Alaska USA participated in the 14th annual Special Olympics Alaska Polar Plunge Saturday, Dec. 17. The frigid fundraiser took place at Goose Lake in Anchorage where over $324,000 was raised to support local Special Olympics athletes and their sports training.
Alaska USA had 13 employees raise more than $11,000 and plunge into the freezing water that morning to show support of inspiring sports training and competition for Special Olympics Alaska athletes. One of the participants braving the cold was Alaska USA’s President and CEO, Geoff Lundfelt.
“The Polar Plunge is something I look forward to every year. If these athletes can be brave in stepping out on the field, court, or track, then I too can be brave and support Special Olympics by Freezin’ for a Reason,” said Lundfelt. “It’s refreshing and empowering to take the plunge and it motivates me to continue to help support their mission.”
Alaska USA is committed to supporting local communities by lightening the financial load for organizations, like Special Olympics Alaska, so they can continue to provide critical services for people with intellectual disabilities and impact Alaska for generations to come.
Origence, the leading lending technology solutions provider for credit unions, collaborated with top financial services provider and investment banking advisor, Stifel, to assist OCCU in building the credit union’s first auto asset-backed securities (ABS) deal.
This $275 million auto securitization deal is comprised of direct and indirect prime-quality vehicle loans and retail installment sales contracts. OCCU, an Oregon-based credit union, executed this deal while also realizing improved efficiency, enhanced internal collaboration, and full support from the Origence and Stifel teams.
“Origence, Stifel, and our transaction advisor, ALM First, all proved invaluable in this important new initiative,” said Ron Neumann, president & CEO of OCCU. “And, with the assistance of the team at Origence, we were able to create automated processes that helped us realize incredible efficiencies. In fact, the collaboration produced the template that will guide our future ABS deals.”
OCCU now has the infrastructure in place to collateralize its vehicle loans, which include light-duty trucks, sport utility vehicles, and vans - both new and used. This marks the fourth official auto securitization deal completed in the industry since the release of NCUA’s June 2017 Opinion Letter finding that the authority to issue and sell securities is within an FCU's incidental powers under the FCU Act. With these securities now firmly in place, OCCU is in a prime position to continue its digital transformation, improve members' experience, and embrace the technology that digital-first markets demand.
“Helping credit unions to make more loans and increase their efficiencies is our mission, so it made sense to collaborate with the OCCU and Stifel teams on this endeavor,” said Tony Boutelle, president and CEO of Origence. “We are looking forward to a continued partnership and a successful securitization program.”
“This fourth successful credit union securitization makes it clear that we are well past the proof of concept phase,” added Rob Smith, managing director at Stifel. “And with the credit union industry surpassing banks for the greatest market share of auto financings, the value of securitization to create reliable off-balance sheet origination capacity and manage liquidity, credit and interest rate risk for institutions with world-class lending platforms like OCCU cannot be understated.”
During the season of giving to end 2022, Bill Cheney, CEO of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, and Dwayne Naylor, CEO of Local Government Federal Credit Union, are challenging their peers in the United States to support the growth of credit unions worldwide through the work of Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions' (WFCU) Bridge the Gap campaign.
With each credit union pledging $50,000 to Bridge the Gap, they are now encouraging both institutions and individuals across the U.S. credit union industry to match their combined $100,000 gift in support of international credit union development.
Credit union communities across Latin America, Ukraine and Africa are being supported by World Council International Projects that partner with national credit union associations to reach the underserved.
Bill and Dwayne released a joint statement on their belief in the vital role WFCU plays in credit union development worldwide.
"The world is a better place with more credit unions in it. The transformational work of Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, in partnership with World Council of Credit Unions, is essential to growing and sustaining the credit union model, bringing financial inclusion and well-being to millions of lives every day. SchoolsFirst FCU and Local Government FCU are proud to challenge our U.S. colleagues during this giving season to match us dollar-for-dollar—in order to complete the Foundation's 2022 Bridge the Gap campaign. With a total of $100,000 in matched funding, the Foundation's work can continue to compliment active and proposed World Council projects worldwide. Every credit union has a part to play in expanding our model of serving members, and that is what our commitment and challenge to Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions is all about."
From now until December 31, 2022, donations to meet the $100,000 challenge can be made
online at https://www.doglobalgood.org/donate/give.
See the impact of Worldwide Foundation's credit union development, Ukraine relief, Global Women's Leadership Network (GWLN) and World Young Credit Union Professionals' (WYCUP) program work highlighted in this 2022 Impact Video.
Serve Credit Union Raises $3,930 for Princess Camryn Fund, Benefitting Blank Children’s Hospital & Children’s Cancer Connection
Serve Credit Union, a financial cooperative founded in the “people helping people” spirit, hosted its 4th Annual Santa Claus at SCU family fundraiser on December 16 to raise funds for the Princess Camryn Fund and collect gift donations for a local family. Click here for photos from the event.
Every year, Serve selects a family in need during the holiday season. This year, the credit union selected Paul Storbeck, a longtime member of the Des Moines Fire Department and Serve. The family has a long history of giving back as their lives have been so deeply impacted by cancer across the generations.
Santa arrived at Serve’s Urbandale branch to give the family the gifts that have been collected the past two months and present financial donations. All monetary donations received (including Serve’s Giving Tuesday match) will go to the Princess Camryn Fund, which directly supports Children’s Cancer Connection and Blank Children’s Hospital- Child Life Specialists. This fund is named after Paul’s daughter Camryn, who lost her courageous battle with Neuroblastoma cancer in 2014.
In addition to Santa and holiday décor, Serve recruited a fire truck to be onsite to show support for the family.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to help a family within our credit union membership every year,” said Jami Weems, CEO of Serve Credit. “Our members and community showed up to support the Storbeck family during this difficult time, and it’s a direct reflection of our credit union’s philosophy of people helping people.”
To read more about the family and find additional ways to support them during this holiday season, please visit https://www.servecu.org/santa-claus-at-scu. To view photos from the event, please go here.
Serve Credit Union serves those who serve the community, including Des Moines public servants like USDA employees, teachers, police officers, first responders like firefighters, correctional officers and EMTs. Read more about Serve and its unique membership at https://www.servecu.org/.
SavvyMoney, the leading provider of innovative credit score solutions, and Alkami, the leading provider of cloud-based digital banking solutions for banks and credit unions in the U.S., recently signed their 100th shared customer, an exciting milestone in their rapidly expanding partnership. Since its launch in 2019, the number of Alkami digital banking clients choosing SavvyMoney as their credit score solution has grown steadily.
Beyond sharing a customer base of financial institutions, the organizations also share an unwavering commitment to promoting consumer financial wellness, which powers the partnership’s steady growth and success. Alkami’s clients offer tremendous value to their over 13.7 million digital banking users.
SavvyMoney’s president and CEO, JB Orecchia elaborated on this further, “Both SavvyMoney and Alkami are committed to delivering our joint clients an unparalleled digital banking experience that prioritizes transparency, trust, and overall financial wellness. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past three years with Alkami and look forward to the many exciting partnership milestones yet to come as we continue to invest in and grow this relationship for many years ahead.”
SavvyMoney’s innovative solution allows banks and credit unions without a proprietary credit score solution to offer unlimited, real-time access to credit score and reporting information to their clients. Beyond credit score visibility, SavvyMoney’s innovative, highly interactive solution delivers unique, value-added benefits, including: monitoring and alerts, educational content, interactive savings and loan calculators, and personalized loan offers. SavvyMoney helps consumers make more informed financial decisions by increasing credit awareness and digital engagement, saving them money, and improving their overall financial well-being. SavvyMoney reports that 38% of digital banking users who enrolled in SavvyMoney through the Alkami partnership improved their credit scores a full tier.
In addition to the value SavvyMoney delivers to the financial institutions’ end users, the credit score solution delivers tangible value to the banks and credit unions themselves in the form of credit data, analytic tools, and digital marketing capabilities, along with extensive tracking and reporting functionality. By leveraging real-time data to drive highly targeted and personalized digital marketing strategy, Alkami’s clients can efficiently and successfully increase share of wallet and improve customer retention.
Alkami’s co-founder and chief strategy and product officer, Stephen Bohanon had this to say about the partnership, "At Alkami, we take great pride in bringing our clients best-in-class digital banking solutions through the power of partnerships. The SavvyMoney solution on the Alkami Platform has provided our shared clients with immediate and on-going value. We look forward to adding many more joint clients in the future."
The Alkami clients that adopted SavvyMoney cite the product’s ease-of-implementation, user friendly interface, and excellent customer service as reasons for their decision. As Matthew Tully, VP of Marketing for Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), an Alkami digital banking client, noted, “SavvyMoney’s solution not only transforms credit score data into actionable insights, but the partnership team has been invaluable in helping us leverage these insights to drive tangible results. Whether it’s working closely with our own team to implement successful marketing campaigns or teaching us the value of a tactic like retargeting, they have proven themselves a solid partner over the years. We feel like they are an extension of the CU SoCal team.” For more information, visit www.savvymoney.com and www.alkami.com
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and other organizations wrote to House Financial Services Committee, Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Committee, and Community Development Finance caucus leaders Tuesday with grave concerns over the proposed new Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification application. The CDFI Fund proposed the new guidance Nov. 5 under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).
“Specifically, we strongly believe that the proposed changes will significantly undermine the efforts of CDFIs to meet the needs of borrowers in low-income and distressed communities,” the letters read. “In addition, the scope of the proposed changes is broad enough that we believe implementing those changes through the PRA was procedurally inappropriate and did not allow for sufficient consideration of stakeholder feedback.”
The organizations note the proposed application and application guidance—which will go into effect in April 2023—constitute major policy changes with regard to which entities will be certified and eligible for federal funding.
“With this proposed policy overhaul, the CDFI Fund will radically reshape the CDFI industry. This new application and guidance will not simply flush out a few ‘bad apples.’ Mission-focused CDFIs with long track records of impact and quality service to low-income communities will be forced to make a painful choice,” the letters read. “Some will forgo CDFI certification and access to the CDFI Fund’s resources but continue to serve their communities, while others will maintain their CDFI certification at the expense of reductions in service and access to capital for CDFI Target Markets. We do not believe these choices should be inevitable, or forced by the CDFI Fund.”
CUNA previously submitted comments on the proposed certification application earlier this month, noting that the changes would inappropriately exclude “large swaths” of mission-focused credit unions.
IMM and Compliance Systems Partner to Deliver Advanced Compliance Documents with eSignatures for Community Financial Institutions
IMM, the only eSignature provider that specializes in eSignature and digital transaction solutions exclusively for financial institutions, and Compliance Systems, the financial industry’s leading provider of modern digital and dynamic compliance documentation, today announced a strategic partnership to provide financial institutions a more streamlined, digital-first banking platform with embedded compliance. IMM’s flagship eSignature platform, IMM eSign, will be seamlessly integrated with Compliance Systems’ dynamic compliance document technology solution, enabling community banks and credit unions to offer eSignatures for transaction documents.
IMM’s real-time integration with Compliance Systems will enable community banks and credit unions to offer eSignatures for dynamic documents generated with Compliance Systems technology. Compliance Systems provides regulatory updates in the cloud, ensuring all required data is present and validated for each transaction, mitigating risk at the root level. The newly integrated solutions provide an automated, simplified and more efficient process to ensure documents are compliant and electronically signed so that institutions can complete document transactions faster, with increased accuracy.
“We are focused on providing banks and credit unions advanced, innovative solutions that efficiently address the complex challenges associate with compliance,” said Chris Appie, president, Compliance Systems. “Working with IMM, we will be able to deliver a sophisticated digital platform that addresses the growing demands from today’s increasingly mobile society. By providing remote eSignatures, banks and credit unions can provide a superior, digital-first experience, developing stronger relationships with existing customers, and expand into new markets.”
The integrated compliance platform with eSignature capabilities enables institutions to maintain compliant transactions and mitigate risks while optimizing deposit and lending digital-first initiatives to provide a more engaging, positive consumer experience. Additionally, banks and credit unions have full control of content configuration including the ability to quickly adapt document language to meet specific requirements. Together, IMM and Compliance Systems have developed this digital-first compliance solution that simplifies and automates the traditionally complex and cumbersome compliance process.
“We are very pleased to be entering into a partnership with Compliance Systems,” said Steve LaCarter, vice president of sales and business development, IMM. “The synergy between our two organizations was immediately apparent and we view the Compliance Systems team as an extension of our team. Together, we’ve collaborated to provide community financial institutions the technology tools needed to thrive in today’s increasingly competitive market.”
“NAFCU commends lawmakers for advancing a funding package that is free of any harmful provisions that would place added burdens on credit unions. Our credit union members and diligent advocacy team were successful in keeping the Credit Card Competition Act as well as any provision to grant the NCUA with additional third-party vendor authority out of the package. This omnibus also gives CDFI funding a well-deserved boost and directs the Fund to listen to concerns of stakeholders, something NAFCU has pushed for consistently. While the NAFCU-backed SAFE Banking Act and Credit Union Board Modernization Act were not included, we will continue to work with lawmakers in the new Congress to pass legislation that is advantageous for credit unions and their 134 million members.”
- NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Greg Mesack
Allegacy Federal Credit Union has partnered with the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation to launch the Allegacy Foundation, a donor-advised fund,to expand its philanthropic efforts.
The Allegacy Foundation will address Allegacy’s priorities of food insecurity, health and well being, education, and diversity, equity and inclusion through charitable donations to non-profit organizations within the communities it serves across North Carolina. “Our members are at the center of everything we do,” said Cathy Pace, Allegacy CEO. “Through this charitable foundation, we will be able to support the organizations and causes they care about most.”
The foundation’s webpage features impact statements about its community giving, a form where non-profits can submit a donation request, and opportunities for Allegacy employees, members and community members to donate funds to the Allegacy Scholarship Program and community development initiatives.
The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation has served as a partner to credit unions and their community giving efforts for more than 30 years. Its mission is to empower and inspire credit unions in the Carolinas to enrich the communities they serve. Allegacy and the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation partnership will create opportunities to connect donations with the underserved and enhance lives.
Co-op Solutions Completes 2022 With Key Achievements Reflecting its Role as Leading Credit Union Partner
In a year when the company rebranded as Co-op Solutions, the credit union movement’s leading payments and financial technology partner recorded a series of key achievements in service to credit union growth and member prosperity.
“Co-op’s mission is to connect credit unions to the technology, strategic partnership and scale they need to best serve their members now and into the future,” said Todd Clark, President/CEO of Co-op. “Our entire body of work in 2022 was dedicated to taking action towards that mission, and fulfilling our vision for credit unions to become the most essential resource in peoples’ financial lives.”
Co-op projects record revenues in 2022, with strong new business sales and a high existing client renewal rate. Co-op clients continued brisk adoption of recent product additions such as Digital Card Issuance and Zelle, as well as Co-op Contact Center, Co-op Shared Branch and Credit/Debit Processing. And, in early 2023 the company will roll out its Co-op Pay Network, a new debit POS network designed specifically for credit unions and to help them receive the most favorable debit point-to-sale terms.
The company also made new inroads in Eastern Seaboard markets, particularly in Maine, where the Co-op ATM network grew to 150 locations, a 67% increase from the previous year.
“We maintained a strong balance sheet while continuing on our path of developing an ecosystem of technology solutions for credit unions,” said Clark. “Client participation in our ecosystem – developed by Co-op particularly over the last five years – is helping our partners compete and thrive in a growing, fast-changing payments landscape.”
Among the product highlights for Co-op in the past year include enhancements to the Co-op Developer Portal, with the addition of software development kit (SDK) and drop-in user interface (UI) options to help credit union tech teams add more digital services for members faster and more seamlessly. In addition, Co-op Shared Branch locations were almost fully restored to pre-pandemic levels, the network once again second-only to Bank of America. The company also introduced and expanded Co-op Shared Branch Reports, allowing executives to quickly view their shared branching trends and data.
Data, monitoring and integration process enhancements have delivered efficiencies within Co-op’s technology environment, with file processing seeing a 70% increase against service expectations and a 15% decrease in overall file processing time compared to 2021. Advancing its Cloud-based capabilities, Co-op completed its billing system migration, making it easier for clients to manage their accounts with Co-op. And, an extensive renovation of its Dallas/Fort Worth-area location underlined Co-op’s commitment to connecting clients through this geographically central site and enabled Co-op Contact Center expansion to better serve credit union members.
Co-op Expands its Consult Services, Philanthropic Support
Co-op Consult, one of Co-op’s five business lines, had a banner year with THINK consultation and strategy, including the first live THINK event since 2019. Held in Chicago in May, THINK 22 saw engagement levels return to close to the same numbers before being interrupted by the pandemic. Co-op also hosted its first THINK CEO Summit in June. Earlier this month, Co-op announced that THINK 23 will be held in Tucson, Arizona, May 2-4, 2023, with the theme of “The Invisible Revolution.” More information can be found here.
Co-op unveiled two white papers during the year detailing extensive market research on both credit unions and members, conducted in conjunction with EY and Filene Research Institute. In June, Co-op made available the CU Growth Outlook study; and earlier this month Co-op introduced “Building the New Member Centricity: A Blueprint for Credit Union Leaders,” available for immediate download here.
The company continued to assist its clients from a business intelligence standpoint with detailed, monthly trend analyses of consumer spending based on its portfolio of credit and debit cards. The latest trends report, on November 2022 spending, can be found here.
Co-op’s commitment to the movement’s charity of choice, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, was strongly in evidence. More than $4 million was raised through the Co-op Miracle Match program, combining CU4Kids fundraisers and Co-op matching funds. In addition, Co-op donated all benefits of its sponsorship of the 2022 President’s Cup golf tourney in September. As a result, Co-op Solutions and its credit union partners raised nearly $30,000 for charity – $16,100 for CMN Hospitals and $13,500 for Financial Well-Being for All, the National Credit Union Foundation’s financial wellness campaign.
“Among the things I’m most proud of is that our 2022 Voice of the Employee survey continued to show increased engagement and commitment by our employees,” said Clark. “We have a dedicated team of more than 1,800 employees with a deep sense of client service. We can’t wait to do even more in 2023.”
For more information on the Co-op ecosystem for credit unions and their members, visit www.coop.org/Solutions.
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.