3 Critical Stages of Third-Party Vendor Management

By Vanessa Stanfield, Insurance Solutions powered by Affinion

Did you know your credit union could be responsible for the performance of your vendors? No credit union wants to encounter regulatory trouble or face reputational risk; especially as a result of vendor activities. It’s because of that fact that vendor management due diligence is a topic of increasing importance.

But what is the right way to go about choosing  third party vendor? The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has provided clear direction regarding vendor due diligence. Additionally, the NCUA has deemed the following areas as critical in third-party vendor management: Risk Assessment & Planning, Due Diligence, and Risk Measurement, Monitoring and Control.

Risk Assessment & Planning

Risk Assessment

Prior to engaging a third-party relationship, assess the current risks and document how the vendor will relate to your credit union’s strategic plan. When conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, the key areas of focus are: credit, interest rate, liquidity, transaction, compliance, strategy, and reputational risk. In this discovery phase, your credit union can identify the current risks and establish expectations of the new relationship.

Due Diligence

There are four fundamental due diligence elements to consider when choosing a vendor: organizational, business model, financial health, and program risks. In these areas, your credit union can assess what degree of due diligence is required.

But remember- not all vendors are created equal. More complex vendor relationships with more risk will typically require increased due diligence; less complexity and risk means less rigorous due diligence. For a comprehensive report and the five key due diligence questions you need to ask your vendors, read the full whitepaper here.

Risk Measurement, Monitoring and Control

Credit unions must be able to continually measure performance and risk throughout the relationship with the vendor. To do this, your credit union should clearly outline the vendor’s responsibilities and policies before taking on the vendor. In the end, this will allow for proper vendor performance management so that you can ensure expectations are being met.

Credit unions should not think of vendors as a third party, but as an extension of their organization. Because of this, it is important to consider the three critical areas above when deciding on a vendor. As the NCUA has conveyed, the utilization of vendors does not in any way diminish the credit union’s level of responsibility and for that reason, credit unions should carefully select their vendors.

What Should We Ask Our Vendors?

To be confident that the vendor’s management programs are the right fit, credit unions must discuss the vendor in great detail and ask the hard questions. Failure to conduct thorough due diligence and effectively monitor these vendors place the credit union at risk. Again, not all vendor relationships call for the same level of due diligence and ongoing monitoring, but in order to determine what level is necessary there are key questions that your credit union must contemplate.

For an in-depth look at the five key due diligence questions that credit unions must ask when selecting a third-party vendor, read the full whitepaper here.

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InsuranceSolution_4CAffinion is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for AD&D Insurance

Adding LIFE To Your Credit Union

By Bryan Clagett, Chief Marketing Officer, Geezeo

Your members’ expectations evolve as they become more acclimated to technology, more financially stressed, and overburdened with life’s pace and demands. In case you have not noticed, the world is changing. Newly emerging competition is developing new bank-like products, and the definition of banking is evolving right before our eyes.

It’s time we step back and reevaluate how credit unions can provide more value.

Declaring you’re the financial partner for life is just not compelling, unless you have strong actions to back it up. Too often we forget that credit unions are enablers, and in fact have the ability to enable members to get the things they want and do the things they want to do.

With all the advances in technology, some things have not changed—like the basic needs of a household to address fundamental financial requirements, milestones, challenges and obligations. Life and money are inextricably linked whether we like it or not (or are willing to admit).

Importance of an Emotional Connection

The key for the credit union is to remain remarkably relevant throughout the “member” journey and to be there with logical products and services when members (or their households) could use them the most. Credit unions are missing very logical point-of-purchase opportunities, while not associating their products with the specific needs of a member at a specific, relevant time.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that people have an emotional connection to money and, perhaps more importantly, things and events. Emotion is a primary differentiator between transactions and a true relational connection, which (in my opinion) is the foundation of an engagement banking strategy.

How can you help a family prepare for a child’s education? How can you help a young couple get their first home? Can we help a couple plan a wedding? What’s the best way for me to get a car for my son? How do we help a family with a medical emergency? Can a bank resolve a small business’s cash crunch? In all of these examples, there are financial considerations and ramifications—and all present opportunities to credit unions.

Engagement Opportunities for Credit Unions

We need to put some LIFE into banking. LIFE is my acronym for “life infused financial experiences.” Milestones, like the examples above, represent obvious opportunities for credit unions to engage members and offer very relevant solutions while building deeper relationships and new levels of trust.

Life_weddingapp_geezeoWe have the data, the systems, the channels, and the people; we simply need to make sure we have the right solutions and services in place that will build systems and triggers that bring credit unions and their solutions to the forefront at the ideal time of need.

Now let’s try to put some ROI or business rationale around this. Bain and Company reports that members who are “emotionally connected” purchase 47% more than those who are simply “satisfied.” Members with a strong, committed relationship are 49% more likely to remain a member and twice as likely to recommend a retailer to friends and family. Bain also found companies that are loyalty leaders, grow revenue twice as fast as their competition and at a lower cost.

We should not fear disruption in the banking industry. However, we should recognize that life is disruptive, so we should find ways to reduce members’ financial pains. Credit unions have the chance to reduce friction while forming deeper emotional connections with members through recognizing and cultivating life infused financial experiences. This is a real opportunity for financial institutions and one that most industry disruptors don’t have the infrastructure or understanding to leverage.

Geezeo-A-Z-LogoGeezeo is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Personal Financial Management (PFM). For more More educational resources and contact information are available at www.nafcu.org/geezeo

Best of NAFCU’s 48th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo (Video and Educational Highlights)

Credit union leaders from around the country gathered to network and discuss the most pressing issues impacting the industry during NAFCU’s 48th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in Montreal, Canada. The conference was NAFCU’s largest event in nearly a decade.

Here’s a quick video of some highlights from this year’s conference:


During the conference, attendees heard from NAFCU management and leading industry professionals that included keynote conference speakers such as TrendHunter.com Founder and CEO Jeremy Gutsche, and MasterCard’s General Counsel and Chief Franchise Officer Tim Murphy.

Solutions Expo at the NAFCU 48th Annual ConferenceThis year’s conference included the annual Solutions Expo, spotlighting the latest technologies, applications, and resources available to help improve credit union operations.

Our Preferred Partners exhibited during the conference and shared their thought leadership, innovations, and solutions during educational sessions throughout the conference.

The complete list of sessions and available presentation slides are available on www.nafcu-annual.org. Here’s a quick listing of key topics presented during the conference to help your credit union grow, retain members, manage risks, protect members, and improve overall operations:

Topic Category Presentation Title Preferred Partner
Growth & Retention Building A Strong Payments Strategy Vantiv
Health Savings Accounts, IRAs and Millennials: A New Generation Presents New Opportunities  Ascensus
Using Credit Scores to Grow and Engage Membership VantageScore
Why Your Credit Union Should Offer Wealth Management Services to All Members Money Concepts
Risk & Security A Deep Dive Into EMV Implementation MasterCard
Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation: Protect Your Member Data Knowledge Consulting Group (KCG)
Top Ten Fraud Risks That Impact Your Financial Institution Allied Solutions
Uncovering the Faces of Fraud Q2
Using Moneyball Tactics and Risk Rating Assessment Models Wolters Kluwer Financial Services
Financial & Insurance Trends in the Retirement Plan Industry Pentegra Retirement Services

Thanks again to the 2015 Annual Conference signature sponsor MasterCard, our 5-star preferred partner sponsors Allied Solutions and Vantiv, and all of our partner sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all at NAFCU’s 49th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in Nashville (Music City) next year! Get more information, sign-up for updates on the latest conference details, and register by visiting www.nafcu-annual.org.

Top Innovative Solutions Recognized at NAFCU 48th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo

The winners of our annual Innovation Awards competition, recognizing outstanding innovations that help credit unions thrive, have been revealed! This year’s Innovation Award winners are preferred partners Insuritas, MasterCard, and Q2.

2015 Innovation Award Winners: Insuritas, MasterCard, Q2

“Our partners set a high standard for innovation geared toward driving credit union success,” said Randy Salser, president of NAFCU Services. “This year’s winners provide innovative solutions that help credit unions stay competitive, while delivering exceptional member service.”

Insuritas for EasySTREET
EasySTREET is the first technology solution of its kind. It extracts data from a credit union’s core, its loan origination system, any credit union CRM or CIF platforms, and supplemental data from TransUnion or Lexis Nexis. It compiles a master auto or home insurance policy application on behalf of the member without ever bothering the member with questions. The technology then automatically solicits bids for auto and home insurance coverages from multiple insurance carriers in under 2 minutes. These prices are then compiled in a personalized email that is sent to the member. The member sees up to four bids from A-rated carriers, ranked by cost. For the first time, the credit union can actually do the insurance shopping for the member without ever bothering the member. For more information about Insuritas’ products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/Insuritas.

MasterCard for Identify Theft Resolution
The Identity Theft Resolution Benefit solution provides credit union members with the ability to monitor the “dark web” and receive tailored alerts about their personal information. Additionally, MasterCard offers free identity remediation services to members who are victims of identity theft. This service will provide more peace of mind to members and will help credit unions reduce cardholder attrition due to security concerns. MasterCard is the only payment network that provides a service like this to all U.S. cardholders. For more information about MasterCard’s products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/MasterCard.

 Q2 Holdings for the Q2platform
The Q2platform gives credit unions the ability to serve their members’ online and mobile banking needs via a single, secure virtual banking solution. While the Q2platform in and of itself is an innovation, perhaps the single most innovative attribute of the platform is its integrated, patent pending security component, RFA (Risk Fraud Analytics). By having a holistic view of end users’ activity, the behavioral profiling algorithms that undergird Q2’s RFA solution are able to build a comprehensive picture of a member’s virtual banking habits. This vital feature makes it far easier to detect anomalous behaviors that typically precede fraud and to stop suspect transactions in real-time—before any funds have been compromised. For more information about Q2’s products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/Q2.

Representatives from Insuritas, MasterCard, and Q2 accepted their awards on Tuesday, June 23rd at a private VIP reception at the Musée Grévin in Montréal.  Join us in congratulating this year’s innovation award winners!

For a complete schedule of conference events, visit www.nafcu-annual.org. For up-to-the-minute information on the conference, follow the #NAFCUAnnual hashtag on Twitter.

Financial Calculators Can Multiply Your Credit Union’s Reach

CULookup Financial Calculator via SmartphoneAlthough Financial Literacy Month officially occurs in April, your members are looking for ways to manage their financial futures throughout the year. Obvious statement? Perhaps, but it’s important to note that regardless of the day or month, your members are continuously looking for practical tools and resources to help plan and set goals to maximize their financial well-being.

Offering financial calculators on your credit union’s website is a huge added value for members and is an easy and quick way to extend your credit union’s reach and create a channel to attract new members.

Deliver Personalized Financial Guidance 24/7

Many people use online financial calculators to estimate mortgage amounts they can obtain, evaluate how long their retirement savings will last, or determine the amount of time it will take to pay off their credit card balance. And, the great news is that your members can access this valuable set of tools any time of day and on any device. Members should think of your credit union as a resource for financial guidance. Offering financial calculators on your website is a great step to take in order to enhance your reputation for helping individuals manage their financial health.

Offer Member and Mobile-Friendly Online Resources

Be sure that your credit union website offers financial calculators that are member-friendly, and more importantly, mobile-friendly.

On April 21st, Google re-programmed their search algorithm to reward websites that are fully optimized for mobile platforms with higher rankings. This change will undoubtedly have a profound effect on search listings, thus confirming that responsive web design is now a best practice for websites.

Give Your Website a Valuable Boost in Visitors

By offering mobile-friendly online financial calculators to your members, your credit union will inevitably see an increase in website traffic.  Don’t forget to track these visitors!  You’ll want to answer questions such as, “What is my most popular calculator?”, “How many unique visitors are my calculators attracting?”, and “What is the total number of calculations occurring?”  Tracking this type of visitor data will lead to greater insights and better reporting.

Ultimately, driving more visitor traffic depends on the call to action issued on your website. The call to action is the component of your marketing message that directs your audience toward the obvious next step you would like them to take.  You may direct your audience through a banner or button click or a request to complete an online form.  A call to action could be the differentiating factor between a website visitor and a converted new member.

CULookup Call-to-Action Home LoanIf you overlook the importance of a strong call to action, you will miss an opportunity to showcase the value of your credit union’s products and services. And, a missed opportunity could be a lost opportunity.

View Financial Calculators as Strategic Tools

By viewing your online financial calculators as strategic tools rather than just a standard element that resides on your website, you can enhance the value that these resources generate for both your members and your credit union.

Take advantage of the financial calculators that were developed specifically for credit unions and their members, by visiting Financial CalCUlators powered by CULookup.com  or contact info@culookup.com for more information.

CULookup.comFinancial CalCUlators powered by CULookup.com offers 30 financial calculators developed specifically for credit unions and their members.  Calculators are mobile-friendly and support custom call-to-action banners to direct users toward a next step after any calculation. Financial CalCUlators are free to NAFCU members and offered to non-NAFCU member credit unions for a nominal fee.

The latest release of Financial CalCUlators powered by CULookup.com will be unveiled on June 23rd at the NAFCU 48th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in Montréal.  New features of the release include a responsive design to ensure that all calculators are mobile-friendly and custom call-to-action banners that direct calculator users toward the obvious next step after any given calculation.   Financial CalCUlators offer 30 embeddable financial calculators specifically developed for credit unions and their members. For more information on the new release, visit CULookup’s exhibitor booth in the Preferred Partner Pavilion during the conference.