Published On: Sat, Jan 13th, 2018

Time To Evolve: One Technology Innovation Credit Unions Need Right Now

Credit unions across the United States are facing a crisis of survival. Aging membership, lower lifetime member values, and a shrinking share of assets and deposits have many credit unions of all sizes wondering how to turn around and face the future head-on. Mergers and shrinking membership numbers mean that many may not have an independent future, while larger credit unions are coming out of mergers more competitive and more capable of challenging bigger banks and reaching new communities. The challenges facing credit unions of all sizes are historic.

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#1 Demographics — Many small credit unions based in smaller communities are facing the full brunt of demographic shift, as younger Americans concentrate increasingly in urban centres. That shrinks rural credit unions’ target markets for growth to a demographic that’s shifting from asset accumulation to asset depletion, and one that’s less reliant on loans. However, it also means that credit unions with urban branches are uniquely poised to reach more people with fewer branches and self-serve technology.

#2 Taxation – Credit unions are facing a crisis of taxation as Congress faces pressure to end a credit union taxation exemption despite independent studies showing its community benefits. Without the tax exemption, many credits unions would be in jeopardy, and the country could lose 900,000 jobs and $16 billion in savings.

#3 Technology Innovation – As FinTech increasingly aims to disrupt older financial models like banks and credit unions. Long averse to risking in-person relationships with their members, smaller credit unions have fallen behind. But they don’t have the luxury to do that any more and need to invest in mobile payments and new self-serve options.

If they’re going to face these challenges and evolve, credit union boards need to keep up with news and updates about board governance technology that can help. The one technology innovation a credit union board can invest in right now to start turning aroundis board meeting software that really works.

Board meeting software is a secure way to distribute board books and other documents in a way that’s equitable and improves pre-meeting engagement. Any board of directors that gets bogged down with background questions at the beginning of every discussion will save valuable meeting time with board portal software.

For credit unions of all sizes, budget remains a deciding factor in technology investments. Board meeting software made by Aprio is one of the most affordable platforms available that still offers the extensive security features of more expensive software. That’s why it’s used by credit unions like Point West, Blue Shore Financial, VanCity, Hawaii State and Kitsap, as well as dozens of others in both the United States and Canada.

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As one of their clients, Point West Credit Union, describes in a case study, Aprio Boardroom is designed to improve board meeting productivity by changing director expectations and providing the training to make the shift from paper to digital. The company provides one-on-one training for all directors, which means that they can leave out paper books altogether and get down to working between meetings.

With high security and thorough training, board meeting software will transform the way credit union boards can discuss the steps it needs to take to evolve with the times.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at knowledgeherald@gmail.com

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