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Catalyst Strategic Solutions

Insights from Catalyst

  • The Building Blocks of Blockchain

    by Justin Lutes | May 10, 2018

    Blockchain is a word many in the financial industry hear about, but few can explain. First, let’s get this out of the way: blockchain is NOT Bitcoin. These terms are often intertwined but not synonymous. It’s easier to think of blockchain as a smartphone, and Bitcoin as an app on that phone. Now that we know what blockchain isn’t, let’s discuss what it is.
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  • Strengthen Your Credit Union’s Investments

    by Steven Houle | April 26, 2018

    As the interest rate environment and yield curve shift, now is as good a time as any to assess your investment strategy. One of the most significant attributes to investment portfolio performance over the last few years was how much “extra” liquidity a credit union held. The more they held, the lower their investment portfolio return and vice versa. However, even though the yield curve has increased, the slope is significantly flatter. What does that mean? Let's take a look:
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  • The Challenges of Checking Accounts

    by Karen Coble | April 12, 2018

    Reinventing Checking Accounts, a 2017 study conducted by Cornerstone Advisors, arrived at some interesting conclusions for mid-sized financial institutions ($500 million-$20 billion in assets). More people have checking accounts now, but they’re not writing checks. The need for checking accounts still exists, but the way they are used is changing. Why? The study points to a few reasons.
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  • Cloud Coverage

    by Diana Hennel | March 22, 2018

    The forecast for credit unions is a bit cloudy… but not in a murky, hard-to-see sense. Quite the opposite. The future of cloud-based computing is sunny, and credit unions’ movement to “the cloud” – in varying degrees – is inevitable. But credit unions want to know, “Is this type of system safe and secure?” The short answer is: it can (and should) be, with the proper steps.
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  • Catalyst Strategic Solutions: Thirty and Thriving!

    by Zane Wilson | March 8, 2018

    Three decades ago, Catalyst Strategic Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union, emerged with the goal of helping credit unions analyze and manage the complexities of expanding investment portfolios. Working with or aside CSS nearly 25 of the last 30 years has given me a front-row seat to the organization’s growth, change and credit union success stories.
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  • Lessons Learned from Same-Day ACH

    by Justin Lutes | February 22, 2018

    It may seem like just yesterday when Same-Day ACH became mandatory for credit unions, but it’s been nearly two years since ODFIs and RDFIs began implementing the first of a three-phase process. With implementation of the final phase of Same-Day ACH just a couple of weeks away, credit unions can begin discussing even more ways to assist members with faster ACH payments. However, let’s first look at a few lessons we’ve learned along the way.
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  • On the Go? Your Credit Union is, Too

    by Karen Coble | February 8, 2018

    It seems like no matter where you are – a restaurant, a sporting event or walking through the park – smartphones have become an extension of the body. Therefore, it only seems natural to make them an extension of your credit union, too. Catalyst Corporate offers members a full digital mobile banking platform to meet members where they are most – on their mobile devices.
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  • Accessing Predictive Superpowers: Economic Patterns and Trends

    by Casey Peterson | January 25, 2018

    If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? Invisibility? Flight? Time travel? I bet many of us in the financial industry would want to have the ability to predict the future. Think of the possibilities! The good news is that predictive superpower is somewhat obtainable with access to the right patterns and trends.
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  • Catalyst Corporate’s 2018 Resolutions

    by Kathy Garner | January 11, 2018

    As we start tackling our to-do lists for 2018, one remnant of the holiday season remains: New Year resolutions. Personally, we often resolve to take on healthier lifestyles or to give up bad habits. As a corporate credit union, our resolutions look a bit different. We resolve to help your credit union fulfill its goals!
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  • Member Service is our No. 1 Priority

    by Jack Smith | December 14, 2017

    The reasons credit unions contact Catalyst Corporate Member Services are as different as night and day. However, one commonality exists. All inquiries are reviewed, researched and receive appropriate responses. Check out some of the areas where Catalyst Corporate can help your credit union.
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  • Learn from the Past, Prepare for the Future

    by Chris Shipman | November 30, 2017

    As we head into the holiday season, most of us have wrapped up our strategic planning and are looking forward to eggnog, holiday treats and a little down time before the hustle and bustle of the New Year. December is a great time for us to stop and reflect on what we faced throughout the year, but it’s also a good time to take a moment and reflect on a few items that sometimes go overlooked as we plan for the future.
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  • With Big Data, Who Needs a Crystal Ball?

    by Amy Fuller | November, 13, 2017

    The nomenclature of data analytics can be confusing, with overlapping and interrelated concepts making an already-challenging topic even more intimidating. Most credit union professionals know they should put their data to work, but aren’t sure where to start.
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  • Harnessing the Power of Deposits

    by Aaron Martini | October 26, 2017

    Realize it or not, there is an entire generation that only knows extremely low interest rates on loans. That same generation also only knows near-zero deposit dividend rates. This may present a unique challenge for a financial institution that needs to raise loan rates if they’re forced to raise cost of funds.
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  • Forty Years of Forum

    by Greg Moore | October 12, 2017

    Earlier this month, more than 250 credit union leaders gathered at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas, Texas, to listen to 19 energetic speakers, network with peers and discover new industry trends. Sure, there were a lot of economic insights and forecasts from Wall Street to Main Street at Catalyst Corporate’s 40th annual Economic Forum, but some of the highlights that caught my attention weren’t found in the charts or graphs on stage…
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  • What’s Changing with Reg CC?

    by Glenn Wheeler | September 28, 2017

    Recently, the Federal Reserve released changes to Regulation CC (Reg CC) intended to reflect an industry-wide transition to an electronic, image-based check collection and returns environment. These final modifications take effect July 1, 2018. Keep reading to see some of the highlights from the latest Reg CC report.
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  • 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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