As the Economy Bounces Back, Will Credit Union Technology Budgets Increase?

Callahan’s annual technology survey offers insight into priorities and investments.


Callahan & Associates is launching its 2010 Credit Union Technology Survey to identify credit union technology priorities.  In light of the survey, it makes sense to review how the economy has impacted – and will continue to impact – spending patterns. Despite last year’s poor economy, 56% of respondents in Callahan’s 2009 survey reported an increase in their budget, while only 28% reported a decline. 

New Federal regulations clearly impacted the industry, with 64% of respondents reporting an increase in this portion of their technology budget. Additionally, credit unions anticipated rises in two types of enhancements, member-facing and efficiency-related investments. Spending on required maintenance generally stayed the same. 

These trends can also be seen in the types of technologies credit unions were planning to invest in for 2010 compared to 2009. More than half of the credit unions cited plans for investments in business continuity or back-up operations for member service, online banking enhancements, and website redesigns. For many credit unions, new technologies such as mobile banking, online loan decisioning, and secure member online communications were put off.


Technology Spending Priorities

New Technologies Positively Affect Operating Expenses and Member Service
As budgets tightened, credit unions focused on technology investments that would positively impact their bottom lines. To reduce operating expenses, credit unions chose imaging solutions – including Check 21 and Teller Capture – core system upgrades, and phone system upgrades.  Respondents cited a range of changes, such as:

e-alerts, Branch Capture C21, combined notices, C21 ATMs
Fraud detection and automated decisioning for new accounts
Streamline software to streamline account opening - reduced the time to 1/2. Upgrade in ACD software. Switched ATMs to internal network. New lending interface. Electronic signatures.Virtual Infrastructure
Our new core data processing solution will help control and/or reduce our existing IT expenses

In terms of the greatest impact on enhancing member service, the most frequently mentioned technologies were home banking upgrades, mobile banking, and online lending and account opening.  These types of technologies have a double impact, as they not only increase member service but also efficiency. Cited technologies include:

Online account opening, Institution to Institution transfers, Electronic notices
Streamline software to streamline account opening - reduced the time to 1/2. New homebanking product to include mobile banking
Mobile banking, secure document sharing, and online knowledge base

In the wake of uncertainty over a further assessment, some credit unions may be wary of planning too many enhancements, and it might take another year for technology budgets to bounce back in some regions of the country. What technologies are critical for 2010 and beyond? Share your credit union’s technology plans and participate in this year’s study.   

Participate in Callahan’s 2010 Technology Survey.  You’ll receive valuable data to benchmark your credit union’s priorities and spending with other credit unions.  Click here to take the Technology Survey.




May 17, 2010


  • Hi,

    this article is great. Can you let me know if you have the technology spending priorities for 2011?