It’s a New Year’s riddle: What do you get when you combine a small, nimble team with the best technology?
The answer? Confidence in facing the unknowns of 2022, says Randy Stolp, chief information officer (CIO) at $462 million asset My Community Credit Union in Midland, Texas, and second vice chair of the CUNA Technology Council Executive Committee.
“Our people prepare us for 2022,” Stolp says. “Our team is well-prepared for surprises by the ups and downs of our historically heavily oil-based economy.”
My Community will send its staff—all 108 of them—into the community throughout 2022 as part of a commitment to perform 70 random acts of kindness to celebrate the credit union’s 70th anniversary.
Employees submitted ideas for acts of kindness—some as simple as buying coffee for a stranger—and will help perform them in the community. For members, special loan promotions will offer another way to join the celebration.
The credit union will also deepen its partnership with a local high school by hosting work-study students in branches, holding reality fairs in classrooms, and exploring the possibility of a student-led branch at the school.
On the technology side, Stolp is excited about potential fintech partnerships that could create new products. He noted that fintech is at the “inflection point” for marketplace disruption, making fintech partnerships a priority for all credit unions.
“You don’t have to be big to partner with fintech,” Stolp says. “You can act now no matter what size you are.“
Stolp predicts credit unions could face pressure from rising interest rates and reductions in noninterest income, along with the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Rising interest rates are generally good for our interest income,” Stolp says. “However, credit unions which saw a significant influx of low-rate mortgages during the recent refinancing boom may need to rebalance their portfolios to insure themselves from interest-rate risk.
“Noninterest income could face pressure from increased regulations around the reduction of overdraft fees and changes to the Durbin Amendment affecting interchange income,” he adds.
Credit unions must remain vigilant to protect both the physical and financial health of employees and members in this environment.
Serving on the Filene Research Institute’s i3 team is a source of motivation and inspiration for Stolp. The two-year leadership innovation program gives credit union leaders the mindset, tools, and network to shape the future.
“It is compelling and inspiring to be in the same room as the best and brightest minds in our movement,” Stolp says. “We’re facing and solving the credit union system’s problems of tomorrow together.”