The Northwest Credit Union Movement is About to Become Even Stronger

The year ahead is poised to be one of the best yet for the credit union industry.

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Here in the Northwest, the Credit Union Movement is thriving and growing, and it’s because credit unions throughout the region are engaged, innovative, and forward-thinking.

Throughout 2019, Northwest credit unions strengthened the industry thanks to high engagement and innovation, and they’re poised to go even further in 2020.

In partnership with its credit union members, the Northwest Credit Union Association is focused on a number of initiatives this year that will continue to help move the needle on credit union priorities. It is your Association’s vision to further the Credit Union Movement’s success, creating an environment where all consumers can choose, and do choose not-for-profit credit unions as their trusted financial partners.

“The Credit Union Movement in the Northwest is robust, and it’s because our member credit unions are highly involved on every level,” said NWCUA President and CEO, Troy Stang. “Last year was proof of that, with credit union professionals further engaging in advocacy outreach efforts, and attending Association events in record numbers. We look forward to the year to come and anticipate it will be our strongest year yet

First Quarter 2020 Push for Credit Union Awareness

This quarter, NWCUA will show legislators throughout the Northwest how credit unions strengthened members’ financial lives and the communities they serve by using 2018 data collected from the Community Impact Reporting Tool. Since CIRT’s launch at MAXX 2018, more than 100 Northwest credit unions have entered data, stories, and images into the customized online software.

“CIRT is an essential tool in telling the collective credit union story, showing legislators how they stand out from other financial institutions,” Stang said. “As we move into the second quarter of 2020, we encourage all Northwest credit unions to enter their 2019 community impact data, so that we may continue this very important work.”

In addition, credit union consumer consideration will be on the rise this year now that the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union initiative has launched in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The digital campaign features bold, interactive ads and videos on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. It aims to reach more than a million consumers throughout the Northwest who are seeking a better financial partner and may be considering a large purchase, such as a home or new vehicle.

Northwest credit unions made the initiative’s launch possible by contributing funds, time, and expertise.

Building Strategic Partnerships

The demand for credit unions to meet their members’ high-tech needs will continue in 2020, and Strategic Link is prepared to meet those demands.

Credit union members expect easy-to-access, on-demand services and information. The forward-thinking Strategic Link team makes it a priority to keep credit unions a step ahead of their members expectations, connecting credit unions to the latest in fintech products and services. The team works with credit union leaders throughout the Northwest to evaluate the latest tech innovation through the Value Creation Task Force.

This year, credit unions will see a push for voice technology, artificial intelligence (AI), deeper data analytics, and blockchain technology. Bringing these products and services to Northwest credit unions is Strategic Link’s 2020 priority.

Financially Empowering Members and Communities

In 2019, credit unions throughout the region focused on improving the financial lives of their members and the communities they serve. By partnering with the Northwest Credit Union Foundation, they have led the charge in a number of critical areas, including increasing access to workforce housing, disaster relief, and financial literacy.

This year, the Foundation will continue to identify ways credit unions can positively impact local housing markets, including exploring rural housing challenges and multi-unit development financing. The Foundation will partner with credit unions across the region to create and scale solutions that address rural financial access and small business success. The Foundation also plans to build financial inclusion and diversity resources, moving the needle to leverage and deploy resources that will accelerate credit union-led community impact work.

To support these goals, the Foundation will engage funders across the industry and philanthropic entities to raise capital, further propelling this important work in 2020.

Mark Your Calendars for 2020 Events

The Movement remains strong when credit union professionals engage, and your Association has several opportunities throughout 2020 to do just that.

Plan to network with legislators, strategic business partners, industry experts, and with each other this year. Mark your calendars and register today for these key events, starting with critical advocacy events in Boise, Olympia, and Salem this winter.

Check your Association’s online events calendar for additional opportunities throughout the year. Together, Northwest credit unions and the NWCUA will make 2020 a year to remember.