This week, CreditUnions.com looks into robotics, simplifying the in-branch experience, credit card agent programs, and more.
Here are five can’t miss data points.
Robots don’t stuff envelopes and lick the stamps at Teachers Credit Union, but they have greatly sped up the process of determining who gets those letters and why. Twenty years ago, Sherri Stewart began building the Hoosier state cooperative’s first data warehouse, producing time-consuming reports on request using Excel and her own growing expertise. Today, robotic process automation software is driving the credit union’s efforts to report on performance and improve its internal processes, making meaning out of millions of pieces of data.
Read: How BI Busts Out At Teachers Credit Union
Walking into a credit union branch can be a gamble for members. Will it be crowded? Will the person working the teller line be able to handle a particular request? Will the time spent — whether five minutes or 15 — be worth it? Enter in-branch queuing and online appointment scheduling, which are eliminating one of the biggest pain points prevalent in the legacy branching experience: the unknown. By partnering with third-party vendors that specialize in these technologies, credit unions are giving members the power to bank where they, when they want, and with whom they want.
Read: The Banker Will See You Now
The credit card industry tends to follow a cyclical pattern. Stick around long enough, and it will become obvious. Sure, the details change, the institutions evolve and adapt, and the competitive demands ratchet up. But the same patterns come back again … and again. The current point of the market cycle feels very much like the mid-90s and mid-00s. The economy seems to be reaching a risky place in the expansion cycle, the competition in the credit card market has pushed costs and resource demands to hard-to-afford levels, and liquidity pressures are mounting. There are always a few new wrinkles, and this time around they are the added burdens of CECL and risk-based capital. We’ve heard these types of concerns in past cycles, cycles that coincided with an increased demand for agent credit card programs.
Read: Credit Card Agent Programs: Are They Making A Comeback?
Credit unions were created to do right by their members. That’s baked into their DNA and in their charters. So, why is it so hard for so many credit unions to deliver that message? In fact, why is it the movement’s competitors — old and new — who are publicly pounding their chests about doing the right thing like it’s something new. Take the case of Chime, a mobile-only bank backed by Bancorp Bank that’s making a big impression in the marketplace by advertising itself as “the bank that has your back” and promising “an early payday” by depositing pay into accounts “up to two days early.” It also offers no hidden fees and 38,000 fee-free ATMs.
Read: It's Time For Credit Unions To "Chime" In About Doing The Right Thing
Loan originations in the first quarter of 2019 contracted for the first time in nearly five years. Loan production in the second quarter, however, picked up pace and was on par with year-ago originations. Credit unions originated $136.8 billion during the second quarter of 2019. By comparison, they originated $136.7 billion during the second quarter of 2018. Despite the return to normal, the first quarter dip has had lasting effects on the portfolio. Originations for the first six months of 2019 dropped 2.5% year-over-year to $248.3 billion.
Read: Loan Production Picks Up In The Second Quarter