Imagine trying to measure gravitational pull. Really. Consider how you might construct a machine to measure the attraction between two masses. If you’re an amateur like me, you wouldn’t even know where to start. But if you think like Henry Cavendish did in 1797, you would construct an elaborate wooden structure and measure torsion in a wire that dangled lead spheres.
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Over the last year, Filene has released a series of reports on the financial state of four groups that are essential to healthy credit unions—Gen Y, pre-retirees, Hispanics, and women. The data paints a troubling picture of various American subgroups’ financial capability.
These reports rely on key data from the National Financial Capability Study to analyze significant indicators of Americans’ financial capability, including short-term and long-term debt. This research demonstrates how essential it is for credit unions to respond to the financial needs of these groups. The studies use more than 5,000 survey observations to illuminate how each group manages money and what factors play into their financial decision making.
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We had the opportunity to sit down with Joanne Belanger at Summit Credit Union’s Inspiration Branch to hear about her experience with Filene’s Digital Strategies program. Check out the short video.
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Make your team smarter: As a member of Filene, you enjoy unlimited access to 26 years of credit union research and innovation. There’s a finding for everyone.
What’s New? That is the question that got answered 72 times at Finovate Spring in San Jose California last week. Being a Finovate newbie can be a little overwhelming with so much to see and understand in a short amount of time. But as I sit on the plane and reflect about my experience there are several things that stand out to me.
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Credit Unions live on the edge of the "banking industry". Credit unions are part of the industry, yet separate. Credit unions fulfill banking services, but in a different manner and context. To learn more about our cousins and competitors, thought you'd like to read a fascinating brief on what goes in the mind of a banker.
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Lerzan Aksoy gives us a sneak peek of her new research around understanding loan purchase decisions tied to member satisfaction, which she will present at our May Colloquium at Fordham University.
Credit unions are wonderful to study because credit unions, by far, have the highest customer satisfaction rating of all financial institutions. The challenge is that member satisfaction hasn’t transferred into revenue growth.
So, how do we make sure satisfaction drives positive member behavior?
Our previous research centered on understanding customer satisfaction linked to members’ share of deposits with the credit union. Deposits are interesting, but people kept asking, what about loans?
In the new research, Linking Member Satisfaction to Loan Decisions, we tried to understand how members go about choosing a loan provider among competing financial institutions. If they choose their credit union, why? If they go to a bank, why? What makes this study unique is that it introduces a very different way of looking at customer satisfaction linked to behavior.
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IMAGE: Brad Barnes kicking a football at Michigan Stadium
"The biggest thing I took from i3 is to constantly question everything you do.
This isn’t to question the validity of a decision you made or a process you implemented, but to see if by adding one piece of information or removing one barrier you would come to the same or a different decision.
Sometimes we accept the status quo because it’s what compliance approved or how we have always done it. To move forward and improve we need to keep focusing on what we truly want to achieve, and work backwards to find a way to make it happen."
Brad Barnes, CPA | Chief Financial Officer | Air Academy Federal Credit Union
Why did you apply for Filene i3?
IMAGE: (Top Row, L to R) Linda Young, Dana Clark, Joline Epple; (Bottom Row) Steve Webb, Jason Werts, Michael Spink.
"To identify the boundaries that were holding me back, and learn how to get past them. That's what I say now; before I got started, I wanted to challenge, be challenged and learn from people smarter than me. Best team ever!"
Michael Spink, CUDE | Innovation Strategist | Local Government Federal Credit Union
"I applied for the i3 program because I wanted the opportunity to learn from and work with the smartest people in the financial services industry."
Jason Werts | Chief Operating Officer | Unitus Community Credit Union
"I was keen to innovate with change makers from other credit unions and experience firsthand how an industry can co-operate and find solutions together."
Linda Young | Founder, Ponderpickle
"If you want to get better, you’ve got to play with the best. Historically Filene, especially i3, has been considered to be the brain trust for our industry. They think bigger, they think broader and these things were very appealing to me both personally and professionally."
Steve Webb ,CCUE | Chief Operations Officer | Neighbors Federal Credit Union
"I applied (twice!) because I wanted to connect with others in the industry for the cause of using our FI knowledge to creatively help consumers in need."
Joline Epple | Director of Marketing | Target CU, a Division of BCU
Read more | Learn more about Filene i3 | Apply now (HURRY! Time's almost up)
Many of our clients choose to outsource all or parts of their cash management operations because they benefit from having a strategic value-adding partner working alongside their internal teams to; reduce costs, increase cost controls, improve core business processes, reduce risk and gain access to specialised expertise. Outsourcing can also help instil focus within a business where under-utilized members of staff are redeployed to enhance capacity in core business areas, such as member service.
Because credit unions have a strong focus on member service, outsourcing may feel challenging and risky. However, over recent years, particularly with the emergence of new technologies, outsourcing within credit unions has increased and evolved.
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This May 20-21 hear our very own George Hofheimer talk about some hot-off-the-press research at CU Direct’s Lending & Marketing Conference, Drive’15.