Canadian credit unions have a long history of offering an alternative to for-profit banks in the financial industry, helping individuals and communities develop and grow. However, the financial industry is changing and credit unions have to evolve to keep up with the competition if they want to continue to serve their communities. One way credit unions can keep up with changes and learn about innovative solutions is to attend industry conferences like the Central 1 Credit Union Conference and trade show in Vancouver. With the theme of Momentum, it will be an opportunity to learn about some of the key challenges facing credit unions in 2017.

Mergers

There’s an increased movement toward consolidation among Canadian credit unions as smaller players merge into bigger brands like Meridian and Van City with the resources to compete against big banks in terms of advertising and brand recognition. Consolidation can help deliver the credit union option to more Canadians, but is it always the best option for the community your organization serves?

Aging Membership

Credit unions are having a difficult time attracting Millennial members, which means that their membership bases are both aging and stalling in terms of growth. Branding, adopting new technologies, and showing Millennials how credit unions are involved in communities as positive, socially-conscious financial alternatives are key to growth in this area.

FinTech Challenges

Adapting to new FinTech challenges will be another struggle for credit unions who may rely on technology more than big banks to reach out to customers. Mobile cheque depositing, robo-financial advisors, and mobile payments are all going to play a bigger role in the finance industry in coming years. Credit unions will have to stay on top of new developments in FinTech to reach a broader membership base and appeal to younger members.

Security and Confidentiality in the Boardroom

Credit unions must be conscious of how they distribute sensitive, confidential information to directors before their meetings, especially when they’re using data to discuss lending opportunities. You can learn about secure methods of document distribution at Aprio.net as well some of the reasons why using email or free file sharing services simply aren’t secure enough. A data breach at your organization could not only lose the trust of your membership, it could also lead to investigation.

Board Portals

Board portals have become a mainstream technology in credit unions and with affordable options like Aprio Boardroom, a popular option for credit unions, crown agencies, and publicly traded corporations alike because of its security features, design, support, and price point. At this point, most board portals offer similar features when it comes to document sharing and review tools, but differ wildly in terms of price and support. Directors need training, too, which is why vendors like Aprio offer their clients 24/7 support, personalized training and release ongoing webinars that discuss new features of their software and help directors make the most out of the technology. A board portal is a tool that makes it easier for your directors to focus on productive, strategic meetings by making document sharing easy in a secure and convenient way. A great support team that offers ongoing assistance can make adopting the technology straightforward. Your IT department is already busy managing technology channels that your members need to bank without having to visit one of only a few branches; let them focus on what they do best and give your directors ready-made, purpose-software.