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.


Trending Credit Union Topics for April 2022

 

Recently, the Credit Union National Association held its annual governmental affairs conference. They covered a wide range of topics from regulatory changes to future initiatives and more. After the conference, American Banker compiled a list of 6 topics from that conference that credit unions are talking about. Those topics include:

  • War in Ukraine
  • Economy and fee income
  • Struggles of starting a new credit union
  • Inclusion initiatives
  • LGBTQ+ affiliations and communities
  • Credit unions buying banks

Let’s discuss some of these trending credit union topics and what they mean for the future of your credit union.

War in Ukraine

Many industries are wondering how far the effects of the war between Ukraine and Russia will spread. We have already seen a hike in gas prices, and the supply shortages caused by the pandemic will also compound any issues furthered by the ongoing conflict.

Many countries are cutting ties with Russia, making it difficult for them to retrieve any assets or benefits of commerce from these areas. And since Russia has already been accused of interfering in American politics, many businesses are concerned that we are about to get hit with an increasing number of cyberattacks originating from the Russians.

As far as credit union-specific dealings, the Ukrainian National Credit Union Association has partnered with its members to help send aid to those affected by the war. According to their website, “the Ukrainian American credit union movement in the United States exceeds 100,000 family memberships…our asset base has surpassed $4 billion.”

Of the trending credit union topics we are talking about in this article, this one is likely the most volatile, as the war could potentially have global repercussions regarding economic stability, and the rise of military involvement from various countries.

A recent article from the Credit Union Times talks about the issues the Ukrainians face as their towns are invaded and destroyed. There is looting and the sparse reports from the region include insights into a near-total collapse of all cashless payment options in the country. Relief efforts in the country are being debated currently to help even the playing field and allow for credit union depositors to be treated the same way bank depositors are treated.

In early March, the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the World Foundation for Credit Unions have launched campaigns to aid Ukraine, including the creation of the Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund, and many other credit union organizations have created funds that collect and disburse donations from all over the world to aid in relief efforts.

Credit unions across the world are being encouraged to help by providing monetary donations and using their platforms to help show Americans where and how they can donate through their CU memberships.

Economy, Financial Inclusion, & Fee Income

The economy is another trending credit union topic right now, and that has been the case since the pandemic began. With the huge global events that have taken place in the last few years, it’s hard not to be wary of market shifts and other economic indicators.

Many credit unions have been focused on creating opportunities to aid in the recovery from the pandemic, especially for those who live in underserved areas.

And one tactic that many credit unions have embraced is the reduction or elimination of overdraft and other complicated fee systems. These fees can actually harm credit union efforts geared toward increasing financial inclusion.

We’ve previously shared our insights that explain why the era of overdraft fees is ending. However, the discussions around these topics and the push for more financially inclusive initiatives mean that reducing or eliminating your overdraft fees is the most likely path forward. And that means your credit union will have to analyze their specific branch data to adjust their programs to account for this loss of an income stream.

The Struggles of Opening New Credit Unions

Though there are many difficult things to navigate this year, there are some trending credit union topics that center around how we can make it easier for new credit unions to open their doors.

For example, Village Financial Credit Union is a Black-led credit union that was set to open in 2019, but after several setbacks – including a global pandemic – the leaders of this enterprise are hopeful they will be able to open their doors in North Minneapolis by early 2023.

As we continue to strive for financial inclusion, it will become more important to create and look for opportunities to increase the presence of reputable credit unions in areas that are historically underserved.

Use Optimized Tools to Navigate Trends in the Credit Union Sector

Navigating trending credit union topics have long-lasting implications for your CU. And that’s why you need cutting-edge solutions that have been tailored to credit union needs.

Luckily, IMS Integration can help augment those offerings with elegant, member-facing solutions that include: Make a Statement, Online Courtesy Pay+, Online Self-Service Forms, and Trial Balance+.