By Brad Powell

I’m pleased to announce the debut of a new product for credit unions today: Redboard.

What is Redboard? The short answer is that it’s credit union compliance software, aimed at helping CUs better respond to regulatory examinations. (For a longer answer, read more here. And feel free to follow up with questions and feedback.)

Why did we create Redboard? That answer has two parts.

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millennials banking
By Brad Powell

Those of us who work for and with banks and credit unions have a natural curiosity about the generation known as “millennials.”

As we try to understand more about them, we read (and sometimes make) generalizations. And that carries risk.

For instance, how many times in the past few years have you read an article claiming that millennials (the youngest generation of workers right now) want more “organic feedback” at their jobs? That’s probably true, but you can find Baby Boomers, Silent Generation members, and Gen X’ers who also want and value feedback.

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electronic signature adoption
By Brad Powell

There are many problems you can solve with electronic signature applications. Some of the most common reasons for implementation are reducing risk, decreasing cost, and offering a better and more convenient product to members at your credit union. And we all know that the next generation of members expects to be able to electronically sign financial instruments on their devices of choice.

Despite those benefits, many credit unions and banks stall on electronic signature applications. The reason is adoption. They fear that once electronic signatures are implemented, the member will still revert to paper.

The fear is not baseless. Getting adoption is not easy. But you can learn from what one credit union has done to achieve more than 90 percent adoption. Though we would love to take credit for the results, success requires a collaborative effort.

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start 2016 with the best of 2015
By Brad Powell

As we launch into 2016, I wanted to share the five most popular Axiaware blog posts from 2015.

The posts touched on a variety of subjects that I believe are critical for credit unions and banks today.

If you found any or all of them interesting, I encourage you to share them with colleagues and your social media networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook,  whatever. 

Here's the Axiaware Top 5, with a short description for each one:

5. Three Smart Tips for Credit Unions Looking to Attract Millennial Members

How can credit unions add millennial members? Start by keeping your old name, making it easy and managing your online presence.

4. Mobile Auto Lending: Credit Unions' Next Big Opportunity?

Mobile banking is growing rapidly. So are automotive loan applications. What happens when you put these two trends together?

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millennial credit union members
By Brad Powell

There are 83 million millennials in the United States.

That, of course, is why so many businesses are courting these 15- to 33-year-olds. And why so many blog posts are written about them.

I have been thinking about millennials as potential credit union members a bit lately (I’m hardly the only one). Perhaps it’s because, in a survey Axiaware recently conducted for credit union decision-makers, we asked respondents to rate the importance and urgency of adding millennials as members. (Read about the survey results here.)

In the meantime, I wanted to share three tips published recently on attracting millennials that I thought made a lot of sense:

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aircraft mechanics

By Brad Powell

Banks and credit unions often ask me if they can achieve the results they need by modernizing their existing system, or will they need to throw out the old one and bring in something entirely new. So I found this article in the OnApproach blog interesting because it compared legacy systems to dinosaurs.

The piece said "legacy systems are a hindrance" for credit unions, and "keeping these dinosaurs alive is a huge resource drain."

I would propose that you can understand legacy systems better with a different analogy – instead of comparing them to prehistoric life forms, let's compare them to airplanes.

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autoloantablet630By Brad Powell

"We're sensing a really deep, pent-up demand for automobiles. ... Auto loans are really a place where we can have our strongest impacts."
- Ahmed Campbell, vice president of credit operations at Municipal Credit Union

I wasn't surprised to read that quote in a story from earlier this year on lending projections by David Morrison of the Credit Union Times. It makes sense for two reasons:
1) Opportunities for credit unions to handle automotive loans have been growing in recent months, and experts expect that trend to continue.

2) Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable using mobile devices for lending transactions. The credit unions who embrace mobile technology soon will capture more than their fair share of the market opportunity.
When you consider that most automobiles are purchased when the member or consumer is not at home or at the credit union itself, embracing mobile devices becomes an essential component for success.

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smart watchesBy Brad Powell

How do I give my members the experience they want, on the devices they want to use, both now and in the future? That's a question we hear a lot. Terence Roche wrote a blog post for GonzoBanker recently that addressed that question:

Do We Need Better System Integration or Fewer Systems to Integrate?

You should read the post ─ Mr. Roche offers some great insight. And, at the risk of oversimplifying, his answer boils down to "less is more." Taking a cue from other industries and the mass adoption of mobile devices, he writes that wherever possible, banks and credit unions should move to a single system and single interface, so there are fewer interfaces and less integration.

I agree with much of his piece. And I'd like to describe a slightly different alternative to his "single-system" proposal; one that I believe will prepare a financial institution for the future. In the future, credit union members will likely have a new set of expectations, based on the technologies they'll be using at that time. Those technologies might be smart watches, or breakthrough features in mobile apps, or some device that simply doesn't exist yet.

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I've been involved in many planning meetings. In today's environment of technological expansion, institutions of all sizes must face the planning process with technology in mind – almost regardless of the initiative.  But too many times, I've seen the process stumble, often from easily avoidable mistakes.  To kick off planning for 2013, here are the top 5 easily avoidable planning mistakes I've witnessed the most often.

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The problem is not that credit unions don't get it. We've seen an endless parade of articles and opinions outlining the importance of online and mobile finance. No one's arguing (in public, at least) that their credit union will be just fine with that fax machine and doesn't really need to appeal to Gen Y and their trendy smart phones. Or that baby boomers won't like online banking. On the contrary, one look at the CUInsight home page on any day of the year will reveal that the industry fully believes that online and mobile banking is essential to the future success of credit unions.

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