Foresight is 2020: Credit Union Budget Ideas for the Coming Year

It’s that time of year again. You’ve got big ideas, good intentions, and only so much money to go around. Which necessities should make your 2020 credit union budget?

Well, we’ve got a few ideas about that. However, we were beaten to the punch! Ongoing Operations wrote up some budget ideas that we really liked. But we’ll link that at the end.

In the meantime, we’ll give you the highlights here.

Credit Union Budget Ideas for 2020

Below are a few of our… no, scratch that… Ongoing Operations’ recommendations.

Aw, heck. They’re ours, too.

 

1.    Workload automation

Imagine a world where your most tedious tasks are handled by computers. No more dealing with ACH, file transfers and management, or reporting. Less busywork, more work work.

SMA Technologies has successfully worked with hundreds of credit unions, so they’re a good choice. But you may find luck with another workload automation provider as well.

 

2.    Marketing automation

At this point, most credit unions have dipped their feet into inbound marketing. But inbound marketing without the support of marketing automation isn’t always as effective as it could be.

If you want to take your marketing to the next level, automate it.

And yes, this is a shameless plug. Sorry. (Kinda.)

 

3.    Online account opening

Nobody under the age of 40 wants to come into your branch to fill out paperwork. If you can get someone signed up online in less than the time it takes to nuke a Hot Pocket?

Well, then you should do that.

Narmi and Vetter both provide fast online account opening options. Here’s what’s different about each: Narmi provides a broad range of digital banking services. Vetter offers marketing targeting and outreach to help grow your membership.

 

4.    Data analytics

Does your 2020 budget include data analytics? We strongly believe it should. Analytics provide information, and decisions based on information are almost always better.

Trellance recently acquired OnApproach, making them a very well-rounded partner. However, we also like what we see coming out of CU Rise.

 

5.    Small dollar lending

It’s an industry that gets a bad rap. However, the need is there. More than 75% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. And if you believe the doomsayers, we’re in for a rough market downturn.

That means that small dollar lending could be a major lifeline for your members. And hey, it might provide a nice bump to your loan portfolio, too. QCash Financial looks great in this arena.

 

6.    Member experience tracking

Do you care if your members enjoy their banking experience? Do you value their insight and feedback? Then you might want to make room in your 2020 budget for a credit union-specific survey platform.

Member experience monitoring ensures that you maintain your credit union advantages.

 

7.    Member communications

Credit unions spend a lot on member communications every year. Member statements, tax documents, notices, etc. Why not put that money towards making someone else do it?

XDI recently expanded operations, making them a great option. Bonus, they’re good about converting members to electronic communications.

 

8.    ATM replacement, refurbishment, and disposal

No, this isn’t glamorous. It’s certainly not fancy like those automation options at the beginning. But here’s the thing:

With the Windows 10 update fast approaching, a lot of credit unions will need to replace or update their ATMs on the cheap. As far as we’re aware, Tellerex is the best option out there.

 

9.    Audit management and automation

Ahh, there we are! Back to automation. Automating audits can save credit unions time. And, with enough time saved, this 2020 budget idea might pay for itself before you’ve completed your first audit.

Although there are a couple audit management and automation providers out there, only one is specifically geared toward credit unions. Redboard is the team to beat, here.

 

10.    Credit card improvements

Want to give your members more flexibility and control over their finances? Want to increase your credit union’s share of wallet while you do it?

WalletFI is one of our favorite wildcard technologies out there. Check this out.

 

11.   Voice recognition banking

We welcome our new robot overlords. Whether you have Alexa in your home or know someone that does, you know that smart homes and digital assistants can do a lot.

Best Innovation Group (BIG) provides voice banking for your home devices. “Alexa, transfer $500 from savings to my checking account.” Boom.

 

12.   Cloud security and data availability

Equifax got back in the news after their settlement. Then Capital One got jealous of the attention. Data breaches will only get more common.

So why not make your data virtually breach proof? Myriad offers some impressive Zero Trust cloud security sure to protect your most sensitive data.

 

13.    Ongoing Operations

Okay, this is cheating, right? I mean, we could list a bunch of different credit union budget ideas for 2020 and then list Ongoing Operations as a vendor for all of them. But we’re lazy, and it’s just as easy to suggest them for these critical services:

  • Office 365
  • Managed patching
  • CISO as a service
  • Business continuity planning

See, that was so much easier. If you want your basics taken care of—no matter the weather—then ongoing operations is the ticket.

 

More Options

There are so many credit union budget ideas out there. Honestly, we don’t envy the decisions you have to make.

For example, you might decide that it’s time to introduce a new product or service. Or maybe you want to build a moat around your bestest branch?

One thing is for sure:

You should put aside a bit of money for innovation. Be willing to try something new. If you don’t, then it’s same old, same old. Boo to that.

 

Final Thoughts

Here’s the deal: yes, we basically stole this blog from Ongoing Operations. But in our defense, we had the same idea—they just got around to posting it first. Who knew that 2020 credit union budgets were such a hot topic?

(Editor’s note: Everyone. Everyone did.)

Of course, this is a pretty short list. There are only what, 13 options up there? We must be missing something. Please let us know if we left out anything obvious (or sneaky good). We’ve got “edit post” buttons and itchy fingers.

Follow our blog for more information about credit unions, fintechs, and marketing tips for either.

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