Saturday, December 29, 2012


Hurricane Sandy survivors know how important it is to be prepared for disasters.
This year, as you make your New Year’s resolutions, the Federal Emergency Management Agency urges you to have a disaster plan and integrate smartphones into it.
Here are some preparedness tips:>>RESOLVE TO BE READY IN 2013:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rallying around firefighter who lost his home!

Stoughton firefighter Jack Hussey has gotten messages from as far away as Argentina and Australia and from fire departments across the country since a blaze tore through his Abington house Friday, leaving him and his family with nothing.

The home is a total loss, so Hussey, his wife and daughter are staying with family, and it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to move back. The fire is still under investigation.

The Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts has established The Friends of Jack Hussey Fund at the Boston Fire Fighter’s Credit Union, 60 Hallet St., Dorchester, MA 02124.>>>>Rallying around <b>firefighter</b>:

2013 Watch: Gen Y in the Year Ahead

 In 2013, the question won’t be whether to work to attract Gen Y. It’ll be, how?

Faced with a rapidly growing population of tech-savvy young adults, credit unions will begin developing more niche products for this demographic. Simply having a Gen Y-geared checking product and a Facebook and Twitter account is no longer sufficient. To stand out from the crowd, credit unions will need to take on creative initiatives, such as launching a new incentive-packed program or hiring an ambassador to reach out to young folks in their communities.>>>>2013 Watch: Gen Y in the Year Ahead:

Monday, December 24, 2012

4 Firefighters Shot 2 killed in NY

The Secret List
4 West Webster FD Volunteer Firefighters responding to that house fire this morning were shot, with 2 being killed in the Line of Duty, leading to a shootout between a suspect and police in suburban Rochester. The shooter is now dead.

Mike Chiapperini, Webster NY Police Lieutenant and PIO, who was off duty, serving as a WW Volunteer Firefighter. Mike had just returned from Long Island after being deployed for Super Storm Sandy.

Tomasz Kaczowka, a 9-1-1 Dispatcher who was off duty serving as a WW Volunteer Firefighter.
BOTH INJURED FIREFIGHTERS: Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofsetter,are in guarded condition with very significant injuries. Hofsetter was an off duty City of Rochester Firefighter. Cops say that one or more shooters fired at the Firefighters when they arrived shortly after 0530 at the fire near the Lake Ontario shore, just east of Rochester, in the Town of Webster, West Webster Fire District. The first Webster police officer who arrived exchanged gunfire with a shooter, 2 of the Firefighters arrived on the first due apparatus and 2 arrived by car.
INITIALLY: The West Webster Fire District received a report of a car and house on fire on Lake Road, on a narrow peninsula where Irondequoit Bay meets Lake Ontario. The fire started in one home and spread to two others and a car.

The Secret List 12-24-12 / 1257 Hours

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NCUA: Unlimited Share Insurance for Credit Unions Set to Expire at Year End
    The NCUA recently issued a Letter to Credit Unions regarding the scheduled expiration of two insurance coverage programs on December 31, 2012.
    The Temporary Corporate Credit Union Share Guarantee Program and the unlimited Share Insurance Fund coverage for non-interest-bearing transaction accounts will expire.
    On January 1, 2013, NCUA share insurance coverage on deposits in corporate credit unions and non-interest-bearing transaction accounts will be limited to the standard maximum share insurance amount of $250,000. The insurance coverage is currently unlimited.
    Credit unions should evaluate their uninsured corporate account holdings and perform appropriate due diligence for credit risk implications.

If you have any questions on how this may affect your credit union contact;
Vining Sparks a GOLD Sponsor of NCOFCU

Lee Chandler Senior Vice President
Office 800-786-1245, Cell 970-445-8410

Lee began his career in investments by joining Vining Sparks as a licensed representative in 1991.  Lee has worked extensively with credit unions, providing tools such as asset liability models, scenario cash flow models, as well as on-site board education.  He is a frequent speaker at credit union conferences and makes regular board appearances for many of his clients. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1988 with a degree in business.  Lee is based in Vining Sparks’ Breckenridge, Colorado office.  Vining Sparks is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, and has offices throughout the United States and an international office in London.  The firm has over 300 employees in cities across the United States.  It has over 4,400 active customers which include depository institutions, insurance companies, and money managers.  The firm also ranks in the top 20 underwriters of new U.S. Agency debt.  Member FINRA/SIPC.

Monday, December 17, 2012

At Worcester ceremony, firefighters to get awards for heroic efforts - Worcester Telegram & Gazette -

WORCESTER — Firefighters from Leominster, Fitchburg and Worcester will be honored at the Firefighter of the Year awards Tuesday in Mechanics Hall, and fallen Worcester Firefighter Jon D. Davies Sr. will be posthumously given a Medal of Honor.>>READ FULL STORY>>At Worcester ceremony, firefighters to get awards for heroic efforts - Worcester Telegram & Gazette -

Base Salaries Continue to Rise for CU CEOs; Men's Salaries Outpace Women's

The average base salary for all credit union CEOs increased in 2012 by an average of 6.62% from 6.54% last year, survey finds.>>Read More>>Base Salaries Continue to Rise for CU CEOs; Men's Salaries Outpace Women's:

Credit Unions Surpass Community Banks In Mobile Banking Battle | The Financial Brand: Marketing Insights for Banks & Credit Unions

“Credit unions took a big bite out of big banks in mobile banking this year.
If they continue in this direction, there is even more opportunity for them to take an even bigger
Read More>>>>>Credit Unions Surpass Community Banks In Mobile Banking Battle | The Financial Brand: Marketing Insights for Banks & Credit Unions

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 Ratios Every Marketing Manager Should Know

In 2011, published a popular series of articles on key ratios for board members. In this series, we explore key ratios specifically for marketing managers.
Benchmarking performance relative to other credit unions and community banks helps educate personnel about their credit union’s business model and helps managers advance projects. Credit unions can track the metrics featured in this series for all credit unions nationwide using 5300 data. Comparing credit unions with similar business models, membership demographics, or geographic range lends credence to new marketing programs and helps measure success. Of course, well-rounded marketing plans also consider ratios outside of the metrics featured in this series and link marketing plans to the institution’s strategic objectives.

Read The Entire Series
12 Ratios Every Marketing Manager Should Know (part 1)
12 Ratios Every Marketing Manager Should Know (part 2)
12 Ratios Every Marketing Manager Should Know (part 3)
12 Ratios Every Marketing Manager Should Know (part 4)

Friday, December 14, 2012

The race to kill the plastic gift card

Startup Gyft, backed by Google Ventures, thinks it has the right formula for digital gift cards.

That idea animates San Francisco-based startup Gyft, an app that offers users the ability to buy and then give gift cards directly on their smartphones. Users can purchase gift cards from close to 150 vendors -- including Amazon, Nike and Old Navy -- and send them to any other user of the app. Having the card balance available on your phone, so goes the theory, is more convenient than physical cards....>Read More>The race to kill the plastic gift card:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Avoid Full TSA Inspection at Airports (GOES)

I would like to share something with you. There is a program for flyer's to bypass the full TSA inspection at most major airports. This program approves you as a safe traveler which means you don’t have to stand in the long lines, (they usually have a separate lane) take off your shoes, belts, coats, show your liquids, remove your computers. This is great especially at the larger airports.  If you are traveling outside of the US you can bypass the full customs check-in and use a Kiosk to check-in instead of waiting in long lines to see a customs agent to re-enter the US.

This is a US Customs program called Global Entry System (GOES) and can be found at;   You first fill out the information on-line. They use this information to do a background check on you. If you pass they then send you a ID # which you use to make an appointment for an interview with a local customs agent who will take your fingerprints and picture then make the final decision to approve you or not.  There is a $100.00 fee for a multi year pass. They issue you a ID Card as well as mark you passport so you are identified.  You take the number that they issue you and give (enter) it into  your frequent flyer programs which then places a special code on your boarding pass to be used at check-in.   This whole process takes about a month.

This is an excellent program for travelers and I have been using it for over a year now and never an issues with TSA. (saves a lot of time at check-in)

Not all airports work the same and sometimes you still have to do all the strip down but you often bypass the long lines!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Apps for IPad - Speakers/Presentations

As you know I am a APP Junkie and when I hear of new and interesting apps I like to share them with you. Nick Morgan is a world wide speaker/presenter and has recommended the following apps for IPads which I thought might be of use to some of you and your families.

Apps for iPad Speakers – Nick Morgan
What are the essential apps for iPad presenters? I compiled a list a year ago; it’s time for an update. And if you’re holiday shopping for that speaker in your life, and you want to give an iPad, this list will help you load up the gadget with the necessary speaker starter kit.
I love the iPad for presenting. I use it to create my notes, and then put them up on the comfort monitors in front of me but hidden from the audience. Or, if there are no monitors, then the iPad itself does the job, and allows me to keep an eye on the clock so that I end on time. I also use the iPad to show video. Readers of this blog will know that I’m not a big fan of slides, but I do show the occasional one, and it’s easy to do so from the iPad.
At an earlier stage in the presentation food chain, I use the iPad for research, note-taking, and collection of ideas, stories, video, and images for later use.
I love the iPad for presenting because it’s light to carry, fast, easy to use, and relatively crash-free. I’m nearly at the point where I’m leaving the computer at home, and taking the iPad plus keyboard instead. As soon as I get over wearing both belt and suspenders, I’ll travel computer-free.
So how about those apps? I’m an app junkie; I have over a hundred on my iPad, and I’m always swapping them out for shiny new ones when they come along. But here’s my current hit list. Caveat: Apps change daily. This is not a list for all time or even an exhaustive one right now. It’s just what is working for me today.
Prezi, Pages, Keynote
If you don’t know Prezi, it’s time you did. It’s slide presentation software, but much cooler than either Keynote or PowerPoint. Then, of course, there are the basics from Apple. Pages provides word processing for writing out notes, speeches, ideas, and so on. Keynote is for slides. But do give Prezi a try. Especially if you’re a slide-heavy presenter, this is the software for you.
Still a big favorite. I looked long and hard for this app and tried a bunch of others before I settled on Goodreader. Basically, it’s a way to store files on your iPad. What’s the big deal? You can easily store video, pdfs, slides, etc – and then play or view them with a click or two. With the right adaptor, you’re set to play video clips with the least muss and fuss I’ve found so far. And it’s real easy to move video files from computer to iPad with a drag and drop when your iPad is syncing. Evernote
My entire life is now stored on Evernote, and that includes the speeches. I use Evernote on my computer, my iPhone, and my iPad. It’s the single best note management system I’ve found. You can take pictures, notes – information in any form – and store it for future use in a presentation or simply in your preparation for a presentation. I use it to store ideas I run across – to ‘remember everything’ as the advert says.
There are lots of note-taking apps; this one is cool because you can hook it up to the projector via the iPad and write in real time. Voila – instant white board. It’s great for capturing audience feedback, ideas, and so on in a way that’s visible to the entire audience (assuming you have those giant screens on either side of the stage).
Office HD
This app is one of those combo apps that allows you to read or create a word processing file, or a slide deck, or a spreadsheet. I like it because it is easy to use and saves you real estate on your iPad, and it seems to coordinate more easily with my mail program than either Pages or Keynote does, so that I can edit documents or grab images and slides on the fly. I’ve often used it to make last-minute changes to speech notes and get them to the conference tech people or just to myself when I use the iPad as a note display device.
Great for moving large files around. And storing them in the cloud. I’m sure this one is familiar to just about everyone. Essential for dealing with large slide decks on the go.
Prompster Pro or Podium Pro
Good for speakers who need a teleprompter, Promspter Pro seems to work well and costs less than some of its rivals at $5. Beware the super cheap ones. Podium Pro is a dollar less (at $4) has a number of features like the ability to record your talk, color-code sections and other nifty things. I don’t have deep personal experience with these, but friends report that they both do the job.
Presentation Clock
A giant timer, plain and simple. Useful for making sure you don’t run over your time.
What’s your experience – what are your favorite apps for creating and giving presentations? What has worked well for you, and what has not gotten a passing grade?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Carriers Agree to Text to 9-1-1

All four nationwide wireless carriers ” AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA” yesterday committed to supporting text to 911 in their networks by May 15, 2014, with "major deployments" expected in 2013.Each of the four carriers signed the agreement with theNational Emergency Number Association (NENA) and theAssociation of Public-Safety Communications Officials(APCO) in a deal that was announced last night."Access to 911 must catch up with how consumers communicate in the 21st century” and today, we are one step closer towards that vital goal," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement....Read More...Carriers Agree to Text to 9-1-1

Half of Credit Unions Grapple With Little or No Growth: Print Preview

Many credit unions had a banner 2012 in member growth. But many didn't. This print preview from CU Times, next week's edition, explores that issue.

What are some of the reasons why the smaller credit unions are not growing their memberships? Glatt said one culprit could be visibility.
“You may have a branch that is locked down because it’s not in the community. Some of the smaller credit unions are beholden to a single sponsor,” Glatt said. “They likely didn’t have an interest in Bank Transfer Day and [former bank customers] are probably not the people that they’re attracting anyway.”
Then there are a fair number of credit unions that could care less about increasing their member bases, Glatt said. Instead, they choose to look at other ways to define their success such as through loan and decent deposit relationships. However, for the long term, that measurement could lead to failure.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

UK Scientists Plan to Study Firefighter Heart Attacks

Dr Nick Mills, the consultant cardiologist leading the research at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, said: "The risk of having a heart attack whilst you're in service as a firefighter is highest during fire suppression activity, compared to any other ..
Scottish scientists plan to investigate why firefighters are more at risk from heart attacks than any other emergency service workers.
Statistics have shown that despite undergoing regular health and fitness checks, members of fire crews are more prone to suffer cardiac arrests - which kill thousands of Scots every year - than any other branch of the emergency servic

Editorial: Let credit unions make more business loans

Small businesses have a hard time getting loans they need to operate and expand, limiting their ability to create jobs. Credit unions have capital, but the amount they can loan to businesses is limited by law. There's a coupling waiting to be made here and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wants to be the matchmaker.

Her Small Business Lending Enhancement bill would raise the cap on the amount of a credit union's total assets that it can lend to businesses. Since the 1990s, that cap has been set by law at 12.25 percent. The bill would raise it to 27.5 percent. In the aftermath of Sandy, when many local businesses need help getting back on their feet, this reform is one Congress should embrace.
> Read Complete Story>Editorial: Let <b>credit unions</b> make more business loans:


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Worcester, Mass. firefighters mark somber anniversary

“Surprising the years went by so quickly but we remember and we always will,” says Worcester Fire Chief Gerard Dio.... > View Video > Worcester, Mass. firefighters mark somber anniversary

Friday, November 30, 2012

NCUA Has Change of Heart on Volunteer Reporting Requirement

The NCUA told Credit Union Times on Thursday that it has scrapped a proposal that would require credit unions to report the original appointment or election date of directors, a move that could have created bad publicity for those with long-tenured board members. READ MORE >NCUA Has Change of Heart on Volunteer Reporting Requirement: CU Times

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 Lessons From Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath

Experts discuss lessons from MCU’s issues. MCU President/CEO Kam Wong discusses what his credit union has learned not to do next time. READ ALL 5 > 5 Lessons From Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from NCOFCU

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc.
Your Board of Directors
Save the Date!
October 2-5, 2013
NCOFCU Annual Meeting & Conference
Boston MA.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NCUA budget hike costs CUs;Becker: NCUA budget hike costly |

Nov. 15, 2012 – NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker said the NCUA Board's approval today of a troubling, 6.1 percent budget increase for 2013 will be too costly for credit unions, which fund the agency budget and are still dealing with fallout from the housing downturn and ensuing financial crisis.
The two-member board voted unanimously in approving a 6.1 percent increase in next year's operating budget to a total of $251.4 million. Of the $14.5 million increase, $12.8 million is for a 7.5 percent increase in pay – provided the president approves an increase in the general schedule pay scale. Other factors in this increase is full funding of the agency’s 1,261.5 full-time equivalents, a staffing figure that will not change in 2013. READ MORE > Becker: NCUA budget hike costs CUs;Becker: NCUA budget hike costly | NAFCU

Fed Minutes Show Interest in Extending Bond-Buying

In the records from its last policy meeting, the Federal Reserve signaled that it would probably begin a new bond-buying program in December to try to spur job growth. READ MORE > Fed Minutes Show Interest in Extending Bond-Buying:

Ending Tax Exemption Mistakenly Added to House Bill, Sponsor Says?

Spokesman for U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross says tax exemption should be in "maintain" and not "phase-out" part of the bill. READ MORE CU Times >Ending Tax Exemption Mistakenly Added to House Bill, Sponsor Says:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Does this sound familiar?

Here is a quote from the chairman of a 3 million 320 member credit union facing a merger/buyout.
"The credit union Chairman  said the credit union faces challenges typical of its asset size: retaining management and compliance.
“We can’t produce enough income to hire decent help,” he said. “Every time we get a good manager trained, they move on to bigger and better things.”
Compliance also killed the 292-member credit union, he said.
“These days, it takes more manpower because there are so many new regulations.  Just trying to stay compliant is monumental for a little credit union like ours,” he said."
Does this sound familiar?
NCOFCU's goal is to each out to our fellow firefighters credit unions who may find themselves in this same situation. To encourage them to participate in a peer to peer organization of firefighters and CEO's managing their credit unions.
If you know of anyone or find yourself in this situation please contact Grant Sheehan CEO NCOFCU, 305-951-3306,  or visit our website at and sign up so that a wealth of information and assistance will be available to you.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

England | West Midlands Fire Service rapid response vehicles trial enters second phase | Big Medicine

Englands New Rapid Response Vehicles

In the second phase of the trial, the Toyotas – complete with a powerful water pump, 300 litres of water, a ladder, vehicle cutting equipment and water rescue kit – are available as a resource to consider sending to all incidents.

“We’ll continue to send the best possible response we can, using the most appropriate vehicles and equipment. A fully-crewed fire engine will still respond to our highest risk incidents, but we are now exploring ways to use other vehicles to respond to lower risk incidents and to ensure we have the right number of firefighters at higher risk ones.”

Vij Randeniya, Chief Fire Officer for the West Midlands, added: “We are facing unprecedented financial challenges, and are prepared for further cuts when the Government announces the next funding figures in December. BRVs, and the professional, risk-assessed approach we will take to deploying them, are just one of the necessary but innovative ways we’re responding to the new financial world in which we must now operate.”
READ MORE > England | West Midlands Fire Service rapid response vehicles trial enters second phase | Big Medicine

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Firefighters Community Credit Union in Cleveland.

"Our goal is to make this merger experience as smooth and positive as possible for everyone," said Ben Laurendeau, president/CEO of FFCCU. "The transition should be fairly seamless for our new UFCW members."
The $10.3 million United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880 Credit Union in Cleveland has merged into the $184 million Firefighters Community Credit Union in Cleveland.
Taking effect Monday, the merger made the 3,600 UFCW members new members of FFCCU, increasing the surviving credit union membership base to 27,500. As part of the merger agreement, the UFCW Local 880 CU closed its doors Nov. 2, and all UFCW member data was transferred and integrated into FFCCU’s IT system

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Facebook Rules Social Media: CUNA Councils Survey

Nearly all the credit unions surveyed by a pair of CUNA Mutual Councils were using Facebook to interact with members, the company said Monday.

And the longer they had been doing it, the better they have gotten at it, according to the findings presented by CUNA Mutual Group sales planner Patrick McElhenie at the 2012 CUNA Lending Council Conference in Miami. READ MORE >Facebook Rules Social Media: CUNA Councils Survey

By Firefighters for Firefighters! Boston 2013

Register NOW 10/2-5/13
NCOFCU 2013 Annual Conference/Meeting    
“By Firefighters for Firefighters”
NCOFCU’s board of directors goal is to provide you with a conference as good as if not better than in the past. The board feels that the coalition, acting as a not for profit, can eventually produce a conference that is more cost affordable and informative to the majority of our credit unions.

Performing as a not for profit encourages contributors to invest in NCOFCU and be part of the educational opportunities available to the coalitions members, therefore assisting in reducing the eventual cost to the participating credit unions.

It is with the above goals in mind that we move forward to Boston. We wish that you will support  NCOFCU's efforts in accomplishing these goals, for the benefit of all firefighter credit unions.

Please take this opportunity and confirm your rooms with the Westin and register with NCOFCU at:

Reserve Your Rooms

Register For The Conference On-Line
Grant Sheehan CEO
National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Newark Fireman FCU

Newark Firemen
Federal Credit Union


Hello from New Jersey,
I want to thank everyone for their concern and phone calls.
We here at the Credit Union are now back to 100% of operations and as of this morning with full internet service.
I’m still without power at home, but I got lucky on Saturday and scored a generator and now have limited power.  Thanks to our Governor we now have odd/even (license plate number) gas rationing which has shortened the gas lines!
Thanks to everyone again for your concern and calls, during a disaster it helps to know you have friends who care and prayers  on your side!!!
Be safe,
Gene Benick CEO

Credit Unions Reaping Benefits from Housing Market Gains - Yahoo! News

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) November 04, 2012 Tobias Nergarden issued his statement following reports in the Credit Union Times that credit unions are benefiting from the healing market for mortgages; he believes that this news is great for home buyers, as it increases their options for home financing and will lead to more competitive lending among banks.

Traditionally, most credit unions have relied on checking accounts, auto loans and higher-interest savings accounts to drive their membership. However, record-low interest rates and a buyer’s market make home buying more attractive than it’s been in years, and more Americans are turning to buying over vacation rental by owners. Some credit unions are noticing that mortgages are driving a growth in new member rolls for credit unions.

READ MORE > Credit Unions Reaping Benefits from Housing Market Gains - Yahoo! News

F&A Federal Credit Union Auto Loan Rate: 1.99% APR

Members of F&A Federal Credit Union receive the financial support they need for their evolving needs. Since 1936, they have offered employees of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Agricultural Department financial guidance, and now has approximately $1.1 billion in assets and over 40,000 members

READ MORE > F&A Federal Credit Union Auto Loan Rate: 1.99% APR

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Chicago Firefighter Killed Battling House Fire

Our condolences to the family of Captain Herbert Johnson!
A 33-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department died and another was injured battling a house fire on the city's southwest side.  READ MORE > Chicago <b>Firefighter</b> Killed Battling House Fire:

Hurricane Sandy: NCUA Reports 118 CUs Affected by Storm

NCUA says credit unions in six states are not operational, closed or have a pending status.
According to a list of credit unions affected by Hurricane Sandy, which the NCUA posted Friday on its website, 118 credit unions in six states are not operational, closed or have a pending status.
The list was developed with the assistance of examiners from NCUA Regions I and II, who attempted to contact the credit unions they supervise to measure the impact of the natural disaster. READ MORE > Hurricane Sandy: NCUA Reports 118 CUs Affected by Storm:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: NYC's Municipal Credit Union Responds

No matter how well your are prepared for a disaster you will never be able to do enough!

Municipal Credit Union says online banking is restored, reaches out to members with post-storm services...

Wong said in his letter that MCU is here to help in any way it can “one member at a time.”
“If you or someone you know was affected by the severe storms and floods, our Membership Assistance Program can help,” he wrote. “You may qualify to:
  • Receive emergency credit line increases on your existing MCU Visa card.
  • Modify or extend payment on loans, credit cards or lines of credit.
  • Receive special assistant with lost, missing or late loan and credit card payment.
  • Receive a refund on any returned items and or non-sufficient funds.”
Wong also encouraged members to check MCU’s website,, or call 1-888-220-0320 for information updates.

Keeping Your Members Happy

Keeping Your Members Happy:
Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” It is a “law” of any business: It is more cost effective to keep your current customers satisfied than it is to look for new customers to replace them. A recent Ernst and Young global consumer survey found that 25% of customers changed banks in 2011 due to poor levels of personalized service and branch location proximity. While it would be nice to think that most of them switched from banks to credit unions as part of Bank Transfer Day, odds are that plenty went the other direction too.
Successful credit unions will look at all aspects of their operations for opportunities to retain current members by constantly striving to improve their member experience.
The phrase ‘member experience’ is broad and encompasses practically every aspect of a credit union. There are many ways credit unions can improve the member experience. Loyalty programs, financial education, and community involvement are a few things your credit union may want to look at adjusting. There is another area of member experience, however, that is often overlooked even though it comprises a large part of your members’ interaction with your credit union: ATMs.

As this recent whitepaper from NCR (our Preferred Partner for ATM Products and Services, Teller Cash Recyclers) states, “The ATM remains the most recognized banking channel as it satisfies many consumers’ daily banking needs. Yet, while the new multi‑function, self‑service ATMs offer the convenience of completing more complex self‑service transactions, they fail to recreate the level of engagement found in-branch.” ATMs are often the most frequent interaction a member has with your credit union, yet they are also the most impersonal.
Fortunately, given the prevalence of ATM use, there is a solution – use live video technology to add that human dimension to significantly increase the level of engagement and efficiency.
Video technology allows for a rich audio and visual experience to occur via ATM, offering complete teller availability to members 24/7. This type of technology so closely replicates the in-branch experience that in August, NCUA stated that Video Teller Machines qualify as federal credit union service facilities for select group additions and underserved areas. It’s a win-win situation: Both members and the credit union get the benefit of human interaction, with extended hours and from convenient locations.
But video ATMs also enhance the member experience by increasing efficiency. Based on real-world observations, NCR found that only 10% of teller time is actually spent interacting with members. Deploying video ATMs resulted in 50% less time to completion for members for their banking tasks – and the migration of a substantial 44% of transaction volume (50% of members!) away from in-branch tellers.
Helping members accomplish their banking tasks as efficiently as possible is certainly key to a positive member experience, as anyone who has waited in line for service anywhere can attest. Consider using your ATMs to help that process.
More information can be found on NAFCU Services’ NCR Preferred Partner Page (
Post written by  Chelsea Sisson, Associate Marketing Manager, NAFCU Services Corp.
Comment on this post.
Related Blog Post:
Christopher Columbus had his flag, credit unions have video ATMs

NASA-style mission control centers for social media are taking off

FORTUNE -- Houston, we have a tweet. Growing numbers of global organizations -- from Gatorade to Dell and major universities -- are building multimillion-dollar mission control centers for social media: dedicated physical hubs for monitoring and responding to the torrent of social commentary and queries flooding in via Facebook, Twitter and other channels.  Decked out with giant flat panel screens, sleek mood lighting and banks of monitors, the command centers track a dizzying array of real-time stats and indicators, from mentions on Twitter to general consumer sentiment and social media market share....READ MORE > NASA-style mission control centers for social media are taking off:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NCUA - Changes Planned for Upcoming Call Reports

Dear Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer:
To more precisely measure each credit union’s financial condition, NCUA is planning several significant reporting changes to the 5300 Call Report and Profile. This letter describes additions and revisions scheduled for the next three Call Report cycles.1 We are providing notice well in advance to ensure you have sufficient time to prepare.  READ MORE > Pages   - Changes Planned for Upcoming Call Reports

Friday, October 26, 2012

Survey Shows Credit Union Members More Confident in Economy, Personal Finances | NAFCU Services Blog

It is nice when a survey confirms something you’ve always suspected is true—on the whole, credit union members feel better about the economy when compared to bank customers. It’s also nice to know that all of our efforts with regard to financial literacy are paying off—credit union members are managing their finances better too. Both are especially heartening given all the mixed signals we’ve been getting on the economic recovery...> Read More>>Survey Shows Credit Union Members More Confident in Economy, Personal Finances | NAFCU Services Blog

Sheila Bair | Elizabeth Warren for Senate

Massachusetts treasurer Steve Grossman joined Sheila Bair and Elizabeth Warren at the Boston Firefighter's Credit Union this morning and stressed what an ...Sheila Bair | Elizabeth Warren for Senate:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Walmart & American Express Bluebird

Is Bluebird coming to a Walmart near you?
Walmart is now advertising their new Bluebird AMX card, to your members, that offers banking services with out being a bank! Watch their video!

Why Bluebird?

Bluebird is brought to you by American Express and
Walmart, giving you:
Video Preview
The features you want
You can make direct deposits, pay bills online, deposit checks with your iPhone® or AndroidTMdevice, and set up Sub-Accounts — a great new way to manage family spending.

The service you deserve
Our award-winning American Express Customer Service is there for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And it's super easy to open a Bluebird Account since there are no credit reviews.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sheila Bailey Eubank Fakes Kidnapping To Skip Work, Gets ...

Another "Would You Believe?"
There is no shortage of inventive excuses that workers will turn to in search of a day off from work. Few employees, however, go as far as to tell a tall tale to police about being kidnapped and assaulted by a knife-wielding robber -- just for an extra day of rest and relaxation.

Video at the credit union ATM showed Eubank withdrawing money, but there was no sign that anyone else was with her. Faced with the evidence, Bailey allegedly confessed that she had made up the whole kidnapping story, saying "she ...READ MORE > Sheila Bailey Eubank Fakes Kidnapping To Skip Work, Gets <b>...</b>:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Survey of the Best CD Rates for October 19, 2012

The best nationally available 5-year CD yield is still 2.00%. This is available from 5 all-access credit unions. One all-access credit union fell out of this club. Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union ended its special 2% 5-year CD. The yield is now only 1.41%, so it's no longer listed below. On the plus side, I added Pinnacle Federal Credit Union to this 2% club. Anyone can qualify for Pinnacle membership by joining the American Consumer Council. One downside is that Pinnacle doesn't have an online application. If you don't live near a branch, the application must be sent by mail...READ MORE>>>Survey of the Best CD Rates for October 19, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Your community credit union is not just “like a bank ...

I know you have seen and read these to death but I found this one extremely readable and worth sharing..Grant

Anecdotally, though, I've noted that many peoples' responses amount to something along the lines of, “a credit union is like a bank…” The term “credit union” often summons up some vague ideas about banking, communities, and friendliness, ...READ MORE>>Lara Wilkinson: Your community <b>credit union</b> is not just “like a bank <b>...</b>:

New York High Court Says Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union Has to Pay Mortgage Tax

Court rejects tax exemption arguments as not being part of Federal Credit Union Act intent.
Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union will have to pay a state tax to record mortgages it issues despite being a federal credit union, according a decision handed down Thursday by the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.
The 262,000-member $3.7 billion, Poughkeepsie credit union had brought suit against New York in 2009, arguing in part that it did not have to pay the tax, which is assessed and paid prior to mortgages being recorded, since it is exempt as a credit union generally and as federally chartered credit union specifically under the supremacy clause that allows federal laws to override those of states...READ MORE>>>New York High Court Says Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union Has to Pay Mortgage Tax:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

International Credit Union Day: Minnesota’s Governor Makes it Official

The $185 million Firefighters Community Credit Union is inviting its 25,000 members and the public, to its four branches in and around Cleveland on Thursday for some punch and cookies.
“This is a day to celebrate credit unions as a viable not-for-profit alternative to banking, where people are more important than profit,” says Ben Laurendeau, CEO of FFCCU. “It’s also a day for people who have never experienced a credit union to come in and see what the buzz is about.”   READ MORE-International Credit Union Day: Minnesota’s Governor Makes it Official:

NAFCU Survey Reveals Positive Bank Transfer Day Impact

According to a new survey from NAFCU , the Bank Transfer Day train is still chugging along for credit unions, bring new members and account penetration with it..READ MORE...NAFCU Survey Reveals Positive Bank Transfer Day Impact: