Guest post written by Wayne Conte, Executive Vice President, Affinion Group
With over 12 million Americans still out of work, it should come as no surprise that consumers are hanging on to their cars for three to four years longer than they did in pre-recessionary times. Yet America’s long-standing love affair with cars continues — and that
presents plenty of opportunities for credit unions.
Despite the fact that consumers spent an estimated $36 billion to keep their clunkers on the road in 2011, auto purchases are making a comeback. The National Auto Dealers Association forecasts that over 13 million new cars will be bought in 2012. As many Americans start thinking about their next car, observers note that it isn’t just new car purchases that are improving — used cars and auto leases are also seeing strong increases.
Innovation can be hard to define, but you can think of it as “the successful application of new ideas.” ‘Application’ is the key word there – new ideas are the easy part – figuring out which are the good ones, and then applying them successfully, is more difficult.
So innovation is more than just an academic exercise or a tally of patents. The application of a new idea in the real world leads to new products, services, processes, systems, or attitudes that improve something or add value. With all of the changes that are occurring in financial services generally, and in the credit union business model specifically, being (and staying) innovative is more important than ever.
Every year at the NAFCU Annual Conference we recognize the very best innovations among our Preferred Partners that help credit unions thrive in an increasingly crowded financial services marketplace with the 2012 NAFCU Services Preferred Partner Innovation Awards.
We had another exceptionally competitive field of entries this year, and the difficult task of judging was undertaken by the NAFCU Services Advisory Committee, which is composed exclusively of credit union executives. I didn’t envy them in the challenge of picking the winners, and greatly appreciate their bringing a real-world perspective to the value offered by the innovations. No surprise as to what is top-of-mind – all three winners have solutions that help credit unions with marketing and growth. Read more
With the recent headlines about yet another data breach affecting credit unions and their members, I wanted to point you to a resource that might help you respond effectively. Because this isn’t the first data breach and it certainly won’t be the last.
We’ve posted a recording and accompanying slides from a Data Breach Preparedness presentation from the 2012 NAFCU Technology and Security Conference for your information, as you look to how to address this most recent incident. The presentation was made by Christine El Eris, Director, Product Management for Affinion Group (one of our Preferred Partners, for ID Theft solutions), and focuses on best practices for responding to members, partners and stakeholders during and after a breach. Not surprisingly, Christine stresses the importance of putting steps in place in advance and provides tools and guidelines for breach preparation and response. Read more
It’s scary how easy it is for criminals to get to our personal information – as technology improves, so do the skills of fraudsters. In fact, I find myself being what some think is paranoid – triple checking for the https in online shop URLs, and shredding almost everything with my name on it. I mean look what happened to Sandra Bullock in The Net – if that could happen in the 90’s just think of what’s possible now!
As trusted financial advisors it’s imperative for credit unions to help educate members about what they can do to help prevent their own identity theft and the losses that often accompany that. Not to mention, the more careful your members are, the less at risk your credit union is of incurring losses due to identity theft. (Check out the landmark case involving Comerica Bank and your potential liability from a phishing scam.)
We teamed up with our Preferred Partner for identity theft, Affinion Group, to gather some key tips for you and your members to help prevent identity theft. Read more
Our partners are on the front lines with credit unions every day, and while you may only have experience with your credit union, the odds are that our Preferred Partners have worked with hundreds or even thousands. They can bring perspective and common problem-solving to bear on practically any topic.
At NAFCU Services, we try to help the knowledge transfer process by capturing the expertise of our Preferred Partners in digital format—in webcasts, webinars, podcasts and white papers that are archived in our NAFCU Services Partner Library. We are up to 180 and counting, and best of all they are free to ALL credit unions!
Check out our top six most popular webcasts over the last couple of years: Read more
Category: Growth & Retention
, Management & Operations
, NAFCU Services
Tags: Affinion Group
, Allied Solutions
, Burns-Fazzi Brock
, cyber security
, identity theft
, Money Concepts
, Pentegra Retirement Services