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Insights from Catalyst

  • 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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  • 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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