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Insights from Catalyst

  • Six Years of Action

    by Kathy Garner | September 14, 2017

    In 2011, Catalyst Corporate was founded with the goal of building a successful partnership with credit unions across the country. As we celebrate our sixth anniversary this month, I’d like to think we’ve used that goal as a “catalyst” behind every action! Let’s take a moment and look at six unique moments from Catalyst Corporate’s sixth year.
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  • Fighting Fraud Early and Efficiently

    by Sharon Begarney | August 31, 2017

    Imagine losing $26 billion in one year. That’s the total financial loss attributed to identity theft in 2014. Is this something that should worry credit unions? Yes. Is there a way to mitigate these losses? Also, yes. Real-time fraud protection services, such as Early Warning Deposit Chek, issue instant alerts – at the time of deposit – on checks that carry return risk. How can real-time protection services benefit credit unions? Keep reading...
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  • Mining the Millennial Mindset

    by Rachel Kaufman | August 17, 2017

    Last month, I attended Cornerstone Credit Union League’s Young Professionals Conference to learn ways to connect with and utilize millennials in the credit union community. Aside from getting a chance to network with nearly 100 of my peers (and a few reverse crashers), I walked away from the two-day conference with information that can help credit union leaders across multiple generations better understand the millennial mindset.
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  • Look Out for Late Year Liquidity Demands

    by Casey Peterson | July 27, 2017

    With the first half of 2017 in the rear view mirror, many credit unions are wondering where to focus their attention. After all, economic growth has been slow and steady – emphasis on slow – and from a regulatory perspective, little has changed this year. At least so far. A return to seasonal trends in share growth, combined with a rise in short-term interest rates could change all that and trigger potential liquidity issues.
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  • The Halfway Point

    by Sarina Freedland | July 13, 2017

    2017 began with overwhelming optimism for what could be: less regulation, lower taxes and more jobs. But optimism began to wane midway through the first six months. Heading into the last lap of the year, it’s a good time to review what we’ve accomplished and what we can look forward to over the next six months.
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  • Debit Cards: The Ultimate School Supply

    by Justin Lutes | June 29, 2017

    Before sending students off to school this fall, credit unions have the opportunity to attract parents and students alike by promoting the value of a debit card. After all, a debit card is not just a way to get cash out of an ATM. There are numerous benefits to using a debit card as a primary method of payment.
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  • Reward Your Members and Your Credit Union

    by Karen Coble | June 15, 2017

    Offering loyal members a reward isn’t a new concept. Big banks have long paired with hotel and airline conglomerates to reward frequent fliers and visitors with points and miles. Credit card companies offer cash back and other perks that correspond to the amount spent on credit. With programs like Catalyst Corporate’s Checking with Benefits, credit unions can do the same for members.
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  • Mind Your Business Services

    by Karen Coble | May 25, 2017

    Over half of all Americans own or work for a small business. And these small businesses create about 67 percent of new jobs in the U.S. each year – at least according to the latest data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Is your credit union positioned to help this growing population by providing funding, fee-generating deposit accounts and payment services to small businesses? Check out some of the ways your credit union can support, engage and advise the SEGs and small businesses in your community.
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  • A World Away...

    by Brad Ganey | May 18, 2017

    Last month, I joined Shane Berger, president and CEO of Beehive Federal Credit Union, Pocatello, Idaho, and Todd Christensen, senior vice president of marketing, CapEd Credit Union, Boise, Idaho, on a trip to Moldova. The goal of our trip was to share with Moldovan credit unions (known as Savings Credit Associations, or SCAs) ideas for enhancing marketing, improving strategic planning and expanding payment options.
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  • The Times are a’Changing… Again

    by Jonathan Jackson | April 27, 2017

    The world is a much different place now than it was in 2006. Much has changed since the last rising rate cycle. In particular, tools available online for consumers to rate shop and move money from one institution to another have multiplied and improved substantially. How have your credit union’s online offerings changed in the last decade? How have your competitor’s online offerings improved?
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  • What Members Really Want to Know

    by Sarina Freedland | April 19, 2017

    It doesn’t take a financial expert to know that big changes are underway. Take this opportunity to rise above your competitors by having your employees provide a little member education. Here are a few questions members might have, along with short answers for each.
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  • Stressing the Need for Stress Testing

    by Mark DeBree | March 30, 2017

    Stress. It’s just one syllable, but it could have a disastrous effect on one’s mind, body and soul. In the same vein, a stressed balance sheet could be just as detrimental to a credit union and its members.
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  • Getting Cash Management 'Just Right'

    by Justin Lutes | February 23, 2017

    In “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” the protagonist searches for the perfect bowl of porridge. One bowl is too hot. The next is too cold. The third is just right. While the consequences of porridge that isn’t “just right” can range from an unpleasant meal to a burnt mouth, the consequences of cash management that isn’t "just right" can include everything from displeased members to missed opportunities to earn more income.
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  • Preparing for Higher Interest Rates

    by Mike Sims | January 26, 2017

    Last year ended with one of the more volatile interest rate periods since 2013. For now, the lengthy period of extremely low, relatively stable interest rates appears to be over.
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  • Tis the Season for Theft Prevention

    by Karen Coble | December 22, 2016

    The movie "Home Alone" is full of life lessons and hijinks, but at the root is the vulnerability of people during the holidays, as things are often rushed, busy and forgotten. However, with proper preparation, you can stop even the stickiest of bandits from taking what rightfully belongs to you!
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  • What If?

    by Mike McGinnis | November 17, 2016

    What if it rains today? What if I overcook dinner? What if I get a flat tire on my way to work? Life is full of “what ifs.” Benjamin Franklin acknowledged this when he said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Sometimes, creating a backup plan is as easy as bringing an umbrella, keeping an emergency frozen pizza on hand or calling roadside assistance. Other times, it isn't.
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  • Carmageddon Ahead?

    by Steven Houle | October 27, 2016

    As Newton’s law of gravity dictates, what goes up must eventually come down, and auto sales are no exception. From 2010-2015, American consumers purchased cars at a steadily increasing rate, peaking in November 2015, but purchases have trended lower ever since.
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  • Standardized Testing

    by Mark DeBree | September 29, 2016

    Roll with the punches. Get with the times. While these well-known clichés aim to pack a positive punch, they don’t garner as much enthusiasm when we’re attempting to deviate from tried-and-true standards. But, there’s no time like today to begin adapting to a new normal!
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  • Checking Account Check-Up

    by Karen Coble | August 25, 2016

    While paper checks may be on their way out the door, checking accounts and checking account services remain a vital part of any financial institution—especially credit unions. After all, whether you opened your first one with the birthday money acquired as a kid, or decided on one well into adulthood, the checking account story is a tale as old as time.
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