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Insights from Catalyst

  • Robotics Process Automation – Building a Strategy for Success

    by Vincent Armato | March 14, 2019

    With the uptick in Robotics Process Automation (RPA) technologies the last few years, many credit unions may be exploring RPA and its potential value to their organization. What is Robotics Process Automation, and why might a credit union want to introduce these capabilities into their portfolio of technologies?
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  • Parting Words to an Industry that’s Been Good to Me

    by Kathy Garner | February 26, 2019

    Credit unions, and more specifically, corporate credit unions, have been Kathy Garner's life for almost 40 years. Just days away from her retirement, she shares a few parting thoughts regarding the people and the industry that have been the focus of her commitment the past four decades.
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  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Moving to Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities

    by Dan Abdill | February 14, 2019

    The Single Security Initiative. You may be unfamiliar with it, but if your credit union sells mortgage pools to the agencies for securitization and/or invests in the agencies’ mortgage-backed securities (MBS), you will see its results.
    Full story

  • 2018, Stellar. 2019, Liquidity Challenges?

    by Aaron Martini | January 24, 2019

    2018 was another stellar year for the credit union industry. While credit unions are doing well overall, some are facing challenges. Heading into 2019, a key concern for many credit union balance sheets is maintaining liquidity.
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  • Raise Deposit Rates? The Wait May Be Over for Credit Unions

    by Jonathan Jackson | January 10, 2019

    Most credit unions have approached increasing deposit rates with a wait-and-see attitude, resulting in below-market rates for as long as possible. The wait may be over as a result of tightening liquidity.
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  • A New Dawn on Same Day (ACH)

    by Justin Lutes | December 27, 2018

    A new round of Same Day ACH (SDA) advancements is on the horizon! Earlier this year, NACHA’s voting membership approved three new SDA rules that will take effect over the next two years.
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  • U.S. Tariffs: Then and Now

    by Al Schiliro | December 13, 2018

    The word “tariffs” has been in the media a lot lately. What, exactly, are tariffs? And what do they have to do with consumers and credit unions?
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  • When it Comes to Volatility, Be Careful What You Wish For

    by Mark Wert | November 29, 2018

    In 2005, interest rate derivative and bond traders wanted more volatility in the rates markets. Interest rate volatility markets were all but dead, and traders complained about being bored. They had a point, and to be fair, traders need some volatility to make money.
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  • In Search of Info on ISO 20022

    by Justin Lutes | November 8, 2018

    For those working in the payments realm, the term “ISO 20022” probably sounds vaguely familiar. As this International Organization of Standardization guideline has not been widely implemented in the U.S. – the Federal Reserve will implement the standard for its Fedwire Funds Service in three phases, beginning in November 2020 and ending in late 2023 – learning about ISO 20022 doesn’t rank very high on our to-do lists. Yet.
    Full story

  • Is Big Data a Big Deal?

    by Mark DeBree | October 25, 2018

    What’s the key to a credit union’s success? That’s an easy one. It’s the members. And these days, membership can be more diverse than ever. But how well do we understand the evolving member base? As our credit unions grow and gain more members, it gets harder to know them. What can we do to gain more insights into our members? Two words: BIG DATA.
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  • Four Days of Future Forums

    by Greg Moore | October 11, 2018

    Nearly 300 credit union leaders met at Catalyst Corporate’s recent Future Forums to hear 30+ speakers cover topics from faster payments to global impacts on the local economy… and everything in between. This was the first year Catalyst Corporate combined its tried-and-true Economic Forum with an all-new segment dedicated to payments and technology trends. In addition to all the “thought leadership by day,” attendees also had many opportunities to network with their peers in the evenings. Here are some of the highlights.
    Full story

  • Is Your Credit Union Cyber Secure?

    by Kay Sikes | September 27, 2018

    Each October, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance join forces to educate businesses, consumers and students on how to stay safe and secure online. This year, as National Cyber Security Month turns 15, the campaign goal is to increase awareness of the shared responsibility we have in securing digital assets. Credit union employees often remind members how to protect their accounts. But, who reminds the employees to be just as careful with their online activities and digital duties?
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  • Seven Milestones in Seven Years

    by Kathy Garner | September 13, 2018

    In our industry, a lot can happen in a year. So imagine all that can happen over seven years! This month, Catalyst Corporate turns seven, and these years have been brimming with challenges, innovations, surprises and growth! Let’s take a look at seven major milestones Catalyst Corporate has reached since 2011.
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  • Three Easy Steps for Mitigating the Generational Shift of Core Deposits

    by Christopher Uhl | August 30, 2018

    There’s good news for the future of credit unions: our membership base is getting younger! But relative to national averages, we still have a long way to go. So, at least for now, credit unions must prepare for the possibility of sizeable deposits leaving their institutions. See how Catalyst credit unions can prepare for this shift in three easy steps.
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  • Mentoring Millennials

    by Rachel Kaufman | August 9, 2018

    People helping people is not just a credit union mantra. It’s the way forward – especially when working through the generational shift between Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. At Cornerstone’s Young Professionals Conference last week, nearly 100 attendees from the credit union league’s region (Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas) heard from prolific speakers, as well as their peers, regarding workforce trends and transitioning into leadership positions.
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  • Building Effective Credit Union Boards

    by Chris Shipman | July 26, 2018

    A credit union’s long-term success often relies on the direction received from its Board of Directors and the implementation of those directives by the ALCO. It’s important to have a strong, effective board/committee in order to guide the credit union. What are some tips to remember when assembling an effective board or committee? Here are a few...
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  • What Goes Up…

    by Sarina Freedland | July 12, 2018

    We kicked off 2018 with a bright outlook. But, as quickly as it began, it ended. The stock market re-learned what volatility meant and came crashing down, bringing optimism with it. The very factors that created the optimism – higher wages, strong job market, a desire to end the decade-long period of low interest rates – played into what has become a year of uncertainty. So, where are we now?
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  • Focus on Fighting Fraud

    by Len Naidoo | June 28, 2018

    In our industry, it’s difficult to get experts to agree on any one thing. But when that one thing is fraud prevention, the viewpoint is unanimous – fraud must be stopped.
    Full story

  • Reg CC Changes are Around the Corner

    by Sharon Begarney | June 14, 2018

    Once summer arrives, it’s easy to lose track of time. But, remember that on July 1 (it’s a Sunday), the Federal Reserve’s changes to Regulation CC (Reg CC) take effect. These changes support the industry-wide transition to an electronic, image-based check collection and returns environment. Read about some of the improvements heading your way in a few weeks.
    Full story

  • No Need to Tackle Student Loans Alone

    by Nathan Quade | May 31, 2018

    For many college-bound students, the homework doesn’t stop when school is out of session. Students and parents are spending a lot of time and energy trying to find financial aid options to cover the growing cost of college. When seeking ways to cover college, it’s best to look first for scholarships and grants — money that doesn’t need to be repaid. Then, explore federal student loans. In most cases, however, these options don’t cover the full cost. To tackle the remaining balance, families can consider a private student loan.
    Full story


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