2023 ALM First Financial Forum Wraps-Up with Insights on Charting Financial Success, Navigating Change
The 2023 ALM First Financial Forum wrapped up yesterday at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara after three days of engaging sessions focused on charting financial success and navigating change.
During the final day of the conference, Deedee Myers, Ph.D. and CEO of DDJ Myers, an ALM First Company, presented The Power of Purpose: Cultivating Alignment and Building a Future-Ready Organization, emphasizing the importance of developing mid-level talent and preparing the next generation of depository leaders.
A panel, led by ALM First’s Jessica Richardson-Isenegger, on Adapting to Change: Strategic Communication in the Evolving Landscape discussed how best to prepare for conversions, mergers, and potential crisis response. The entire ALM First executive team closed out this year’s Financial Forum, sharing their insights and perspectives on the topics discussed throughout the event and answering questions in an open forum.
This year, more than 200 financial professionals attended the three-day conference, which was designed for everyone involved in managing or monitoring the balance sheet to discover insights, formulate strategies and gain new perspectives as they prepare for the coming year.
In addition to the 2023 Financial Forum’s general sessions, two separate education tracks, led by a variety of industry experts, delivered custom-tailored sessions to Executives and Boards. These sessions covered a wide range of topics including asset liability management, interest rate risk, enterprise risk management, governance, and more.
Explore all of the educational resources ALM First offers by visiting www.almfirst.com/learn
and mark your calendars for the 2024 ALM First Financial Forum, which will be held September 22-25 at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
PSCU, the nation’s premier payments credit union service organization (CUSO) and an integrated financial technology solutions provider, is pleased to announce Horizon Credit Union (Horizon) has selected the CUSO to provide services and support for its debit and credit card programs and ATMs following an extensive RFP process.
Originally established as Kaiser Employees Federal Credit Union in 1947, the credit union was renamed as Horizon in 1981. Today, Horizon now has over 30 branches throughout eastern Washington, Idaho, western and central Montana and eastern Oregon. With $2.1 billion in assets, the rapidly growing regional credit union is dedicated to helping its nearly 113,000 members achieve their dreams.
Horizon engaged with a consultant to identify a vendor capable of supporting all aspects of plastic card and ATM processing, as well as provide after-hours support to members. Additionally, it was important the new processor be committed to growth and development and able to quickly adapt to changes in the industry. The credit union evaluated multiple vendors based on rigorous criteria, prioritizing system effectiveness and member satisfaction.
“It was important to identify a partner who could support Horizon’s current card volume and future growth, as well as offer essential features our members have come to expect. In PSCU, we found a partner that provides some of the most innovative offerings in the industry, including digital issuance, robust analytics and state-of-the-art fraud detection, all of which we believe will take our card programs to the next level,” said Horizon Director of Payment Services Wendie Ellis. “The fact that PSCU is owned and operated by credit unions was also a big plus – the CUSO really understands credit unions and listens to their needs.”
PSCU will begin providing processing and ATM services in July 2024.
“Horizon places the same value on providing exceptional service that we do at PSCU, and they share our commitment to forward-thinking innovation,” said PSCU Chief Revenue Officer and EVP Scott Wagner. “We are eager to begin the onboarding process next year and look forward to partnering with Horizon to provide its members with the exemplary service they are accustomed to when working with their trusted credit union.”
77 participants from three states were selected to participate in this year’s Tristate Mentor Match - a 12-month formal mentorship program developed in partnership by the Minnesota Credit Union Network, Montana’s Credit Unions and the Wisconsin Credit Union League. The program is designed to build, grow, and support professionals and inspire commitment to a career in the credit union movement. Now in its third year, the program is supporting its highest number of participants to date.
“MnCUN is excited to collaborate again with our league partners to connect top talent in the Tristate Mentorship Program,” said Mara Humphrey, President of the Minnesota Credit Union Network. “We are grateful and proud to have so many participants commit their time and talent to the credit union movement.”
“Mentoring is a proven model to support our leaders, empowering and encouraging them in their personal development and career goals," added Gerry Singleton, President/CEO of Montana's Credit Unions. “The Tristate Mentorship Program demonstrates collaboration while deepening relationships and best-practice sharing across our three states. Our credit unions and our movement are stronger than ever because of this program."
Brett Thompson, President & CEO of The Wisconsin Credit Union League, stated, "The Movement is made stronger through this collaborative, cooperative effort that develops our credit union professionals and utilizes their talents."
Mentorship pairs will meet monthly for the next year, supported by a program guide, check-ins from league staff, and additional resources to help maximize the experience for both the mentee and mentor.
The Tristate Mentorship Match is sponsored in part by Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union, Corporate Central Credit Union, and Millennium Corporate Credit Union.
Kinective, a leading provider of connectivity, workflow, and analytics software for the banking sector, today announced its inaugural Innovator of the Year Award winners, recognizing six financial institutions who are setting the bar high in the industry, and paving the way for innovation in banking.
The Innovator of the Year awards were designed to recognize the technology innovations that its clients and fintech partners have achieved throughout the past year. The awards were divided into six categories: Best Operating Efficiency, Best Experience, Best Connectivity, Technology Trailblazer, Freshest Fintech, and Digital Driver. The awards will be presented individually to each of the winners.
Stephen Baker, CEO of Kinective, said, “Since the inception of Kinective, we have had the opportunity to work with more than 2,500 financial institutions that range in size from DeNovo Banks to some of the largest financial institutions across the U. S. as well as some of the most innovative Fintech providers in the industry. This gives us a unique perspective on the banking industry, and we want to recognize and celebrate innovation from these banks, credit unions, and fintechs that are pushing the limit to create better overall customer and members experiences.”
The 2023 Innovator winners are:
Technology Trailblazer: OnPoint Community Credit Union (Portland, Oregon)
The Technology Trailblazer recognizes the financial institution making strides on transforming its branch technology to improve the overall client experience and optimize team efficiency.
Best Operating Efficiency: Arvest Bank (Bentonville, Arkansas)
The Best Operating Efficiency award recognizes the financial institution that cost-efficiently delivers modern or inventive products and services.
The Ultramodern Experience: United Bank of Michigan (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
The Ultramodern Experience award recognizes the financial institution that is creating a seamless client experience by breaking down traditional in-branch barriers through innovative technology and out-of-the-box thinking.
The Unrivaled Employer: Lone Star Credit Union (Dallas, Texas)
The Unrivaled Employer award recognizes the financial institution exemplary in reducing and improving onboarding timeframes, empowering employees through support and job duty consolidation, and creating cultures focused on sales and customer success.
Freshest Fintech: Mahalo Technologies, Inc. (Troy, Michigan)
The Freshest Fintech award recognizes a newer (2-3 years) fintech company on the market who is going above and beyond to empower financial institutions to reach new heights.
Digital Driver: ICE Mortgage Technology (Pleasanton, California)
The Digital Driver award recognizes the fintech company leading the way with excellent service, trailblazing solutions, and consistently reliable technology for clients.
Baker added, “Each of these institutions and fintechs are an exemplary example of what it takes to be best-in-class providers who consistently go above and beyond to pioneer new ideas and drive innovative solutions. The winners are leading the way in transforming their organizations and the lives of the customers and members they serve. Congratulations to each of our winners, they are re-imagining how the financial industry can provide services than not only meet expectations but also exceed them.”
Member Access Processing (MAP), the nation’s leading provider of the Visa DPS Debit, Credit, ATM, Prepaid, and Mobile Processing platform to credit unions, announced today that Steve Bone has accepted a position as the company's new chief executive officer. Bone has been an executive in financial services technology for 31 years and he brings deep technology experience to his new position at MAP. Most recently, he served as chief operations officer at Trellance, which provides data analytics and business intelligence solutions to the credit union industry.
"The board believes Steve has the knowledge and skills to move Member Access Processing into a future where technology plays a vital role in giving members better access to financial services with the strongest possible security," said Gordon Howe, chair of the board for MAP. "With his technical expertise matched to our 25-year history of customer service, we will have an unbeatable portfolio of processing services to offer our credit unions customers. We are lucky to have him."
Prior to joining MAP, Bone served as the chief operations officer at Trellance focusing on mergers and acquisitions, and partnerships. Following Trellance’s acquisition of Ongoing Operations (OGO), he managed the transition of the OGO business line and developed new services in the talent business line. Before that, Bone served in executive roles with FIS, CAPCO, Q2, and First Entertainment Credit Union.
Steve’s focus on financial services technology innovation spans business development and operational roles in more than 20 countries. At FIS, he led a global services division focused on large financial institutions. As a partner at CAPCO, he led the delivery teams for three digital bank builds on three continents. Also, Bone was a founder and executive in the Q2 Banking as a Service (BaaS) Division.
"I'm thrilled to join a company with an unrivaled reputation in the industry," said Bone, CEO of MAP. "MAP has the industry’s best customer service model for credit and debit card processing. I'm excited to help expand the company's technology, mobile, and online capabilities. The credit union industry deserves the best card processing services possible, and MAP is going build on its legacy as a leader in service and technology for credit unions. I can't wait to get started."
Bone holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Cyndie Martini founded Member Access Processing in 1997. During that time, she grew the MAP business throughout the United States and secured a strong, lasting relationship with Visa. Under her leadership, MAP remains the only credit union service organization to offer Visa Debit Processing services. Martini has kept the company at the forefront of providing industry-leading products and services to credit unions.
“Twenty-five years ago, Cyndie had a vision of how credit unions could compete against the credit and debit card services of large, national banks and she turned that vision into a successful company,” said Jeff Kennedy, President/CEO of TwinStar Credit Union and founding owner of MAP. “We are grateful for her leadership and we congratulate her on a great career.”
For more information about Member Access Processing, please visit https://maprocessing.com/.
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a leading enterprise technology provider, today announced a strategic investment in Clip Money Inc. (TSXV: CLIP) (OTCQB: CLPMF) and has established a long-term, firmware exclusive, commercial collaboration that will combine Clip's pioneering business cash deposit solution with NCR’s cardless cash deposit API and cash in network.
This partnership accelerates Clip's market expansion while enriching the value proposition of NCR’s cash management solutions for issuers and merchants. The combined solution will create value for financial institutions that want to provide businesses with convenient cash deposit options and reduce demand on branches, as well as for merchants who will have a safe, easy way to manage their excess cash at the end of a shift, without managing card portfolios.
Clip Money is the only multi-bank cash deposit network in North America focused on businesses and driven by APIs, enabling any business to make cash deposits into their bank account of choice through Clip’s network without integration at the bank itself. NCR will enable Clip deposit services at its premier cash in network with more than 2,500 operating sites across 30 states serving more than 70 of the largest population centers across the United States, complementing the current ClipDrop network of nearly 400 locations. The expanded network will provide a large portion of U.S. business convenient access to Clip services allowing businesses to manage cash more efficiently regardless of the branch presence of their bank or credit union of choice.
“Access to NCR’s ATM network and cardless cash management API will significantly expand merchant’s access to Clip Money cash deposits endpoints,” said Stuart MacKinnon, EVP, ATM Group, NCR. “These endpoints are located at some of the largest retailers in the country and demonstrate the power of NCR networks to bridge the digital and physical worlds.”
“This partnership with NCR seamlessly complements Clip's existing deposit network, which is primarily situated within shopping malls and prominent big box retailers,” said Joseph Arrage, CEO, Clip. “NCR’s global market presence will provide Clip with an immediate growth platform within North America, as well as the potential to explore international market opportunities that require business deposit transformation.”
Everwise Credit Union Leverages Constellation Digital Banking To Support Successful Brand Conversion and Deliver Enhanced Member Experience
Leading cloud-native digital banking services provider Constellation Digital Partners (Constellation) announced it was instrumental in supporting Everwise Credit Union (Everwise), formerly known as Teachers Credit Union (TCU), successfully transition its digital banking experience to the Everwise brand powered by the Constellation Digital Banking platform. As part of the brand change, Everwise members were introduced to Constellation’s newly enhanced online and mobile banking experience.
Teachers Credit Union, Indiana’s largest credit union, rebranded itself as Everwise this summer to better reflect its mission to empower and serve all people in its more than 50 locations throughout Indiana and southwest Michigan.
"We actually began working with Constellation at the very start, when a small group of like-minded credit unions came together to brainstorm how we could change the trajectory of our online banking futures,” said Dan Rousseve, CIO for Everwise. “Frustrated by our then current solutions’ limitations, we quickly realized that what we really needed was a way to take control of our own future and innovation roadmaps. Constellation has helped us to do just that."
The first institution to implement Constellation’s Digital Banking solution, Everwise has seen engaged, active users increase by 20% since launching its new digital banking experience in June 2022. During the credit union’s recent brand transition, online and mobile banking played a key role in communicating to members that they would continue to receive the same high-level service they had come to expect. The Constellation Digital Banking platform helped Everwise ensure this level of consistency while de-risking the conversion process, allowing the credit union to introduce more “on demand” features to its members quickly and seamlessly.
“We have been very satisfied with the success of our recent brand transition and the performance of the Constellation Digital Banking platform,” said Sharri Tafelski, Vice President of Deposit Operations at Everwise. “During the conversion, it was critical for us to feel confident in what we were implementing and know that we could manage the conversion with minimal interruptions for our members. Constellation helped us achieve both, and we look forward to continuing to provide our membership with new, innovative services that best support their financial goals and wellbeing.”
“From its inception, Everwise has built a strong reputation for putting its members first and investing in innovation in order to meet their needs, so it was critical that this commitment to service carry over to the new brand,” said Kris Kovacs, Founder and CEO of Constellation. “The Constellation Digital Banking platform was designed to put credit unions in the driver's seat and provide them more control over the delivery of advanced products and services to their members -- without the typical costs and associated time commitments – all of which played a key role in supporting Everwise’s successful rebranding initiative.”
The Fledge and Astera Credit Union Forge a Groundbreaking Partnership to Foster Financial Literacy and Economic Empowerment
In an ambitious bid to foster financial literacy, financial health and wellbeing and economic empowerment in Lansing, The Fledge, a radically inclusive ideation and maker space located at 1300 Eureka, has joined forces with Astera Credit Union, an innovator in the financial services sector with a rich history of empowering communities through financial education and the development of products and services that help consumers working towards their financial goals.
Newly Introduced Programs
Building on a shared vision of community enrichment and empowerment in a collaborative fight against poverty, the partnership has given rise to three pivotal programs, slated for immediate launch:
To mark the beginning of this partnership, a presentation of a $10,000 donation by Astera’s Senior Vice- President, Laura Blanding, to further The Fledge’s prosperity initiatives is scheduled for September 27 th at 11:30 AM at Astera Credit Union. A formal launch for the partnership will be held on October 4th , 2023, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Fledge. The event will feature enlightening talks by Jerry Norris of The Fledge and Martin Carter. Attendees will gain insights into the LifeCents App, the types of opportunity loans Astera offers, information about specialty savings accounts, and the structured financial literacy sessions planned for the future.
Martin Carter, President/CEO of Astera, when asked commented, “Over the past several years Astera has shifted more and more of our mission to focus on financially empowering our members and our communities. Credit Unions were founded with the purpose of “people helping people,” and that is still core to our values. There is nothing more important than being able to help people achieve financial independence. As part of that work, we’re committed to providing our underserved communities with equitable access to financial products and services, education, and literacy.”
Jerry Norris, the dynamo behind The Fledge, reflected on this partnership stating, “Astera Credit Union shares our vision of a community where every individual has the tools to achieve financial stability and realize their true potential. We are enthusiastic about the manifold opportunities this collaboration will unfold for the communities we serve, truly embodying our belief that ‘genius is lost in poverty.’
Your Money Further™ Users Gain Access to a Marketplace of Trusted Credit Unions, Powered by Union Credit
Union Credit, the first and only marketplace for credit unions to make firm, one-click credit offers at the point of purchase, announced today their collaboration with Your Money Further, a leading financial resource network owned by CU Awareness, LLC that helps consumers discover the ideal credit union to suit their needs.
Through this collaboration, Your Money Further’s community of participating credit unions will have access to the Union Credit Marketplace; and the more than 12 million annual consumers that visit Your Money Further’s website will now gain access to a wider range of financing options from nearly 300 new participating credit unions that they’re eligible to join.
Your Money Further users can easily shop and compare offers and rates from different local credit unions that want to serve them – spanning across home purchasing, refinancing and equity loans, personal loans, new and used auto loans, and more – with more knowledge into their buying power than ever before. Credit unions gain new, credit-worthy members digitally, helping them increase their direct member acquisition efforts and elevate their brand and strengthen their competitive edge.
Chris Lorence, Executive Director at CU Awareness, LLC, said, “In a rising rate environment, consumers are even more concerned about their financial decisions. Your Money Further is dedicated to empowering consumers to make financial decisions with confidence, and we’re here to help them learn more about the unique benefits of joining a credit union. Union Credit’s marketplace will drive this mission further, providing our users firm, pre-approved offers of credit, eliminating the hassle and guesswork that comes with applying for a loan and empowering consumers to take command of their finances.”
Barry Kirby, chief revenue officer of Union Credit, said “Union Credit is determined to stop credit unions from being the best kept secret in banking and start giving consumers more equitable options. This collaboration with Your Money Further demonstrates our commitment to expanding our reach to communities and creating a level playing field for credit unions, while also empowering consumers to accomplish their financial goals.”
Members First Credit Union is proud to announce that it has been selected as a recipient of the Community Enrichment Grant from the Michigan Credit Union Foundation (MCUF). This $4,000 grant will allow the credit union to further enhance its commitment to financial education and community enrichment.
The grant will be utilized to expand the existing Little Free Libraries initiative with an emphasis on financial education. Through this project, Members First Credit Union aims to provide individuals with access to valuable resources that empower them to make informed financial decisions, ultimately contributing to their personal and financial growth. Thanks to the grant, Members First will have 12 new financial education book titles and will be distributing five copies to each Little Free Library each month, totaling 660 financial education books. This ensures that these valuable resources are easily accessible to our community members.
"Receiving this Community Enrichment Grant from the Michigan Credit Union Foundation is truly an honor for Members First Credit Union," said Bethany Dutcher, Vice President of Marketing at Members First Credit Union. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to enhance our Little Free Libraries with financial education books. Our commitment to the communities we serve goes beyond providing financial services; it extends to empowering individuals with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed financial decisions."
By placing carefully curated financial education books within the Little Free Libraries, Members First Credit Union is taking a significant step toward promoting education in the communities they serve. This initiative aligns perfectly with the credit union's core values and mission to make a lasting positive impact in the communities it serves.
“Our commitment to the communities we serve goes beyond providing financial services; it extends to empowering individuals with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed financial decisions,” said Dutcher. “By placing these books in our Little Free Libraries, we aim to foster a culture of financial literacy and ensure everyone has access to valuable resources for their personal and financial growth. We are grateful to the Michigan Credit Union Foundation for their support in helping us make a positive impact in our communities.”
For more information about Members First Credit Union and its ongoing initiatives, please visit www.mfcu.net/MFCUBlog. To learn more about MCUF and its community Enrichment Grants visit https://www.mcul.org/about-our-foundation/community-enrichment-grants. Members First will be posting information about the Little Free Library monthly book picks on its Facebook page.
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.