Providence Federal Credit Union Partners with Mahalo Banking to Enhance Online, Mobile Banking Experiences
Milwaukie, Or.-based Providence Federal Credit Union (‘Providence FCU’ – $182M in assets) has partnered with Mahalo Banking, a premier online and mobile banking solution provider specifically designed for credit unions. Mahalo’s member-centric design, enhanced security functionality and forward-thinking innovation continue to propel credit union interest.
“Providing our members with the latest digital banking tools is one of our top priorities,” said Shirley Cate, President and CEO of Providence FCU. “We are excited to work with an innovative provider like Mahalo to redesign and redefine a better banking experience. Our team is confident that Mahalo offers the level of support we need to provide secure, convenient banking. They embrace our vision to create an impressive banking interface designed with seamless functionality that will enable our members to now address any financial need however and whenever they choose.”
Providence FCU will use Mahalo’s platform to reimagine its online and mobile banking experiences and create a more unified interface. Members will be able to easily navigate between the credit union’s digital channels and access identical features on either platform without disruption. New features being implemented include a live chat option that enables 24/7 assistance. The credit union will also deliver a new personal finance management tool that highlights opportunities for members to evaluate their spending habits and proactively improve their financial wellness.
“Providence FCU serves as the latest example of why so many credit unions are moving to Mahalo Banking. While working with their team, it was easy to see that member service is always a priority and implementing our Thoughtful Banking™ solution fits well in their pursuit to exceed all of their members’ needs,” said Denny Howell, co-founder and COO of Mahalo. “Our focus continues to be on designing an interface that enhances the overall digital experience with customized touches, ultimately enabling the credit union to always meet the changing needs of their membership base.”
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is donating $20,000 to Maui wildfire relief efforts, with $10,000 through CUAid, the National Credit Union Foundation’s disaster relief system, and $10,000 to Maui Food Bank, Maui County’s primary safety net for hunger relief.
“The people of Maui are in need of immediate help to recover from these devastating wildfires, and this contribution was recommended by our friends at the Hawaii Credit Union League as a way to help with efforts to take action,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “As financial first-responders, CUNA, Leagues and credit unions and our system partners remain committed to taking care of our communities and fulfilling our ‘people helping people’ philosophy as the Maui community works to rebuild.”
CUNA urges all those in the credit union movement to contribute to CUAid.
COASTHILLS CREDIT UNION CELEBRATES $3 MILLION IN GRANTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY CDFI FUND WITH REP. SALUD CARBAJAL
On August 15th, CoastHills Credit Union CEO Paul Cook and Board of Directors Chair Kris Andrews held a joint press conference at CoastHills Headquarters with Rep. Salud Carbajal, who represents the 24th Congressional District in California, to recognize his support in securing significant funding from the CARES Act and the Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund to support low and moderate income households and small businesses along the Central Coast. In 2023, CoastHills Credit Union was awarded more than $600,000 in Financial Assistance grants and $2,400,000 in Equitable Recovery Program grants.
“More than 70% of the loans we fund are to low-to-moderate income households, which is why we’ve dedicated significant time and resources to becoming a Community Development Financial Institution.” Said Paul Cook, President/CEO. “The CDFI grants allow us to expand our efforts to provide products and services that reflect the needs of our diverse community.”
CoastHills also funded 1,032 Small Business Association (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans offered through the CARES Act, providing more than $55 million to local businesses throughout the Central Coast in 2020 and 2021.
The recent grant funds will be used to increase lending efforts to low-to-moderate income households and businesses in the Credit Union’s five county footprint over the next 5 years.
Allied Payment Network Signs Over 40 Financial Institutions, Strengthens Position as Industry’s “Most Connected” Payments Partner
Allied Payment Network, Inc. (Allied), the industry leader in real-time, open-network payments solutions to banks and credit unions, today announced that it has signed over 40 new financial institutions for its payment technologies through July 31, representing double-digit new client growth. These latest clients range from community banks and credit unions to regional banks with over $25 billion in assets, demonstrating Allied’s ability to scale across financial institutions of all sizes.
Rooted in user-centered design, Allied’s solutions are carefully engineered to provide the ease of use and intuitive functionality that make competing platforms unnecessary. Allied is the expert in real-time money movement and continues to build a more flexible and open payments solution. As a result, the company is seeing record growth, further positioning Allied as the industry’s “most connected” payments partner.
Currently, Allied works with nearly 500 financial institutions across 49 states with a combined total of over $310 billion in assets. Additionally, Allied’s solutions are available to more than one million account holders across its client base. In 2022 alone, Allied processed 9.6 million payments totaling over $3.6 billion. As the need for better payment tools coupled with superior experiences grows, Allied is uniquely positioned for continued growth.
One bank to recently partner with Allied is Utah-based Cache Valley Bank. With $2.9 billion in assets, the bank touts its ability to serve customers like a true community bank, but with the products and resources of a large bank. Allied with further the bank’s mission through superior, real-time payments solutions, helping to build and maintain meaningful relationships.
Illinois-based First National Bank in Taylorville also recently partnered with Allied as its payments partner. With $215 million in assets, the bank prides itself on providing trusted products and services that support its community’s financial needs. By working with Allied, the bank will maintain that promise by providing best-of-breed payment technology its customers can trust.
Another bank to recently partner with Allied is $1.5 billion First National Bank and Trust (FNBT) of Wisconsin. With a history dating back more than 140 years, FNBT has grown to become a leading financial institution for communities across Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. As part of its commitment to delivering top-notch banking services, the bank partnered with Allied to provide real-time payments solutions to its customers.
Also partnering with Allied, Iowa-based Linn Area Credit Union operates with the motto “We Are Family.” As part of that dedication, the $621 million asset credit union will now offer real-time, user-centric payments solutions, providing members with seamless payment experiences.
“Guided by our strong culture, Allied’s best-of-breed solutions provide everything users need, all within their financial institution's trusted digital environment,” said Jeff Harper, Chief Revenue Officer for Allied. “Banks and credit unions of all sizes are looking to us for flexible and open payments solutions. We are proud of this latest milestone and look forward to continued growth.”
“With increased economic pressure from inflation, rate hikes and decreased deposits, financial institutions are looking at ways to recoup lost revenue. A universal payments solution, that includes everything from P2P to eBill, presents a solid path to growth,” said Geoff Knapp, CEO of Allied. “By offering in-house universal payments services, banks and credit unions can re-engage customers and members who may have moved to unbundled payments services outside of their institution. Not only are they able to offer a seamless payments experience for customers, but they can deepen their relationships and share of wallet through increased digital product adoption.
Pinal County Federal Credit Union Wins 2023 Tekkie Award in the Category of “Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning”
Agent IQ, the pioneer in digital relationship banking providing personal banker engagement and AI-supported self-service, is pleased to announce that Pinal County Federal Credit Union (PCFCU) has been named a Finopotamus 2023 Tekkie Award winner in the category of “Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.”
Partnering with Agent IQ, PCFCU launched the service in approximately six weeks to rapidly deploy three member-facing services: a web chat on public-facing websites, the PCFCU Connect mobile app and the AI-powered self-service enablement for web chat. Notably, the PCFCU Connect app allows team members to become digitally available to prospects and members anytime and anywhere by utilizing AI to respond to simple requests, provide employee guidance and recommendations, and analyze user conversations, promoting greater transparency and insight into members' needs. Within weeks of deployment, PCFCU saw approximately one-third of all web chat engagements resolved without employee involvement, while 70% of all conversations now occur on the app as opposed to the web chat.
“We are excited to be named a Tekkie winner as this is a testament to our member-centric engagement model, blending the efficiency of AI automation and self-service options with the necessity of human interaction and creativity,” said Tiffany Tipton, VP, Organizational Development for Pinal County Federal Credit Union. “Agent IQ understands the best approach to modern relationship banking is through utilizing AI/ML to augment the human banker; not replace them, and PCFCU Connect prompts greater transparency between our members and employees, leading to a more fulfilling banking experience.”
“We are pleased to congratulate our friends at PCFCU for winning a Tekkie award, as well as their dedication to their members in meeting the growing consumer demand for a more digitally consistent banking experience,” said Slaven Bilac, CEO & Co-Founder at Agent IQ. “The solution ensures the best user experience by seamlessly integrating the importance of human empathy with the speed and efficiency of computer intelligence, providing a real-time digital connection between members and associates while also empowering members to select and engage with a preferred personal associate for all their financial needs across any digital channel; just like they are used to engaging with their family and friends.”
PCFCU was also named a Future Branches Innovators Awards finalist in the category of “Most Effective Tech Implementation,” and continues to track real ROI.
HopeSouth Credit Union CEO Faye Crocker points out that her credit union’s service area in Abbeville County, SC, has some relatively inexpensive homes for sale. The problem often is the residents still need help to be able to afford them.
“We’re a small credit union. It’s hard to be a mortgage lender as a $30 million,” Crocker explained. But with the help of its Community Development Financial Institution certification and grants to promote, train and add a staffer, plus a partnership with Maxwell to help make members mortgage- ready, the credit union has made its very first mortgage.
The grand total of that first mortgage: $65,000.
“I’m pretty sure there was no bank standing in line to work for several months to get this young borrower mortgage ready and give him a $65,000 mortgage loan,” Crocker points out.
“We are serving a low-income demographic here in Abbeville County. A lot of our applicants are renters, and we want to help them become homeowners,” she said. In 2020, the median income in the US was $67,521 vs $43,090 in Abbeville County. And the national average home price is $416,100, compared to $199,000 in Abbeville County right now.
Homeownership is a great place to start building wealth within the community, Crocker says.
“You think about those things becoming a homeowner means: They've already done some work to clean up your credit and increase their score. They're going to get better rates on car loans, which means they can afford to buy nicer cars, because they won't be paying big finance company interest rates on the car loan. Instead, they'll pay a reasonable rate, and they’ll be able to afford a home.”
First City Credit Union, based in Pasadena, has joined forces with THRIVE, a leading data strategy consultancy, to embark on a transformative journey aimed at unlocking the potential of their member data. This strategic partnership has yielded a comprehensive five-year data strategy, enabling First City Credit Union to gain deep insights into its members' needs and preferences while charting a clear course for data-driven growth.
In an era where data's potential is limitless, First City Credit Union recognized the need to transform data awareness into a tangible, actionable strategy. Their challenges included navigating the complexities of data utilization and resource allocation. THRIVE's expertise in credit unions, data activation, and strategic planning made the firm a natural partner for this crucial endeavor.
Anne Legg, a respected data expert and founder of THRIVE, emphasized a practical approach to leveraging existing data for specific use cases, such as member financial wellness. This approach resonated with First City Credit Union's leadership. First City CEO Nav Khanna noted that the focus on data governance and strategic roadmap aligned perfectly with their aspirations.
The three-part data strategy process included an in-depth assessment of their data culture, member insights, and current data practices. As part of the assessment, transaction data was analyzed to create a vivid picture of First City's membership demographics, spending patterns, and preferences. This exploration culminated in a "data scorecard" outlining the credit union's data maturity and alignment with best practices.
By analyzing member interactions, the credit union identified valuable opportunities for personalized offerings, including a potential integration of solar initiatives based on member interests. This eye-opening approach stimulated crucial dialogues within the team, fostering the understanding that data is not just about the information but about building strong member relationships and delivering value.
The comprehensive strategy developed by THRIVE also examined possibilities for a tailored data ecosystem, ensuring it was aligned with First City's unique requirements and culminated with a five-year roadmap, a step-by-step guide to advancing data maturity and driving growth.
" The roadmap's detailed steps made it remarkably clear and actionable." Said Nav, "It also provided unexpected value in its role in shaping their hiring process for a new Chief Information Officer, as well as sparking vital conversations about evolving and deepening member understanding."
"Partnering with Anne was invaluable. Her focus on building a cross-functional team aligned with our data strategy stood out. She understands that data isn't just an IT project; it's a collaborative effort," said CFO Lourdes Ruano." Anne's emphasis on the "why" of data strategy led to alignment within the team and a clearer vision of how data can help the credit union compete effectively in today's data-driven landscape."
First City Credit Union's collaboration with THRIVE has marked a turning point in the credit union's data journey, setting a transformative precedent for credit unions seeking data activation and strategic growth.
Financial Plus Credit Union will be featured on an upcoming episode of the renowned documentary series Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid. The award-winning series, hosted by the well-known actor Dennis Quaid, produces educational documentaries on a range of topics including business, technology and culture.
“The financial industry is in a revolutionary period,” stated Brad Bergmooser, President and CEO of Financial Plus. “It’s an honor that Viewpoint noticed our ambition and invited Financial Plus to share our story on a national scale. Our fearless approach stems from our roots in Flint and having the auto industry as our founding institution– an industry that has also continued to embrace innovation and progress. Today, we’re tailoring our solutions to a more relationship- based approach while remaining committed to technology and new ways to bank.”
Viewpoint’s crew traveled to Michigan to film with Financial Plus employees at their Fenton location. They captured Brad Bergmooser discussing how credit unions help members reach their financial goals, and Financial Wellness Coach, Ciara Kolasinski, elaborating on Financial Plus’s dedication to educating the community and promoting financial literacy. The segment also features a personal testimonial from Financial Plus member, Teresita of Davison, Michigan.
The goal of Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid is to enlighten the audience by delivering diverse informational and educational short-form documentaries. Viewpoint is on the cutting edge of the television documentary industry, producing quality programming for Public Television.
There were two Financial Plus segments produced: a five-minute educational segment for Public Television, and a one-minute educational commercial spot for major networks. These segments will air beginning September 11, 2023. To view our Viewpoint series online, click the following link: www.myfpcu.com/viewpoint.
When consumers decide to support a brand or business, they will gravitate toward the option that they share values with. Today, the majority of consumers care about authenticity, supporting locally, and investing in companies that engage in building their communities. Consumers are looking for a genuine connection, especially Millennial and Gen Z consumers who value socially conscious approaches to business. This is even more apparent with advancing technology as they are also looking for the most efficient and convenient experiences.
In the financial industry, customers have transitioned into primarily using mobile banking, cash applications like Venmo, and contactless payment methods. As the industry shifts into a much more digital space, credit unions have proven their ability to stay up-to-date with the latest technological advances and consumer preferences while maintaining a legacy of positive relationships, customer service, and community care.
Through the years, credit unions have successfully kept up with traditional banks while setting themselves apart because of their unique standing within their local communities. Credit unions are better positioned for success because they are member-owned and focus on financial wellness and community betterment.
As an active part of the communities they serve, employees maintain great trust with their members. Members have personal relationships with their credit unions. It’s a place where they find direct support with personalized financial advice and service. This connection gives credit unions the advantage over traditional banks because credit unions are able to quickly access their members’ accounts, are able to recognize their members’ needs, and are versatile enough to adjust accordingly.
Credit unions’ relationship building doesn't end there. Credit unions engage with their broader audience by partnering with local businesses, local education, local homebuyers, and local organizations, as well as acting as their funder. Members can physically see the ways their money is directly benefiting the places they use and live in.
Financial support can be accessible and community-based because of credit unions. Credit unions are also praised for their ability to provide personalized customer service, lower fees, better interest rates, and services that provide education on financial literacy.
Credit unions are capable of lifting and empowering entire communities by promoting financial wellness and community engagement. And these strong and distinct values are what consumers are looking for in their business interactions today and even more into the future as brands follow trends to become more compassionate. Credit unions will already be at the forefront of this movement to lean into building personal connections.
About Author: Cyndie Martini is President and CEO of Member Access Processing (MAP), a payments company that helps credit unions build and manage credit card and debit card programs. Her company, MAP, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of providing innovative payment solutions for credit unions. Cyndie has led the company's evolvement by responding timely to the changing needs of the banking industry through consistently integrating new solutions into its service offerings. She is a recognized leader and pioneer in the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) industry with a depth of experience in growing profitable card portfolios for financial institutions. Martini has over 30 years of marketing, sales, strategic planning, advertising, and payment technology experience and is recognized as an expert in the field of card and network payment systems. Throughout her career, Martini has been an advocate for credit unions, having put her experience to work helping member-based cooperative financial institutions grow and succeed.
The Iowa credit union industry is continuing to warn Iowans of both online scams and text message “smishing” attempts aimed at stealing personal and financial information. Scams through Facebook Marketplace have been increasingly prevalent.
Smishing is where text messages appear to be from a consumer’s financial institution and try to trick them into revealing their account number or other personally-identifiable information.
According to recent reports from the Internal Revenue Service, thousands of fraudulent domains tied to multiple MMS/SMS/text scams have been reported in 2022. In recent months, smishing attempts have increased exponentially.
Additionally, there have been recent reports of scams within Facebook Marketplace. While it is a common place for consumers to buy and sell goods, people should be cautious when exchanging items with someone online. Knowing certain red flags can help consumers avoid these scams in the future.
Some of these Marketplace red flags include:
“Phishing attempts and online scams are continuing to put Iowans’ financial data at risk,” said Jaimie Miller, Vice President of the Iowa Credit Union League. “Consumers need to remain vigilant when interacting online and receiving suspicious text messages. If you are uncertain about who is contacting you or been scammed, get in touch with your credit union or bank immediately.”
Financial institutions will never ask for personal information, including social security numbers and full account numbers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a helpful guide on how to spot text message scams here.
Report any Facebook scams online.
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.