In the onslaught of never-ending industry change, it’s easy to become overly distracted with dealing with issues occurring right now inside your office or branch.
In that put-out-today’s-fire state of mind, it’s possible to lose sight of what industry trends are happening nationally, and what effects they can have on your organization. Strategic planning that includes consideration of current industry trends will help reduce the chance that you’ll need to douse an internal “fire” associated with those trends.
CUNA Environmental Scan (E-Scan) is the tool you need to better understand trends affecting the industry. Organized into 10 trend-based chapters, this annual report supplies future-focused information and financial industry resources that credit unions need to compete and succeed. Here are examples of the trends highlighted in this year’s report:
There are many metaphors for data, but one popular one is “Data is the new oil.” A common failure among legacy organizations is the activation of data.
If we think of data as oil, we must also think of it as fairly useless on its own. Imagine someone drops off a bucket of petroleum in your driveway. Before that petroleum can deliver any value, it must first be refined into fuel. It must then be safely integrated into whatever machine you need to get your job done.
It’s rare to find organizations that are proficient at analyzing (or refining) that information and activating (or igniting) their data. Less than half of credit unions use data and data analytics to drive innovation, meaning that the majority of credit unions aren't tapping into data-driven insights to propel their organizations forward. Therefore, opportunities to use data to improve and excel are being missed.
The question of financial institutions’ strategic role in cryptocurrency has been percolating for years.
The strategic question facing credit unions involves both when and how to participate in the cryptocurrency space. Arguably, “if” could be added to this menu of options. However, even credit unions electing not to engage in some limited fashion should be prepared to provide their members with some degree of education on this increasingly common financial product. They should also ready contingency plans for rapid response should crypto and related decentralized finance (DeFi) endeavors siphon off increasing deposit balances and loan originations.
Roughly 20% of Americans have owned or currently own cryptocurrency in some fashion – a clear indication the market has progressed beyond the “bleeding edge” stage dominated by tech zealots. In fact, it’s highly likely that members at virtually every credit union are active in crypto. Scans of member transaction activity for transfers to crypto trading platforms have confirmed this reality.
The coronavirus crisis fundamentally changed how we work. After almost two years of living in a pandemic, employers and employees are navigating a “new normal” in which it appears the COVID-19 virus may be with us for some time.
Variants threaten to compromise the progress we have made against the deadly virus. This means credit union leaders must continue to navigate a fraught and uncertain employment law landscape.
The compliance picture changes daily as new orders, regulations and legislation emerge to address the coronavirus and associated employment issues. Six spaces that are evolving include remote work, vaccination requirements, COVID-19 testing, return to office, paid and unpaid leave and the labor market.
Advocacy wins in 2021, starting with efforts to remove an IRS reporting provision from a major spending bill, set the credit union movement up for continued success in the months ahead.
Looking ahead, the CUNA-League advocacy team will focus on:
Because they’re fulfilling their mission and advancing the communities they serve, credit unions are in a good place.
CUNA Environmental Scan will help you overcome any challenges you'll be facing. By downloading the report, you'll be a step ahead of knowing how to face planning challenges head-on. Use it to keep your organization stable and successful at meeting your members’ needs.
Dayna Johnson-Schmitt is a product manager at CUNA.