2023 Credit Union Trends to Watch


Credit unions are a great resource for those looking to save money on banking services while also making a positive impact on the local community. As we move further into the decade, it’s important to stay up to date on the trends in credit unions that will shape the industry in 2023.

In this article, you’ll learn more about what’s expected in 2023, from how technology is transforming credit union services to how different segments of society are being targeted for membership.

Digital Banking Continues to Top the List of 2023 Credit Union Trends

Digital credit union trends are still going strong in 2023. As things tighten up and many people prepare for a forecasted recession, the need for cost-effective solutions and banking services will only continue to stay relevant.

In 2021, 41% of U.S. retail banking consumers were classified as “digital-only” – and that means making sure your credit union’s online presence is optimized will be the future of a significant portion of your business.

Credit unions have grown, in large part, due to their strategies of reaching out into the less connected regions and communities that big banks were neglecting. And as credit unions are often owned by their members, the statistic above shows us exactly how important it is to start meeting your members in the digital spaces they spend most of their time in today.

Credit union members are looking for digital touchpoints in all of their product and service offerings, from web loan applications to trial balance, online self-service forms, online courtesy pay, and online access to their banking statements.

This also includes customer service discussions and other person-to-person interactions – members are looking for digital-first communication as well. As you are working through

your 2023 goals and strategies, it’s important to take inventory of exactly how much of your services exist in an online or self-service capacity. These will be increasingly appealing to younger members and prospects.

Credit Union Industry Trends and Market Shifts

There are several 2023 credit union trends that stem from market conditions and other related industry expectations and their biggest concerns for this year. Some of those concerns include fraud, labor shortages, and collections. Let’s break these down.

Fraud is a threat that affects every industry and business right now. And since the financial industry is one of the most frequently affected, it’s important that your digital transformation strategy doesn’t invite in more opportunities for fraudsters to get to your members’ account information and finances.

One of the best things you can do to combat fraud attempts is to ensure that two-factor and multi-factor authentication are being used by all members, staff, and vendors your credit union does any work with.

Labor shortages are in effect for different industries in different ways – the unpredictable landscape has created more uncertainty about financial health for people and for businesses in the coming year. If your credit unions are being affected by these shortages, we would recommend reaching out to vendors and other third parties that are offering solutions for the digitization of services and remote work solutions.

These unstable conditions that may or may not contribute to a coming recession will also very likely have an effect on collections of late and other default payments. And since many of your members are already aware of the missed payment, only about 1 in 100 collections calls even gets answered.

Because of this, many CU experts recommend sharing collections notices via email or text, because it lowers the level of engagement for your member and it also saves them the embarrassment they’ll feel when they have to pick up the phone and talk to another staff member at their credit union who also now knows they’re behind on things at the moment.

And digital collections operations will also be crucial as times get tighter since this year is also likely to see continued labor shortages – with an increase in collections instances and decreased staff, your existing employees will be under a lot of stress trying to keep up with the influx.

Maintaining Relevance

Relevance is going to be another top entry in the list of 2023 credit union trends to watch. According to Fiserv, between $30 and 80 billion will be transferred from boomers and seniors to the younger Millennial and Gen Z generations in the next few decades.

And that means credit unions should start now if they are hoping to continue to attract younger members as more and more of this money becomes theirs. Right now, between 80 and 90% of these younger generations are currently banking with a major bank, rather than a large credit union or smaller local bank. Big banks have a tight hold on these demographics.

Since the pandemic, credit unions have seen what implementing good technology can do for their operations, and that trend isn’t likely to slow down as these digitally-native generations grow their market share.

This may also mean taking a good look at your credit union’s branch strategy. Transactions should not be the focus of branch staff work, but rather these teams should be trained and optimized to offer sales, service, and advice solutions for branch members.

Reducing the number of physical branches has been a hot topic over the last few years, and transforming operational costs by outsourcing certain storage and services to virtual platforms can create better momentum as we traverse these tumultuous economic times ahead.

Professional Services for your 2023 Credit Union Trends

One of the best ways to keep up with trends without changing your products or services is to lean heavily into your digital transformation.

That’s why IMSI offers professional services that include custom web development, UI scripting, batch scripting, and custom electronic forms. You can take advantage of this digital-first financial services trend that has been growing since 2020 and doesn’t look to slow any time soon.

Reach out to us today and let us know how we can help your credit union use custom digital solutions to create a better experience for your members and your employees.

Financial Wellness and Credit Unions


Two-thirds of adults in the U.S. say that money is a significant source of stress in their lives, according to the American Psychological Association. And money-related stress is more prevalent in younger adults, which means it’s time to start talking about financial wellness benefits and strategies for your credit union.

Financial wellness is a hot topic in the world of personal finance today. Financial wellness is all about ensuring you have the financial stability and security necessary to achieve your goals and live a fulfilled life. Credit unions are playing an ever-growing role in helping people reach their financial wellness goals due to their unique structure, services, and commitment to their members.

Why Credit Unions Should Lead with Financial Wellness Programs

Financial wellness is the state in which someone finds themselves with enough money available for their expenses (bills, debts, and emergencies) as well as some ability to plan for and build their financial assets for future endeavors.

Financial uncertainty is at an all-time high, and so is the general public’s distrust of big corporations and banks. So why should credit unions lean so heavily into financial wellness initiatives for their members? Because they are already perfectly positioned to do so.

Credit unions have so much more data and knowledge of the communities and individuals that they are serving, and that means your knowledge of the local financial climate is better than that of a big bank.

But it’s more than just curating a great Resources page on your credit union website. You can help your members learn how to keep up with and understand transactional data and help them find solutions to their specific financial issues.

Your members don’t want general, one-size-fits-most advice – they can get that from Google. But what you can offer them is a personalized approach to financial wellness programs, whether it’s classes that teach financial education or one-on-one meetings to help someone improve their credit score to apply for a car or home loan.

A Human Approach is Powerful

Your members are real people with real struggles. They want tailored assistance and insights that help them navigate their financial future with confidence. According to NCR, more than half of all banking members want their primary financial institutions to give them personalized financial advice.

Simply sharing links and resources with helpful information isn’t enough. Think of it like this: if everyone could learn best from a written resource, there would be no need for teachers. So, what makes teachers so valuable? It’s the human connection and the ability to break down subjects in a way that can reach students of different ages, learning capabilities, and more. 

Your credit union caters to people in all types of financial situations. Like the elderly couple who own a home in the country and live simply, without much dependence on technology. But it also caters to the Gen Z college student who has almost never carried cash in her life and uses digital banking to pay all her bills. The financial wellness resources you’ll share with these two different member types can use several of the same principles, and you can humanize your approach to meet each of their needs.

Financial Wellness Can Strengthen Communities

Financial literacy isn’t just being talked about in the financial industry – it’s also a hot topic in education, from primary school to adult evening classes and college programs. You may be wondering why that is, and here’s the reason: financial wellness benefits not only individuals, but it can also strengthen communities.

Financial literacy and education for adults (regardless of their personal financial situation) helps them learn more about managing personal finances, build better futures for themselves and their children, and also allows them to give back to their communities through charity and products or services they offer through newly opened businesses!

Financial literacy is also being taught more in schools (an effort credit unions can help with if they choose to). This creates a better understanding of how financial decisions should be made over the course of a decade, a person’s life, or even generations. Basic financial education and literacy can help set teenagers and young adults up for a lifetime of success.

Creating opportunities for people to start learning about financial wellness through every stage of their lives is a great way to strengthen the personal and economic aspects of the communities you and your credit union serve.

This also helps strengthen communities by creating opportunities for people to be open and honest about their financial struggles – something that is becoming a larger part of the financial wellness movement. Mental health and work-life balance are now larger motivators than high salaries, and that means being smart with your money also has a mental and emotional component to how your members are making financial decisions, from everyday purchases to long-term investment and retirement planning.

Help Your Credit Union Members with Financial Wellness Services Powered by IMSI

Your members have all come to your credit union for different reasons and with different financial plans. They have different preferences for your financial products, services, packages, and expertise. And IMSI wants to help you meet those needs.

IMSI offers online self-service forms that help you collect the information required to fulfill member self-service requests. You can customize them and integrate them with your other online banking services. 

Improve Credit Union Board Meetings: 4 Tips


If you are a credit union leader or a member of a credit union board, chances are you’ve been to at least one board meeting and know how important it is for the board to have effective meetings. But how can you ensure that your board meetings are successful?

Effective board meetings are an important part of credit union management. They provide a forum for discussing important topics and making decisions that impact the entire organization. But in order to get the most out of these meetings, it’s important to make sure they’re organized and productive.

Let’s discuss some tips on how to have better credit union board meetings. We’ll look at things like setting clear agendas, encouraging participation, and more.

Tips for Improving Productivity to Facilitate Effective Board Meetings

Credit union board meetings are just as easily derailed as a daily or monthly project meeting, and Hales Property Management shared some great and targeted tips for staying on task:

  • Define the purpose of the meeting. This makes for more organized board meetings from the get-go.
  • Start and end your credit union board meetings on time – this helps keep your directors and attending staff engaged and on task so as not to waste their own – or anyone else’s – time.
  • Keep the discussion focused. Once a topic of discussion is brought forth, follow it through and keep notes on any other issues that come up within the conversation, rather than letting a tangential conversation derail your progress.
  • Encourage input from all attendees. It’s important that everyone feels heard.
  • Take breaks as needed. Sometimes a short break can help get you back on track faster than a lengthy (or heated) debate will.
  • Be mindful of body language. For those speaking and listening, it’s important to pay attention to your own body language as well as the body language of those around you.
  • Take notes. These meetings are often task-oriented, and keeping notes ensures that all of the issues that were discussed will find a successful conclusion.
  • Follow up after the meeting. Part of the note-taking should include the action items that each attendee (or committee) will be responsible for between now and the next board meeting.
  • Encourage feedback. Sometimes, sharing every opinion isn’t feasible, and certain ideas can get missed. It’s important to keep those lines of communication and trust open so that concerns and recommendations can be passed back and forth between meetings.

Meeting productivity also improves when you do a few things to help manage the attendees’ expectations. For example, you should always send out a credit union board agenda beforehand – and not just one day before the meeting. 

We’d recommend sending the meeting agenda at least one week in advance – this gives your board and guests time to include important items that may have been overlooked. It also creates expectations for the meeting topics – even if you have to include generic topic placeholders (like “Director A will discuss recent marketing efforts” or “Guest speaker will be Helen the CPA”).

Create Space for Questions and General Review

A board meeting shouldn’t feel like a punishment. While it’s not a party either, it’s important to create space for new and existing board members and meeting participants to share openly.

This means reserving time in the meeting for board members to share general news, interesting articles, personal achievements or events, and other non-discussion items.

This is a great way to keep your directors engaged without creating a feeling of having extra homework assigned. If a board member finds an interesting resource, they can simply share it with the room and those who are interested can follow up on the resource in their own time.

It also means creating space for questions. Every board is different, and each director has different skills and areas of expertise. It’s important to remember to always allow new members the opportunity to ask “beginner” questions, especially pertaining to things like budgets and financial information.

Be Clear about Renewal & Succession Planning

Choosing to simply wait until Directors on your board want to leave is not a strong succession plan. Credit unions are highly susceptible to changes in their CEO and directors lineup, and it’s important to prepare for these changes early.

It’s important to share guidelines that show exactly what the current board is responsible for when it comes to recruiting, developing, and retaining those in key positions. the credit union board agendas can shift as needed, but it’s easier to alter a plan than to go in without one.

In January 2022, the NCUA board approved a proposed rule on succession planning. The proposed rule requires the boards of directors at federal credit unions to “establish and adhere to processes for succession planning.” However, whether you are a federally-chartered or state-chartered credit union, it is wise to create these plans in order to maintain your board’s effectiveness during periods of transition.

Improve Board Meetings with Better Financial Conversations

An article entitled, “Better Board Financial Conversations” was featured in the fall 2022 issue of Credit Union Magazine.

In that article, writer Darla Dernovsek shared several ways to keep your next CU board meeting on track when it comes to tackling the hard financial discussions that will arise.

The first tip here is to keep past performance in mind, but don’t let it overtake the conversation – we can’t go back and fix things, we can only use the information we have to create better, more successful future initiatives.

The article also shares several poignant questions that may help to drive the conversation forward, rather than continuing to discuss things in a loop, creating identical conversations over the years and decades. Those questions include:

  • What do you want to get out of meetings?
  •  What type of discussion do you want to occur, and on which financial and strategic topics? (This one is important, as board meetings can often veer too far into the “big picture discussion” without making any incremental changes to help create and sustain some forward momentum.)
  • What engagement do you want to see in your meetings? You can help determine this by creating board meeting requirements for certain positions and attendees.
  • What problems are you trying to solve?

These questions are great for getting your CU leaders to think about the core purpose of each meeting and your board’s engagement as a whole.

The future isn’t as easily read as it once was – in a post-pandemic world, it’s important to look past the numbers and projections to continue to offer your members the best experience based on their current desires and needs.

Your Credit Union Board Meetings Get Easier When Your UX Improves

We’re in a world full of short tempers, quick answers, and customer service issues. Because of that, your website is a great place to start creating good momentum for your next credit union board meetings.

Boost member numbers with IMSI’s online account opening, increase loan stats with our Web Loan Applications and enhance your Keystone core with our Corelation solutions. IMSI is your partner in fine-tuning your website for great things, both for members and for CU staff.

Contact us today with questions, requests, and more. We’d love to chat with you about how IMSI can help your credit union reach its goals this year.

Credit Union Community Outreach Trends & Tips


As people become increasingly aware of the importance of financial literacy, credit unions have stepped up to the plate with community outreach efforts. Credit unions are unique because they are not-for-profit organizations. This allows them to focus on offering their members better services and products than traditional banks.

It’s important to recognize that credit union community outreach goes beyond its members – it also serves to benefit the broader population.

Credit unions are a vital part of many people’s financial well-being. As the economy changes and evolves, credit union community outreach is becoming increasingly important. This article will explore current trends and offer tips for credit unions looking to expand their reach and engagement in their community. From partnering with local organizations to utilizing social media, there are many different avenues for credit unions to make an impact.

Why Do Credit Unions Do Community Outreach?

There are many benefits that come with running successful and impactful credit union community outreach programs. It strengthens your credit union’s brand, while also helping create positive change in the communities that you serve.

More and more, we’re seeing consumers look at brand transparency and advocacy when it comes to choosing which brands and institutions to give their money and resources to.

The goal of community outreach is to spur community engagement – and your credit union can do that in lots of ways. It can be as simple as offering budgeting and personal finance classes or as complex as running fundraisers, events, and other community-centered initiatives that run all year long.

Tips to Boost Credit Union Community Outreach Efforts

You can create opportunities for community outreach and engagement with your credit union’s resources and staff, and it all starts with a community engagement plan. Similar to any other business or marketing venture, it’s always best to start with your big goals and vision – this is your community charter. You can reach out to other community leaders and groups to help determine what items and events would best serve your community. You can also survey your current members to see what their unique needs are, especially those tied to their financial health.

From there, you’ll create a list of events, ideas, and resources that will help you reach those goals.

Here are some quick tips to help guide these discussions and planning sessions:

  • Lead with inclusivity: Most communities are made up of diverse groups. They may be diverse in their financial situations, races, sexualities, industries, and more. The more you cater to these niches, the more effective your credit union community outreach can become.
  • Leverage technology: every community has several (even hundreds) of social media groups dedicated to the diversity we mentioned above. You don’t have to sit in the town hall meeting to find out what the biggest opportunity zones are for your credit union to make a large impact.
  • Evolve as you learn: community outreach is a multi-faceted, evolving project. New issues are always replacing old ones, and some things that haven’t been an issue for years will come back into the fold. Your community outreach efforts should take these changes into account as you work with your members to create helpful solutions and resources.

Lead with a Sense of Purpose

Your credit union community outreach goals should be created with a core sense of purpose. For example, if there are many people in your community struggling to find work right now, that purpose could be financial education. You can offer free classes and workshops for budgeting and even partner with local libraries and tech centers to help those searching for jobs with access to devices they need for their search.

As you embed yourself and your credit union into the communities you serve, it’s often very easy to spot a few high-priority needs that aren’t being met, from housing to food, a shortage of childcare options, and more.

We’d recommend you begin with two tracks: one that has a goal related to financial security and/or education, and one that serves a need that is specific to the community your branch is located in. As another example, clean water is not an issue for every community, and there are different levels of need in each community for those that are unhoused. CUs around skid row, and other large cities, may have a large unhoused population – this is a great opportunity for community outreach initiatives based on housing and basic human needs. But if your credit union largely serves suburban populations, creating food banks for the unhoused isn’t going to have the same impact.

Once you’ve created your two purposes – one based on financial needs and another that targets specific needs in your community – you can start creating events, compiling resources, and researching effective ways to combat these issues. This will mean a lot more to your member base than a single canned food drive or ambiguous fundraiser.

Reach Out to Your Members – Early and Often

You also have a great resource that can help you measure the pulse of your CU’s community – your members! Every one of them is plugged into all the events, issues, and excitement that come with a new year, season, and month.

Instead of relying on your marketing or outreach team to come up with all the ideas, why not ask your members? You can get great insights into the community’s biggest needs, all from the teller desk as your members are depositing paychecks and doing their day-to-day banking.

This includes your online community, too. And you can help foster discussion by rewarding those who speak out and actively engage with your polls, questions, surveys, and discussion threads. There are lots of ways to reward active members, including giving them moderator access, offering free merchandise, discounts on classes, and gift cards to local restaurants or other businesses, the list is endless.

An Updated Website Is Perfect for Documenting and Spurring Community Outreach

One of the biggest hurdles credit unions face is the lack of online presence and innovation. Across industries, we can see how easy it is for high-quality events and outreach initiatives to get glossed over or even forgotten, simply because you didn’t have the information available on your website and social media accounts.

Your members (especially the younger, digitally native ones) expect a certain quality of UX (user experience) on the websites of the brands they purchase from. Your credit union is no different. Website upgrades and app integrations should be a priority in 2023.

The easier you make it for your members to find credit union community outreach initiatives and signups, the more they will see how invested you are in creating a cohesive and supportive experience for your member and the communities in which they work and live.

IMSI offers targeted and professional services that can help you make the most of your credit union’s web presence. Whether you are looking for custom web development or assistance with UI scripting and batch scripting, we can help create a more cohesive website that serves your members, and your communities, better.

Don’t Miss These Top Credit Union Conferences in 2023


So much has changed since the earliest days of the pandemic, in our lives and in the credit union industry. The rise of digital transformation, branch sharing, and so much more have shaped how your members interact with your credit union, as well as how your credit union does and should do business.

And now that we’re settling into the days of the “new normal,” we are comforted that many things look the same now as they did before 2020, like full in-person and online conference schedules that allow us to connect with industry peers and experts.

With that, we wanted to kick off the new year with some great insights about the top credit union conferences that will be taking place this year.

CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference

The CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council conference is being held in Orlando, Florida on March 26-29, 2023, and it will focus on addressing relevant and impactful trends in the credit union industry right now.

If credit union marketing is a topic you are looking to dive into this year as you are looking for the best conferences for your team and leaders, you should also consider the MAC (Marketing Association of Credit Unions) 2023 Conference as well, which is being held in Nashville, Tennessee from May 22nd to the 25th.

Engage 2023: NAFCU’s Annual Conference

June 27-30, 2023 is when NAFCU is having its 2023 conference in Long Beach, California. This conference is perfect for credit union CEOs, presidents, executive management teams, board members, and supervisory committee members. Their daily general sessions will cover a wealth of topics that will be engaging and informative for any credit union professional looking to learn more about the industry we all love.

Some of the things you’ll be doing include learning about emerging industry trends, discussing actionable insights like how to attract and retain quality talent, and diving into a wide array of topics like cryptocurrency, AI, payments, growth strategies, and more.

For credit union leaders looking to focus on growth in 2023, NAFCU is also holding a Strategic Growth Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in March.

2023 World Credit Union Conference

From July 23rd to the 26th, in Vancouver, Canada, the 2023 World Credit Union Conference is being hosted by the CCUA (Canadian Credit Union Association) and the World Council of Credit Unions.

This unique conference has a global attendance roster, which allows you to network with people from all over the world while you discuss the similar (and differing) credit union trends, struggles, and techniques that make our industry tick.

There are general sessions and 4 concurring breakout sessions per day, with lots of opportunities to network and learn from your CU peers all over the world.

Expand Expo 2023

We wanted to offer a variety of learning and networking opportunities in this article, and that’s why we also wanted to feature the Expand Expo 2023, a conference more geared toward training and development in the CU industry.

This conference is scheduled for September 17-21, 2023 in Hershey, Pennsylvania and is hosted by Horizon Federal Credit Union. You will get to learn about how to create loyal members, connect with others, develop a work-life balance, and increase performance through emotional and behavioral change. You can learn more about this 2023 conference here.

IMSI: Your Partner in Those Big Post-Conference Plans

For more 2023 conference information, you can check out CU Conferences and NAFCU’s Conferences page.

You can also learn more about upcoming credit union conferences by visiting the Conferences and Events page from Credit Union Executives Society. It has tons of educational and networking opportunities listed, both online and in person.

Your credit union deserves an online stage that is worthy of the best conference hall and reception. And IMSI has a wealth of great services to help you put your brand’s best foot forward.

Our well-honed industry experience coupled with our technical expertise in web development is the perfect combination for your next credit union website project. Whether you are looking to add more self-service forms or landing pages to your site, or you are looking to refresh everything from the homepage on down, check out our custom web development services and contact us for more information.

And don’t forget to let us know what 2023 conference you’re most excited about and why! Follow us on social media and here on our blog page for insights about the credit union industry, tips and tricks, news, and more.

Tips to Optimize Member Experience in a Digital Banking World


Happy 2023! Digital banking and open banking are big topics in the finance industry right now, and a lot of the innovations within them are spurred by the promise of better CX (customer experience).

Optimizing member experience at your credit union will be a pillar upon which your brand’s success is built over the next several years. And we wanted to offer some insights and tips to help you optimize member experiences in your branches and your CU technology like apps and other online offerings.

Here are some of our favorite tips you’ll want to embrace in the new year.

Meet Members Where They Are

There’s a common saying about meeting your members where they are in their own lives and member journeys, and we think it’s so common because it is always true. No matter what kind of economic, political, or generational climate your members are facing, you can’t help them if you don’t understand where they are and what they need.

For example, in the past few years, rising costs and industry issues stemming from the COVID shutdown days have created tricky situations in several different industries. But something that can optimize member experience for nearly every member you work with currently is the notion of financial education and money management.

On average, Americans are experiencing higher amounts of debt, higher loan amounts and interest rates, and other increasing expenses. Even your most savvy members may be struggling to see opportunities at a time like this.

But your credit union can be a calm port in the storm when you offer classes and resources that are aimed at truly and effectively helping your members make the most (or begin to dig themselves out) of their current financial situation.

Focus on Member Experience via the CXO

The CXO (chief experience officer) is a growing role in many credit unions and banks around the world. Adding a CXO to your staff can help create cohesion when it comes to implementing new member-facing technologies and initiatives.

You can also use the CXO role and supporting staff or team to get a clearer picture of what your members want. There are tons of studies and analyses happening in the world of banking and personal finance, but not all of the insights gleaned from these will resonate with your own member base. In order to truly optimize member experience at your locations, you have to know what will (and won’t) be helpful to your members.

Digital Membership Will Rule

There are tons of digital transformation initiatives happening right now across banks and credit unions. But, statistically, credit union leaders don’t always see the correlation between digitizing member services and an optimized member experience.

That traditional view of the customer service side of credit union member services is something that can be both preserved and expanded with the right digital tools. Through customization, personalization, and ease of access, you can all but replicate your member-first in-house practices in ways that offer more value and efficiency to your members.

We’ve also talked before about how you can boost member loyalty at your credit union using customized technologies, outreach, and other member-first initiatives.

There’s also been a lot of positive change being made by those credit unions that are embracing the omnichannel member experience – where your members are interacting on a variety of platforms including chat, phone, in-person, and other interactions with your brand.

Monitoring Member Touchpoints Is a Must

The omnichannel member experience approach that we mentioned above also requires you to know your end-to-end member journeys extremely well. This falls in line with many of the other insights we’ve shared in this article. Many of these tips and innovations help to bolster the member journey at different points along the way.

There are many ways to review and monitor your members’ journeys.

The first and most important is to conduct a thorough and regular review of your digital channels. IMSI has several Keystone solutions that work to improve these channels.

You also need to take a good look at the feedback you are receiving from members. Yes, all the feedback is important – if you are getting short messages from several members because they’re irritated about a new technology’s functionality, don’t brush them off as people who “just need time to adjust.” Optimize your member experience based on the feedback you’re getting from those who are in different stages of their member journey.

Adopt The Right Tech: IMSI’s Keystone Solutions Were Built for Credit Unions

We’re focusing a lot on how to optimize the member experience in the new year, and you have to have tailored, supportive technology behind those efforts to ensure the continuity and success of your latest engagement and retention programs.

One of the best ways to optimize member experience right now is to focus on your Online Account Opening. By streamlining this process using IMSI, you are not only able to piggyback on one of the biggest member experience trends of 2022 and 2023, but you can also boost brand trust and create forward momentum for other member-forward and self-service items to grow and succeed at your branches.

Businesses in all industries are struggling right now, and weathering the economic downturns gets easier with well-created solutions that keep your operations running smoothly, for you and your members.

You can use our Infuzion software to streamline complex functions without developing scripts, and Web Loan Applications software reach directly through your operations and allow your members to take their banking experience into their own hands.

Take a closer look at some of our IMSI Keystone Solutions today.

3 Credit Union Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them


Credit union marketing mistakes are easy to make. You have a monthly newsletter, and you recently added social media and other marketing channels like email promotions or app communication to your marketing mix. But things aren’t progressing the way you want – what are you doing wrong?

Let’s talk about some of the top credit union marketing mistakes, and how you can fix them to boost your engagement, your member numbers, and your brand reputation.

Mistake #1: Not Setting Clear Measurable Goals for Your Marketing Efforts

If you are increasing your number of weekly social media posts simply because a marketing blog told you that 5-7 posts per week is optimal, you likely won’t see the results you’re hoping for with those marketing efforts.

Credit union marketing mistakes often start with a failure to create measurable and targeted goals and objectives.

Let’s stick with the social media example – what’s your goal with those platforms? The goals can be specific to the platform or to your credit union’s yearly goals for member or loan growth, community outreach, or even staffing.

Common goals include growing your audience, increasing traffic to your website or apps, and overall conversions. But it’s important to remember that social media marketing is a specialty, and you can’t just copy and paste your monthly credit union newsletter into small Facebook or Instagram posts.

No matter what platform or medium you are using for your marketing efforts, it’s important to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing vehicles against the goals you have for your credit union marketing efforts.

Mistake #2: Thinking of Your Programs as Individual Marketing Assets

Your credit union’s brand voice and reputation should be cohesive. But another one of the top credit union marketing mistakes that we see often is a sort of piecemeal implementation of trendy or short-term programs that don’t really enforce your brand or help your members.

For example, many banks and credit unions are seeing the benefit of removing fee structures. This includes things like transaction fees, overdraft penalties, and more. They are finding that the revenue they lose by doing this is more than made up for in new and more engaged member communities.

Business leaders are often talking about “the big picture,” but that big picture isn’t measured solely by your profit margins. If your credit union is in a more rural or agricultural area, the big picture will look different than one that is located in a low-income community within a larger city. And that’s a good thing.

When you are thinking about using your marketing efforts to promote new services, it’s often helpful to take some time and look at how those new services are going to be beneficial to your members. What are their goals? Do you work within a specific industry? Are there ways to cater to your different member segments with new programs that fit your overall structure as a credit union?

Your credit union marketing efforts should be based on your audience and their specific problems. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box a little. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that some credit union marketing mistakes can turn into amazing opportunities.

Mistake #3: Not Personalizing Your Marketing Efforts

Personalization often makes people think of adding a First Name to an email subject – and while, yes, this is a type of personalization, there are so many other ways to incorporate unique and specific perspectives into your marketing efforts.

As you look through your credit union marketing mistakes, it’s easy to get lost in the many channels you can use to get your message out, but it’s important to also stop and analyze what your members are doing and how you can help them do it, using your products, services, and assistance.

For example, CUInsight just shared a great article about how credit unions could be missing great marketing and sales opportunities by simply facilitating members as they are operating, rather than offering to use your services to optimize their financial experiences.

The article recounts a discussion about how staff members can use member lending data to create opportunities for your credit union instead. Essentially, if you know your members have auto or other loans through third-party vendors, why not compare those loan details to what you can offer and see if you can’t offer them a way to save some money by working with you instead?

Personalization and market segmentation are all about following the stories of your members and finding solutions and helpful programs they could enroll in at your credit union instead of going elsewhere.

Send loan program emails to members who have expressed interest in revamping their lending options. Create and share surveys and questionnaires that help your members dig into what areas of their personal or business finances could use some adjustments. Everyone who comes into your credit union and opens an account has already trusted you with their money, and they’ll feel great knowing that you can help them “hack” their finances to optimize their savings, grow their investments, and reach their goals.

Marketing Tip: Focus on Member-Facing Web Solutions with IMSI

IMSI’s services are helping credit unions optimize their member experience. Great member experience can create its own marketing opportunities in business partnerships, positive reviews, referrals, etc.

IMS Integration is here to help you implement elegant, member-facing web solutions, including:

  • Make a Statement: communicate more efficiently with your members using eStatements, eNotices, and more.
  • Online Courtesy Pay+: an online solution for electronic, opt-in enrollment that is quick, easy, and seamlessly integrates with existing intranets and other online platforms.
  • Online Self Service Forms: increase member autonomy and agency with dozens of customized self-service forms that include things like Add Joint Owner, Check Reorder, Email Change, Express Services, and more.
  • Trial Balance+: a versatile tool that allows users to access and export member account information from any branch with single log-on.

Harness the Power of Credit Union Transparency


Credit unions are, in many ways, the antithesis of big bank operations. The goal of most credit unions is to integrate with the communities they operate in and help serve and educate their members in a bid to be more accessible than larger, corporate-feeling financial institutions.

At the heart of that differentiation is the transparency credit unions choose to have with their members. There’s no need to hide the “secret formula” from the world – a credit union’s job is to share the ins and outs of the financial industry with everyone who has a willingness to learn.

Here are some of our favorite ways you can harness the power of credit union transparency.

Why Credit Union Transparency Is So Important

Many professionals make the mistake of thinking that transparency within their business just means being overly honest – you share even the most mundane details about your operations with your members. But that’s not it.

When you think of credit union transparency, imagine showing your membership base all of your mission, vision, and values, as well as a demonstrable list of how your credit union is consistently working to meet those goals and embody those core tenants. So, how do you create that transparency and make it authentic and valuable for your members?

Share Your CU’s Unique Traits

Credit unions are far more transparent with their business practices than any big bank or other financial institution by virtue of the publication of your credit union’s general information. From business plans to quarterly performance and investment success or failure, credit unions are beholden to their members because the business is almost always owned by those members.

Since everyone is given a stake in the credit union and its success, you’ve already got a great framework for legitimate business transparency.

From there, you can share other unique aspects of your credit union. Do you serve a specific community or industry? Are there other programs that allow your credit union to stand out among the crowd? Lean into these aspects and use them to create a transparent communication line between you and your members.

Financial Education is Key

We are all intrigued when an expert in their field asks something like “Do you want to know my secret?”

Credit unions are the first ones to share their insider expertise with members, and that transparency is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.

Cultivating a financial education program (or multiple programs) boost your business transparency while also showing member and non-members alike that you aren’t gatekeeping your financial planning knowledge, you are willing and able to share it.

Lending Trust is Waning

Because of predatory student loan practices and payday lending, many of today’s borrowers and potential borrowers are very skeptical about the loan process.

Because so many people have seen the negative effect a bad loan can have on someone’s livelihood for years or even decades, it’s more important than ever to focus your credit union transparency on sharing helpful information about the lending process.

There are many reputable credit unions sourcing and creating loan programs ethically and in a way that benefits both the credit union and the borrower. It’s your job to prove to your prospects and your members that you aren’t taking part in less-than-reputable lending practices.

Faster and Clearer Transactions

Big words and complicated programs aren’t what your members are looking for. They want helpful insights given to them in ways they can understand, and they want to be able to manage their finances quickly and easily.

Impressive technology isn’t about creating a complex and intricate solution – it’s about creating real change or momentum with as little effort and friction as possible. This is why your communication efforts with your members are so important.

You have hundreds or thousands of people using your services every day. Chances are, they can give you some great insight into what’s working and what’s not. Make sure those lines of communication are open and easy to access.

Boost Your Credit Union Transparency with Elegant, Member-Facing Solutions

The more you can show your members what you do, the easier it is for them to believe your statements about being transparent. IMS Integration has several member-facing solutions that can boost your credit union transparency, including Online Self Service Forms, Online Courtesy Pay, and Make a Statement.

Communication is a key component of transparency, and IMSI can help you share insights and offer vital resources to your members anytime, anywhere.

5 Autumn Banking Trends to Follow This Year


Autumn is a season of change and preparation. The holidays are right around the corner, the summer vacations are all long since passed, and it’s time to start thinking about the new year.

For your credit union members, autumn banking trends can be cyclical – they happen every year around this time – or they can be singular: maybe some of them bought or sold a house this year since the housing market was so hot, or maybe that post-pandemic purchase they’ve been saving for finally happened.

No matter what the first big chunk of 2022 brought, we are now in that transition period from summer to winter, and it’s time to check out the latest autumn banking trends so you can inform and excite your members this season.

Prepping Holiday Finances

Typically, autumn banking trends start changing as the fervor surrounding the holidays begins to ramp up. Your members and their families start planning for their holiday expenses like those associated with gift giving, visiting family members who live out of town, and attending and preparing meals and drinks for parties and other gatherings, big and small.

7 in 10 Americans overspend during the holidays, and this trend is common among credit union members of all ages and socioeconomic statuses.

This is a great time for your credit union to offer quick tips and tricks for keeping these expenses down and creating helpful budgets for the holiday season. By helping to keep your members’ holiday finances in check, you can allow them to create positive momentum in the new year. This will also help you gain their trust as a worthy resource for sound financial advice throughout the rest of the year.

The changing seasons also mean holiday finances that include buying the necessities that come with cooler weather. Members First Credit Union shared some great insights in their fall newsletter about what to buy and what to skip this fall, steering members towards those items that will be on sale, sharing when to capitalize on the largest discounts for certain items, and much more.

Unseasonably Warm Loan Growth

Speaking of holiday finances, this year there’s an autumn banking trend that’s staying warm long after the weather has cooled and the leaves have started falling: loan growth.

According to a recent CUNA news article, the 2022 peak loan season is seeing a longer windfall than normal. Typically, loan growth tapers off heavily starting in early autumn (September, specifically). But the preliminary reports from Q2 of this year showed continued – and unseasonably extended – loan growth.

CUNA reported in September that total loans outstanding in federally insured credit unions increased by $194 billion over the year ending in the second quarter of 2022. That’s a 16.2% increase that, if the trend continues, could see credit unions hitting 20% loan growth this year. This is the fastest loan growth pace since 1985.

Increased Focus on ATM Safety

With crisp autumn days come dark autumn nights – as the days shrink and sunset comes earlier, many credit unions are urged to remind their members about key ATM safety tips.

Members should be reminded to do their transacting in the daylight whenever possible and to stick to well-lit parking areas and ATM offerings to keep themselves out of harm’s way. Sikorsky Credit Union shared a list of ATM best practices to follow, like “always bring a friend,” “Have your card ready,” and “be aware of your surroundings.” We think it’s a great autumn banking trend for your credit union to get into as well.

Autumn is also a great time to upgrade or advertise your online and mobile banking options to those members who may not be familiar with or aren’t yet using these credit union resources. Inclement weather and safety concerns are valid reasons to use these services, and they’re extra convenient for your members, too!

Discuss Your Members’ Financial Goals

Another great autumn banking trend is to offer to sit down with your members to discuss how their 2022 went financially and talk with them about what they’d like to achieve in 2023. As this year comes to a close, most adults are already aware of the financial situation they will be in when the new year starts – and they’re either content with that situation, or they will be hoping for a better start to 2023.

You can create valuable offerings and tout your latest resources and financial education services to help them start the new year off right.

Focusing on Employee-Member Relations

Because the holidays are often a time of reflection, it’s also a great time to focus on your staff and their relationships with your members. Customer service is often lacking in today’s business landscape because so much of the human experience of shopping and working through issues has been automated, it’s easy for your members to feel left out, and for your employees to feel disconnected from your member base.

Fall is a great time to reorient your employees toward your members. Focus more on building relationships and less on creating the quickest interactions possible, create avenues for member growth through this familiarity that will have them feeling like they are being cared for as more than just an account number in your computer system.

Help Your Members with Their Holiday Finances and Beyond

As you head into the holidays and the new year, your members are looking to the future and trying to figure out their holiday finances. You can help them with your expertise and your implementation of some elegant member-facing web solutions that put the power back in their hands.

IMS Integration Make a Statement software allows you to communicate with members, meet compliance requirements, and send custom credit union eStatements and eNotices to keep your members up to speed in the new year.