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September 2021

    A Note from Chris

    It never ceases to amaze me how the summer months fly by so incredibly fast. I hope you all took some time to relax, unwind, and enjoy some summer-fun activities with your loved ones. Now, summer is winding down, the kids are going back to school, and we are beginning to prepare our budgets and schedule our planning sessions. To assist you with your planning efforts, we invite you to attend our annual Economic Outlook Conference on Tuesday, October 12 and Wednesday, October 13. The conference will be held virtually again this year. Attendees will bring back to their credit unions valuable information about the current and upcoming economic environment from a diverse speaker lineup. More information about the speakers and sessions along with registration is available on our website.


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    Chris Felton

    What’s Trending?

    The future of cash and credit unions.

    For many years, digital banking platforms and applications have been improving while the use of cash in America and around the world has been declining. Recent advances in technology combined with social distancing measures have changed member wants and needs, and this is having big implications for credit unions and the role digital banking technology will play in their future. Learn about the reasons the days of cash may be numbered.

    Technology Solutions

    Is it time your credit union considers moving to the cloud?

    Emergifi partners with Microsoft 365 to bring credit unions robust security, reliability, and user productivity. Microsoft 365 delivers the power of cloud productivity to credit unions of all sizes, helping save time and money, and free up valued resources.

    Emergifi can help with your credit union planning efforts by providing a personalized half-day Microsoft 365 (M365) Cloud Readiness Assessment. The assessment provides you with answers and support to help determine and prioritize the migration of IT workloads to the Microsoft cloud. Emergifi will also identify your credit union’s biggest security gaps and actionable next steps to reduce risk, detect threats, and drastically improve your security posture.

    Contact Emergifi to register for your cloud readiness assessment today.

    Employee Benefit Resources

    Are “level-funded” or “self-funded” models too risky for my credit union? 

    At InterLutions, we have helped credit unions of all sizes understand the risks, rewards and options of different funding models available for your employees’ medical insurance plans. When evaluating a self-funded plan, smaller employers need to be assured they can handle a poor experience year and not get hit hard financially with several large-cost medical insurance claims. It is true that the level of risk taken determines the upfront costs of premiums. A higher self-funded deductible per person (called a spec limit) and a higher company retention limit (called an aggregate limit) will lower your overall risk of high-cost claims, but at what expense? This can be challenging to answer, which makes self-funded models more difficult for smaller employers to implement.

    A level-funded plan (LFP) is a hybrid, or lower risk version, of a self-funded employee health insurance plan. There are the same three payment buckets in a LFP as in a traditional self-funded plan - claims, admin fees, and stop loss premium. The difference is these are now all bundled into one flat monthly payment for the employer. 

    What are the benefits?

    • If your credit union has a higher-than-expected claims year, the out-of-pocket insurance costs are no higher than the premiums you paid
    • If your credit union has a terrific low-claims year, you will likely receive a refund at the end of the year
    • The carrier no longer wins, but your credit union does by purchasing less insurance and keeping what was not used
    • Your credit union will now have access to more claims data, which can be used to drive down high-cost claims by implementing targeted communications and effective cost containment strategies focused on helping employees that need it the most  

    Level-funding can be a great fit for like-minded credit unions seeking to benefit from collaboration, purchasing efficiencies, and cost containment. Contact us to learn how we can help your credit union.

    Financial Services Consulting

    Where are rates headed?

    Yields crept a little higher in the bond market in August ending a four-month streak of declines. Participants continue to shift their focus from the money machine on Capitol Hill, to elevated inflation numbers hitting the newswire, rising numbers of COVID cases driven by the Delta variant, and anticipation of the Fed’s timetable to start tapering their $120 billion-a-month Quantitative Easing purchases.

    Under normal times, the inflation numbers would likely be the driving sentiment. CPI was reported at 5.4% year-over-year while PPI came in at 7.8%. Both reports had little effect on the market as analysts (and the Fed) stated that the increases are temporary and the comparison to previous year’s numbers are exaggerated since the economy basically shut down last year when COVID forced people to isolate and most businesses to shutter. So far, participants are quickly dismissing bad news from the inflation numbers.

    The markets are paying close attention to the size of the Congressional bills addressing infrastructure and beyond. So far, a $1 trillion bill made its way through the Senate. A second bill for up to $3.5 trillion remains in the wind. The equity market should react positively if the bills end up on the larger side of expectations while bonds should be happier with smaller allotments.

    The last two items are closely related as the Fed attempts to anticipate the economic effects from the latest surge of COVID. Current expectations call for the Fed to begin tapering purchases in November. If COVID cases continue to climb, that could be postponed. Participants in the mortgage markets are closely watching developments on this front. General anticipation is that significant tapering to the $20 billion a month mortgage purchases could help realign the supply/demand dynamic in the market and help the value proposition in the sector.

    It appears that every month brings us to the same place. There are a lot of significant forces in play that each can have a big say about the future direction of interest rates. Which will rise to the top and drive prices? Which way will it drive them? Unfortunately, no one has the answers to those questions. Keep managing your investment portfolio and your balance sheet to optimize performance across the rate spectrum. Need help? Give QuantyPhi a call at (414) 433-0176.

    Did You Know?

    Credit Union Day at the Ballpark raised $15,000 to benefit credit union foundations.

    Corporate Central and The Wisconsin Credit Union League recently hosted Credit Union Day at the Ballpark, a fundraising event that raised over $15,000 for The Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation and The National Credit Union Foundation.

    The Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 2007. The foundation promotes the wellness of credit unions and the communities they serve and its resources are used to promote credit union development, help educate credit union staff and volunteers, support programming to enhance financial literacy, and assist the credit union system in times of need.

    The National Credit Union Foundation is the charitable arm of the U.S. credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through foundation grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes. Donations to the foundation enable credit unions to help their members reach lifechanging goals and achieve financial freedom. The National Credit Union Foundation is also a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.

    Credit Unions Connect

    Stories that exemplify the movement

    A generous donation “for the kids.”

    Linn Area Credit Union photo collage of support for University of Iowa Children's Hospital

    Linn Area Credit Union participated in the 24th Annual 98.1 KHAK Radiothon for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The credit union presented a check for $20,000 to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and stated, “We’re honored to support an organization that does so much for the kids.”

    Supporting college students in the community.

    Minnesota Valley Federal Credit Union with giant check for South Central College Foundation

    Minnesota Valley Federal Credit Union presented a donation of $10,000 to the South Central College Foundation. The foundation supports students through scholarships and expanded programming. The foundation commented on the donation, “Working together to support our students is such a blessing! Thank you Minnesota Valley FCU for your continued support!”

    Read More Credit Union Stories

    What’s New and Who’s Who

    Emergifi now offering Robotic Process Automation solutions to credit unions.

    Emergifi recently partnered with JOLT Advantage Group to offer Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solutions to credit unions. JOLT is a leading RPA services provider with a proven track record in generating sustainable client outcomes with intelligent automation solutions. RPA is a technology that can allow credit unions to use software robots to execute specific tasks in an automated way. RPA software uses a combination of integrations, advanced technologies, and cognitive processes.

    According to Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, RPA is currently the fastest-growing enterprise technology. RPA is also the core of hyperautomation, the #1 strategic technology trend for 2020.

    Emergifi and JOLT are offering credit unions a free RPA consultation. Interested credit unions can find more information on the Emergifi website.

    Read the Press Release

    Wild Adventures with Leo

    Leo roams near and far.

    Leo on his WILD adventure

    Leo spent the month of August traveling! He went hiking at Granddad’s Bluff in La Crosse, WI before attending the 7 Rivers Chapter meeting to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. He also attended the Marine Credit Union Foundation Golf Outing to help raise money for the Marine Credit Union Foundation. Then, he “crashed” an i3 meeting in Naples, FL during Filene’s Humanizing Technology Conference. He learned about members' needs for technology and how we, as credit unions, can still put our personal touch on member interactions.

Upcoming Events

Monthly Market Monitor

7/13/2022 3:30 PM - 7/13/2022 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

The Monthly Market Monitor is a webinar geared toward credit union investment managers held on the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. CT. It will provide up-to-date economic highlights, yield curve analysis, investment product recommendations, and outlook.

Altered Checks and Regulation CC Presumption of Alteration

7/19/2022 10:00 AM - 7/19/2022 11:00 AM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join Corporate Central and ECCHO for this 60-minute webinar where we will discuss the UCC presentment warranty and Regulation CC’s Presumption of Alteration, what they mean, and how the presumption of alteration affects a depositary FI when it receives a claim from a paying FI that it was presented an altered check.

Crystal Ball Challenge Update

7/20/2022 2:00 PM - 7/20/2022 2:30 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join QuantyPhi for our 30-minute webinar to see how our contestants are doing in our Crystal Ball Challenge. This is the second of four quarter-end competitions.

Credit Union Day at the Ballpark 2022

7/24/2022 10:30 AM - 7/24/2022 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Milwaukee, WI

Save the date for Credit Union Day at the Ballpark, Sunday, July 24, 2022 in Milwaukee, WI.

Monthly Market Monitor

8/10/2022 3:30 PM - 8/10/2022 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

The Monthly Market Monitor is a webinar geared toward credit union investment managers held on the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. CT. It will provide up-to-date economic highlights, yield curve analysis, investment product recommendations, and outlook.

Monthly Market Monitor

9/14/2022 3:30 PM - 9/14/2022 4:00 PM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

The Monthly Market Monitor is a webinar geared toward credit union investment managers held on the second Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. CT. It will provide up-to-date economic highlights, yield curve analysis, investment product recommendations, and outlook.

Economic Outlook Conference 2022

10/12/2022 9:00 AM - 10/12/2022 3:00 PM Central Time (CST) | TBD

Save the date for Corporate Central's Economic Outlook Conference, October 12, 2022.

Remotely Created Checks

10/18/2022 10:00 AM - 10/18/2022 11:00 AM Central Time (CST) | Webinar

Join Corporate Central and ECCHO for this 60-minute webinar where we will discuss the Remotely Created Check as defined in Regulation CC and the warranty a presenting FI makes that a Remotely Created Check is authorized by your account holder.

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