investment Program. This award was facilitated by the U.S. Treasury Department, which underscores River City FCU’s commitment to serve as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) credit union. This invaluable support allows the credit union to broaden its reach and assist more individuals and businesses in the community by providing access to essential secondary capital.
Additionally, as part of the total award, a grant of $3.7 million from the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program was received. This recognition positioned the credit union among the distinguished cohort of only 11 credit unions in Texas to receive this grant. The funding from this program enables the organization to amplify lending opportunities and expand investment endeavors within the communities it diligently serves.
"River City Federal Credit Union is immensely grateful for the trust and support bestowed upon us through these grants," said Jeff Ivey, CEO of River City Federal Credit Union. "We are determined to invest these funds to foster economic empowerment, uplift disadvantaged individuals, and fuel sustainable growth within San Antonio communities."
By securing these substantial grants, River City Federal Credit Union has solidified its role as a catalyst for positive change within the San Antonio community. These funds will empower the credit union to extend financial support to those who need it most, enabling them to navigate challenging circumstances and embark on a path of stability and success.
In 2022, the not-for-profit credit union received $1.86 from the CDFI’s Rapid Response Program which has been able to assist businesses and households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
RCFCU was one of just five credit unions in Texas to receive a CDFI Financial Assistance grant of $560,000 in 2022 and one in four to receive funds of $676,530 in 2021.
As River City FCU embarks on this transformative journey, it remains steadfast in its mission to enhance the financial well-being of all those served. Through strategic partnerships, innovative solutions, and an unwavering dedication to the community, it aspires to make a lasting impact that transcends financial assistance and creates a brighter future for San Antonio.
Author: Mike Lawson
Married to a most gorgeous and wonderful wife, raising 5 kiddos (including twins!), enjoy helping others tell their stories, and love surfing SoCal waves. Keep it simple.