Women on Work – Episode 3 with Anne Legg

Women on Work – Episode 3 with Anne Legg

As an Internationally recognized CU Industry Leader, Author, Educator, and Founder of THRIVE Strategic Services, Anne Legg has a lifetime of wisdom to offer. So, lean on in…there’s much to learn! 

Topics we covered include: 

  • What data means to CUs today
  • The power of data-driven experiences
  • Women in the CU World who’ve inspired Anne 
  • THRIVE 101, and the story behind Anne’s book, ‘Big Data/Big Climb’ 
  • Working with CUs of all sizes
  • What’s next for Anne and her organization 
  • Upcoming: ‘Date with Data’ Event (May 2-3)
  • Anne’s Top Tips for Women in the Movement 
  • And more 
Insert Your Credit Union in the Car Buying Journey

Insert Your Credit Union in the Car Buying Journey

Original Post | GreenProfit

Members who think of their credit union when buying a car often finance with their credit union. It’s about embedding your institution earlier in the decision making process. Be part of their Car Buying Journey from the beginning.

A member’s buying process has 3 phases: Awareness, Consideration, & Decision. For analysis of each step, visit Your Member’s Secret Car Buying Journey, or watch our video to see it all come together.

Spoiler: The essential prerequisite is offering car buying services online. Is it among the best car buying services? Does it insert your credit union offerings, including protection products, into their decision-making process?

Reach your car-curious members at the right time, in the right way, and with the right tools.

Car Buyer's Journey Auto Loan Webinar Header

Discover how your credit union fits into the journey…beyond just the loan. Watch the recording of our Car Buyer’s Journey Webinar.

Member Awareness

Members are increasingly turning to online car buying services, and they all have one thing in common: Your credit union financing isn’t mentioned.

Solve that problem by bringing members to your car buying service! Keep promotion consistent; 2% of them are in-market at any given moment. Consider website home page placement, mobile app (online banking) links, and regular emails.

The Awareness stage is three-fold:

  1. Your members become aware they need a new car.
  2. You help them become aware of your car buying service.
  3. You learn they are in-market.

Miss this critical phase, and you’ve lost the game. Connect with members now to help them save time, money, and get the protection they need for their vehicle and loan.

By helping members throughout their entire car-buying process, your credit union will earn trusted adviser status, which leads to greater share of mind and wallet.

Car Buying Service Cheat Sheet Tablet Cover

Ensure your Car Buying Service is running at full power and increase conversions by up to 200% with our 5 Step Cheat Sheet!
Let’s Do It!


Paint Color Samples and Brushes

At least you can find paint colors! What? That too?

When using your credit union’s car buying services online, members can tackle vehicle research and shopping, while also receiving reminders of their credit union’s financing.

Or, they can visit one of those other sites and get easy access to LendingTree loan options.

And if they don’t want to bother, the dealer will happily place them with captive financing at time of purchase.

Which of these paths best serves your credit union and member? It’s your choice.


Cars are chosen. Pricing is negotiated (or guaranteed by your car buying service). Is there a pre-approval? You do know they’re in-market, right? Of course! They used your awesome car buying service and know your protection options.

45% of people research financing 30 days or more ahead of a purchase. 62% if they’re Gen Z. Also, online and touchless buying is growing. Can your sight drafts alone handle this reality?

Plus, dealer F&I departments are eager to sell financing and ancillary products. You know they’re more expensive than what you offer. Does your member?

And even when you’re part of the process, does your current car buying service protect your credit union from dealer flipping? (Some can!)

Credit Unions & Car Buying: A Welcome Match

Puzzle Piece and Open Space

Fit the pieces together for the bigger picture.

Auto loans are an important part of your credit union portfolio. Earn them as part of your member’s car buying journey, starting with your car buying service. Choose the right one for your credit union, and optimize it to supercharge loan growth.Watch “Your Member’s Car Buying Journey”, then Subscribe to the Learning Library to continue getting insights like these!

Joe Winn - CU Geek

Blogger. Speaker. Part-time Jedi.

Focused on helping your bank or credit union grow in the face of emerging challenges.

Collateral Protection Insurance Comparison: Traditional vs. Monthly Payment

Collateral Protection Insurance Comparison: Traditional vs. Monthly Payment

Original Arttice | GreenProfit

Collateral Protection Insurance (CPI) is a valuable tool for financial institutions, protecting them against loss of a borrower’s collateral.

“But Joe, the borrower has insurance for that situation. What’s CPI do, then?” Great question. While the loan terms require the borrower purchase and maintain physical damage insurance, do they always keep it?

When insurance coverage lapses…

Bandages Crossed

For a range of reasons, a vehicle sometimes loses individual insurance coverage. The borrower may fail to pay the premium, or simply allow it to lapse. That’s where Collateral Protection Insurance kicks in to protect the institution’s collateral.

CPI combines comprehensive “force-placed” coverage with state-of-the-art monitoring to track coverage and refunds. Traditionally, CPI was charged annually. This created an affordability and logistic challenge for refunds and such, so…

Monthly for Simplicity

Month Calendar

To simplify the program while making coverage more affordable to the borrower, some providers built a “Monthly Payment” form of CPI. It charges premiums by the month, reducing costs for borrowers possibly already financially strained.

Most CPI vendors now offer such an option. You can often find it with the branding “Hybrid CPI”.

This article discusses the differences between Traditional and Monthly Payment CPI programs. We hope to help you make the best decision for your borrowers and institution.

We’re happy to chat with you about CPI from our partner provider, Insurance Services, Inc. (ISI). Of course, their CPI solutions may or may not be a fit for your institution. Our information is useful regardless of which provider you may choose.

So, what are the differences? And which type is the best fit for your institution? Let’s take a look:

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Monthly vs. Traditional CPI Comparison

Not seeing a table below, or having issues viewing it on your device? View the comparison table directly to easily see all data.


Any CPI program shares two basic goals:

  1. Protect the lender from the physical damage risk to the borrower’s collateral;
  2. Track and encourage borrowers to keep and maintain their own private insurance.

Whether you choose a Monthly Payment or Traditional CPI program, both can achieve these goals.

Is Monthly Payment CPI for your institution?

To clarify, the main differences with Monthly Payment CPI are:

  • Lack of some optional lender insurance coverages;
  • A flat fee as opposed to the traditional outstanding loan balance rates;
  • Refunds are monthly pro rata;
  • Terms are from 1-6 months;
  • Standard liability limits are typically lower.

However, its simplicity for all parties, combined with a “low noise level”, and low day-to-day cost help it achieve the main goal:

Provide needed insurance coverage without contributing to increased repossessions.

Such a program may outweigh potential shortcomings compared to Traditional CPI. Or it may not. It’s all about finding the proper balance for your institution.

The Right CPI for You

Business People Joining Hands Over Desk

Tacky, sure, but it is about trust and working together!

These are decisions best discussed with a trusted provider. Working closely to best understand the needs of your institution, they can help you make the right choice for all parties.

Then, you can spend more time focusing on your members, knowing your portfolio is protected 24/7, 365.

Want a hand to hold as you begin looking deeper at your CPI offering? Let’s start the conversation. We will stick with you no matter where it leads.

Joe Winn - CU Geek

Blogger. Speaker. Part-time Jedi.

Focused on helping your bank or credit union grow in the face of emerging challenges.

Cost of A Data Management System

Cost of A Data Management System

Original Article | GreenProfit

The question of “should we implement a data management system?” is already answered. Yes. Yes. And yes. So what’s holding up progress? Oh right, all the unknown costs. What does the system cost? Are there hidden charges? What about ongoing expenses?

We’re going to answer all of these cost-related questions about data management systems in this article.

Whether you’re a large $5B+ credit union, a solidly mid-size $400M one, or part of the majority of <$100M institutions, money is always a factor. Namely, how much is available for what purpose. You understand that spending in one area might mean having less for another.

In this case, budgeting really can be a zero-sum game. How can we both maximize the impact of every dollar spent and open opportunities to bring more revenue into the institution?

Yes, data management offers benefits that make it a cost worth tackling.

Implemented correctly, a data management system can become the “best dollars you ever spent”. More so, it can help your institution celebrate all the dollars you never spent. Because inefficiency costs, too. It’s a core aspect of digital transformation efforts.

Here’s what this article will cover:

  • Specific and conceptual costs of implementing a data management system at your financial institution
  • Differences between cloud and on-premises setups
  • Ballpark pricing figures for what you can expect to spend on different types of systems
  • How costs can vary based on size as well as factors you can control

I’m ready to chew on some values. Are you?

“Levels” of Data Management System Providers

Rocks Stacked in Cairn on Beach

Because a stack of cars just didn’t make sense.

From our research, there seems to be three “styles” of data management system provider complexity. None are “better” or “worse”, just different approaches. They were explained to us in a car analogy (yeah, we’re car people):

Hold Your Hand the Entire Way: Order a Car Online, Have it Delivered

Car buying doesn’t need to be hard. You can just order one online, complete the financing and other legalese digitally, then have it delivered to your driveway. It’s not that you do nothing, it’s that you get more from your time and energy.

This level helps with implementation and offers managed service in-house. You have a direct data concierge and team to help ensure it all goes smoothly. Then, they are available to keep everything running as you expect. It also tends to be the most expensive.

There to Help: Build Your Kit Car

Imagine getting all the pieces for your car delivered. Everything is there, and you receive a full set of instructions. It’s just up to you to do the build. For some people, that’s perfect. And you’ll definitely save a ton of money on your completed vehicle, ahem, data management system.

The provider will help you build a data model and outsource implementation. Hosting will be on your own servers (cloud, hybrid, or on-premises).

Custom Development: Make Your Own Car

Are the cars available to purchase just not the perfect fit for your institution and members? Do you want to work directly with the experts to build a custom vehicle that’s just what you had in mind? The professional services and development approach of this level is for you.

Example providers that offer services across these 3 ranges: AvantEdge Digital, Trellance, and Arkatechture.

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What does a Data Management System Cost? (With caveats)

Handing Ten Dollar Bill

Probably more than that, but nice try.

Let’s first make it clear we cannot tell you how much your institution will pay. However, we can give you ranges based on the level of complexity and service, as well as your asset size and data needs.

In other words, it helps to know whether you’re looking at budgeting a thousand, ten thousand, or a million dollars, right?

We’ll align some of the price ranges with the kinds of services and degree of automation chosen. That way, you can use these numbers to help decide what approach makes the most sense to pursue.

Note that these price ranges do not include any staffing costs which may be necessary to set up and maintain such a system.

Let’s ballpark away!

(For all of these ranges, we are assuming you’ve chosen to use cloud or hybrid setups.)

Low End Pricing

This section assumes one of the following:

  1. You’ve chosen to work with a data management system provider, but really want the most minimal of services. You will do most of the data organizing, cleaning, linking, and rule-setting in-house. You’ll get limited dashboards and other reports.
  2. You are a smaller institution with lower data management needs, both up-front and ongoing.

To get started, your institution is looking at around $100,000 for implementation and monthly costs around $5,000. Thus, your first year cost would be about $160,000, with ongoing expenses of about $60,000 annually.

High End Pricing

This section assumes one of the following:

  1. You want a data management system partner in every sense. From assistance in preparing your data to governance advice to a swath of customized dashboards for your departments, this is the premium experience.
  2. You are a high asset-sized financial institution with complex data needs. There are a lot of disparate systems to connect, existing data silos, and a large staff to train in proper usage.

Implementation can be around $250,000 with monthly costs of around $25,000. In our conversations to acquire this information, we were advised that most credit unions budget based on their first 6 months after implementation.

With those figures, a large institution with high-end data needs would expect to pay $400,000 for the first 6 months ($250,000 + ($25,000 * 6)). In year two, and onward, costs would be around $300,000 annually.

We get it. That’s not cheap. And the costs of not improving your data process are less “expense” and more “lost opportunity”. So it’s tough to directly compare, especially when implementation could take some time.

Since we brought it up, what’s involved in that implementation cost?

What’s in a One-Time Setup Cost?

Golden Cogs Gears in Series

Getting the gears turning (and even assembled) is a process.

In the previous sections, you saw how the upfront cost can be massively higher than the ongoing expenses. Why? Is it just to ensure the time investment of the data management vendor isn’t wasted? Partly, but most of it goes towards the real work involved.

When you recruit a data management system provider, you’re asking for them to design and build a platform suited for your institution. It will have to accommodate all your data, from a range of sources.

The first part of that implementation cost is the professional service time required by their team of people. We’ll discuss the timeframe below, but for now, assume it can take many hours. Their expertise doesn’t come free.

The second part of the up-front cost is to cover the integration of your data sources. For example, you’ll want your Loan Origination System, core, and online/mobile banking sharing data seamlessly. Whether in technical effort or purchase of APIs, that’s not cheap.

Sidenote: One of our partners connects their GAP platform to nearly all LOS providers. To get that integration, they have to pay to “get connected”, even if the technical challenge is low. It can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. You are in a similar situation. Don’t like the costs? Ask your providers to reduce the rates to “connect” to their technology.

A typical institution has a “core + 3” data requirement. Those extras are your LOS, online banking, and credit card processor. If you have more, the one-time implementation cost might be higher. It could also take longer to set it all up. Which brings us to…

How Long to Get Set Up?

Black Alarm Clock on Desk with Laptop and Pens

You’re on the clock. Efficiency matters, too.

Unfortunately, there’s no “set it and forget it” or “turnkey” data management system for your credit union or bank. If you are told by a vendor that their platform is, ask for references. Then, find out how long each took for implementation and how well it’s still working.

We heard a story about one credit union which spent 2 years with a provider before giving up. Once they brought in another vendor, their system was ready for use in six months.

The key is to ensure your institution and chosen provider are on the same page from the start. Communicate your expectations clearly, and request the same from them. Challenges will emerge, but if they aren’t transparent about timeframes or costs, maybe it’s not the right fit.

Options in System Setup and Hosting

All of the previous content assumed a cloud or hybrid setup. You may be wondering, “what’s that even mean?” Great question. To keep us all on the same page, let’s define:

Cloud-Based Setup

The servers holding your data, doing any number-crunching, and the systems managed by your provider are all “somewhere else”. Most often, you’ll be hosted on Microsoft Azure Cloud, Google Cloud, or Amazon’s AWS platform.

Using this approach means you have no costs nor concerns of maintaining physical infrastructure. And it’s highly unlikely to have issues from a hardware failure, since your data is distributed across servers (you may be able to choose server locations).

Hybrid Setup

This takes what you loved most about the on-premises system, then removes all the downsides. You know, like the, “we need a place to securely put our servers” or “it sure costs a lot to keep these systems cool, powered, and physically maintained”…downsides.

Instead of “servers in your basement”, you’d be connected to a local data center where you could go visit your data to say hi. I mean, if that’s your thing. Essentially, you’re preserving physical access to the hardware while reaping the benefits of a cloud operation.

What’s in the Monthly Costs?

Copper Sundial on Water

Ask if you get a discount for using a solar calendar.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the costs for a data management system, let’s learn where that money goes. Besides obviously paying for the experts at the provider, there are costs they incur for using software and services not developed in-house.

This is a good thing. The more “standard” software used, the more likely issues will be addressed quickly and updates will continue for features, stability, and security. We’ve struggled with custom builds in the past, and it’s just not worth the effort most of the time.

Database Licensing

As your data management system provider helps facilitate better access to your data, you need a way to…manage it. Likely, they will be licensing Redshift (Amazon), Snowflake, or another database platform.

Data Visualization (Business Intelligence) Licensing

Beautifully organized and managed data is great. Accessing it to generate the insights you need is another. Here’s where data visualization comes into play. You may also know it as business intelligence. There are licensing costs here as well.

It’s a minor part, but more licenses (access for staff) adds to that monthly cost.

Common systems include:

Dashboards & Analytical Models

How many dashboards and models are included in your system? For example, with Arkalytics, their baseline plan includes 20 dashboards. If you need more specialized visualization, the next tier up offers another 10.

Discuss with your provider early on what dashboards will be necessary to achieve your goals across all departments. You can always add more later, but getting everything set up with what you want is ideal.


You’re going to need some help along the way. Agree upon the number of hours of support included at no extra charge. Consider if the provider has an hourly rate for additional assistance.

Data Input

How much data do you process? This is really a “how big is your institution” question. More account holders means more loans, transactions, and overall…more data. Additional data storage and transfer may impact costs (discuss volume ahead of time to avoid surprises).

Are there costs beyond what the provider charges?

Statue Camoflauged Against Brick Wall

Aiming only for exciting hidden discoveries.

This is a question best suited to your team and provider. However, remember that your data journey is something you take together. Which means your staff must be trained in its best operation. In reality, the biggest extra cost for your institution is time.

Data Lineage and Governance

Across all departments, build a team of subject matter experts. For example, Judy in Lending is responsible for addressing data quality defects originating from the Loan Origination System (and has a written process to train a potential replacement if she moves up).

Have leaders throughout your institution with similar responsibilities to ensure the data going in is always clean and formatted as the system expects.

What would a data management system cost to do ourselves?

Given all these insights, you may be wondering, “why not just do it ourselves?” You’re not the first. Does it make financial sense? Let’s look at what the self-service approach might involve.

Your largest cost is going to be the people. In discussing with data management partners, they suggested the following cost structure for a typical credit union:

  • 5 data analytics experts @ $70-$100K each ($350K-$500K per year)
    • This would be a “bare-bones” team that (hopefully) gets you the equivalent of our “low-end pricing” from above. And…
  • Licensing costs for chosen database (most likely Microsoft SQL Server), preferred Business Intelligence tool, and servers (if not done hybrid or cloud-based)
    • These would be more expensive, since a data management provider can negotiate lower pricing through economies of scale.

Already, we can see that going it alone is almost definitely far more expensive, just to come close to their promised service level. And that’s without discussing licensing or even buying physical servers (for on-premises).

You will also need to maintain a secure space for your servers (both from physical and digital attacks) with power backup, network redundancy, and fire suppression. Ideally, you’d opt for colocation (another space) to provide a mirror for data backup and uptime security.

Additionally, you’ll eventually need to replace the hardware, while regularly maintaining the batteries/generators, and fancy safety/security systems of your server room.

In far fewer words, this section is the why for having a cloud computing industry at all.

The Most Important Cost of a Data Management System

Multi-Level Library

You have the data. How will you use it?

It may sound cliché, but the greatest cost of a data management system is not having one. Can you glean instant insights from your borrower activity? Are your marketing efforts based on real-time data of aggregated debit card usage?

In other words, are you making decisions on what seems right or what your data says is happening?

Get More Insights on Data Management…and More

With an entire category devoted to data management, the Learning Library is your first stop on the journey. Looking for the why of good data practices? Or perhaps a few of the providers in the industry?

We’ll help you learn the Pros and Cons, then tackle four steps to setting up a data management system. Of course, here, you got a better understanding of the costs involved, both up front and ongoing.

The Learning Library offers more than just data on data. Across over a dozen categories, you are inside a due diligence resource like no other for our industry.

Subscribe to get regular (though not too regular) insights in your email. And bookmark this page so you can always see the latest article.

Joe Winn - CU Geek

Blogger. Speaker. Part-time Jedi.

Focused on helping your bank or credit union grow in the face of emerging challenges.

Women on Work – Episode 2 with Kim Daigle

Women on Work – Episode 2 with Kim Daigle

We are thrilled to welcome to our podcast, a true pioneer in the credit union movement. Kim Daigle, President/CEO of the Insurance Trust of Westbrook, Maine meets with us to discuss the CU space as a whole, her innovative contributions to the CU world, and some of the amazing people she has had the honor to work with.

Topics we covered include:

  • Kim’s Journey to becoming the 1st woman CEO of the Insurance Trust
  • Women who’ve influenced Kim throughout her career
  • A brief history of the Insurance Trust, why it’s unique, and where Kim’s taking it
  • How Kim created her MEWA (Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement)
  • Top tips for other orgs interested in creating a MEWA
  • Kim’s advice for other women in the space
  • What’s on the horizon for Kim and the Insurance Trust
  • And more