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PSCU launches digital consulting and advisory services practice

April 27, 2022 — PSCU, the nation’s premier payments credit union service organization (CUSO), today announced it has launched its Digital Consulting Practice. With a goal of improving credit unions’ digital offerings, enhancing digital return on investment (ROI) and elevating product utilization, the digital consulting advisory services are now available to all Owner credit unions through PSCU’s Advisors Plus. This news comes on the heels of PSCU’s recently announced partnership with Curinos, which is aimed at helping credit unions strategically manage their digital investments.

“In today’s digital-first world, it is critical for credit unions to keep a pulse on digital trends and preferences in order to meet – and ideally exceed – member expectations,” said Yvonne Stelpflug, senior vice president, Advisors Plus at PSCU. “Through our Digital Consulting Practice, we can help credit unions make informed decisions about their digital roadmaps and member journeys, while also positioning them for growth and success now and into the future.”

The Digital Consulting Practice offers two models, which credit unions can choose to utilize separately or concurrently at any time. Credit unions can select a one-time digital consulting engagement, which begins with an analysis of a credit union’s digital experiences and user journeys based on current goals and objectives. Once user journeys are identified, PSCU will research and benchmark the existing design against market leaders. The CUSO will then present the optimized user journeys, ultimately resulting in a focused plan for enhancing and elevating digital experiences that can be measured against previously established goals.

Additionally, PSCU is offering a digital subscription model – which provides industry consulting access through quarterly digital marketing overview reports and webinars, as well as a digital year-in-review report and presentation – from PSCU’s team of Advisors Plus consulting experts. The subscription service also includes direct access to the Digital Banking Hub. Powered by Curinos, the Digital Banking Hub is a centralized platform of digital banking journeys that allows financial institutions to review digital banking capabilities in the market. Access to these resources not only provides credit unions with the opportunity to hear from and interact with industry-leading market experts, but also ensures credit unions are educated on current digital trends and continuously innovating to deliver the best digital experiences to their members.

About PSCU

PSCU, the nation’s premier payments CUSO, supports the success of 1,900 credit unions representing nearly 7 billion transactions annually. Committed to service excellence and focused on innovation, PSCU’s payment processing, risk management, data and analytics, loyalty programs, digital banking, marketing, strategic consulting and mobile platforms help deliver possibilities and seamless member experiences. Comprehensive, 24/7/365 member support is provided by contact centers located throughout the United States. The origin of PSCU’s model is collaboration and scale, and the company has leveraged its influence on behalf of credit unions and their members for more than 40 years. Today, PSCU provides an end-to-end, competitive advantage that enables credit unions to securely grow and meet evolving consumer demands. For more information, visit pscu.com.

 About Advisors Plus

Founded in 2004, PSCU’s Advisors Plus offers consulting services for credit unions to help fuel growth and achieve financial and business goals. From project analysis to implementation and management, Advisors Plus offers an end-to-end portfolio of consulting services including business strategy, business and affinity cards, credit and debit cards, contact center optimization, risk and collections analysis, branch sales training, marketing services, and B2C campaign execution. Whether your credit union is looking to expand its offerings, build a legacy of community involvement, create the strongest possible capital footing—or all of the above—Advisors Plus consultants bring the strategic vision, deep industry expertise, and proprietary data analytics needed to help credit unions better serve their members and their communities. For more information, visit advisorsplus.com.

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PSCU launches cryptocurrency microsite

April 27, 2022 — PSCU, the nation’s premier payments credit union service organization (CUSO), today announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency microsite. Targeted and specifically curated for credit unions, the site will serve as a continuously updated hub for information and educational resources on all things related to digital assets. The announcement was made in conjunction with PSCU’s Member Forum 2022, taking place this week in Las Vegas.

While credit unions cannot currently hold the value of cryptocurrency within their federally-insured deposits, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has announced credit unions can partner with third-party cryptocurrency service providers to allow their members to buy, sell and hold digital assets under certain terms. The goal of PSCU’s new educational microsite is to help credit unions learn more and be prepared as member interest in cryptocurrency and other digital assets grows and the landscape evolves.

“There is no doubt cryptocurrency is a hot topic in today’s financial landscape, with many credit union members already active and others curious to learn more about it,” said Scott Young, vice president of Innovation & Design at PSCU. “Due to a lack of regulatory guidance until now, credit unions have held back from any involvement with cryptocurrency, the landscape is rapidly changing – making it the optimal time for credit unions to educate themselves. We are hopeful that credit unions can use this new resource to educate their staff and their members, evaluate associated risks and make informed decisions surrounding participation in this rapidly evolving payments technology.”

PSCU’s microsite will feature videos – including a downloadable educational video to share with credit union boards and staff – along with blogs, white papers and more from PSCU and other industry thought leaders. The site will also link to relevant updates and industry resources from groups like the NCUA, among others.

Credit unions can access PSCU’s cryptocurrency resources at pscu.com/crypto.

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2022 NACUSO Network Day 1

Last night was like Christmas Eve to me. I didn’t sleep, tossing and turning, full of anticipation and excitement about the day just around the corner. For months now not a day of my life has gone by that didn’t include something related to this event and like a slingshot pulled back, here it was, poised and ready to go all that was left to do was… let it go (as we are at Disney feel free to sing that in your best Elsa voice).

It’s almost hard to remember life pre-COVID and what the “norms” were then but our team had been watching the data, hoping, willing the numbers to go in a direction that made it possible for us to have the event we pictured in our minds. Today watching that first handshake in the lobby at registration, seeing full smiling faces, friends embracing, hearing voices and laughter echo through the convention center halls filled my heart with joy. It was in that moment that you realize, sure you want all the practical elements of a conference to be great, but what you really need is engaged attendees. People who are happy to be there, who are fostering relationships and learning, who are passionate about our industry, who make all the hard, tedious work worth it just by walking down the hall with a smile on their face.

Thank you for helping us have the most magical day at Disney.

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PSCU and Amount collaborate to provide credit card origination services to credit unions

April 25, 2022 — PSCU, the nation’s premier payments credit union service organization (CUSO), has announced a new partnership with Amount, a company that offers a full suite of end-to-end omnichannel consumer, small business and buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) solutions. The partnership will provide PSCU Owner credit unions with credit card origination services through a platform optimized to power the credit card experience of today. PSCU has also made an investment in Amount, of which terms were not disclosed.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, consumers have come to expect immediacy. From food delivery to ride-sharing services to person-to-person payment transfers, they do not want to wait – especially five to seven days for a credit card application approval. While many credit unions have successfully adapted their branch experience and contact center processes to meet members’ evolving needs, there are still some experiences that may be less than optimal if they are not truly digital first.

PSCU set out to identify a technology provider with best-of-breed functionality for digital credit card opening and loan origination. Founded in 2020, Amount provides cloud-based lending origination and account opening solutions to some of the nation’s top banking clients. The Amount platform is built by digital lending experts and designed with a simple interface that powers instant approvals to optimize the loan application experience.

“Our new partnership with and investment in Amount will add significant value for our credit unions by enabling a digital-first credit card application experience that is simple to implement,” said Denise Stevens, SVP, chief product & digital officer for PSCU. “In addition to helping grow credit card portfolios, it will drive new member acquisition as consumers can apply for credit union membership while applying for their new card.”

Amount and PSCU’s respective expertise will unlock a best-in-class solution that will help further deepen credit unions’ relationships with members by introducing one of the most sophisticated digital lending solutions in the market, while further enriching PSCU’s industry-leading portfolio of products and services. PSCU is streamlining integration to enable a quick-to-market solution – from its hosted products to its suite of custom APIs. Through this partnership, credit unions will be able to offer a branded, end-to-end solution within a matter of days.

“We intend to help solve a current pain point for many credit unions by providing a seamless, fully-integrated digital account opening solution with real-time lending approvals and immediate access to card credentials via digital banking and mobile wallets,” said Adam Hughes, CEO of Amount. “PSCU’s investment in Amount underscores our mutual commitment to this strategic partnership, and we look forward to working with PSCU to help credit unions win market share and stay competitive in this modern, digital-first landscape.”

PSCU and Amount will discuss this exciting new partnership at a breakout session at PSCU’s Member Forum 2022, taking place this week (April 26-28) in Las Vegas.

About PSCU

PSCU, the nation’s premier payments CUSO, supports the success of 1,900 credit unions representing nearly 7 billion transactions annually. Committed to service excellence and focused on innovation, PSCU’s payment processing, risk management, data and analytics, loyalty programs, digital banking, marketing, strategic consulting and mobile platforms help deliver possibilities and seamless member experiences. Comprehensive, 24/7/365 member support is provided by contact centers located throughout the United States. The origin of PSCU’s model is collaboration and scale, and the company has leveraged its influence on behalf of credit unions and their members for more than 40 years. Today, PSCU provides an end-to-end, competitive advantage that enables credit unions to securely grow and meet evolving consumer demands. For more information, visit pscu.com.

 About Amount

Amount helps financial institutions make banking simpler, safer and more convenient with a full suite of end-to-end omnichannel consumer, small business and BNPL solutions. Developed by lending industry experts, Amount’s fully integrated and flexible platform is underpinned by enterprise bank-grade infrastructure and compliance, enabling banks to securely power new and differentiated offerings within months — not years. With Amount, banks can optimize performance across product categories while tapping into various service offerings including customer acquisition, funnel and performance assessments, and risk analytics. Amount clients include financial institutions collectively managing just over $3.1T in U.S. assets and servicing more than 50 million U.S. customers. Visit amount.com for more information.

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PSCU Payments Index – April 2022 Edition

April 22, 2022 – Today, PSCU – the nation’s premier payments credit union service organization (CUSO) – published the April edition of the PSCU Payments Indexthe goal of which is to provide information and insights to help financial institutions make informed, strategic decisions on the road ahead.

In this month’s iteration, we look at the Labor Department’s April 12 update, which notes the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased to 8.5% in March, a 1.2% seasonally adjusted increase. It is the sixth straight month above 6% and the fastest pace of inflation since 1981. Sectors leading the increases included Gasoline, Shelter and Food, with Gasoline accounting for over half of the total increase. It has now been two months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to multiple waves of sanctions against Russia, including the United States banning the import of Russian oil. This ban further exacerbates rising gas prices that began with a strong economic recovery coupled with low investment in oil production. In this with this, we take a deeper look into the Gasoline sector this month.

The Consumer Confidence Index rebounded slightly in March after declines in January and February. In addition, we saw the continued shift in growth rates with strong consumer spending on credit card purchases up 22% over 2021, and positive growth rate in debit card purchases at 1%.

“Strong consumer spending growth remained throughout the month of March 2022, with softer debit performance skewed by the third round of economic impact payments issued in March 2021,” said Mike Bell, vice president, Insights, PSCU. “This month’s Consumer Price Index reflected the largest 12-month increase in 40 years, with the effect of higher gasoline costs accounting for half of the increase as the world grapples with the effects of geopolitical conflict and, domestically, travel and entertainment activities return to pre-pandemic levels. In this month’s Deep Dive, we explore the Gasoline sector beyond the price increases to identify potential changes in demand. Entertainment led all sectors in March for top growth in both credit and debit purchases, with Gasoline and Travel rounding out the top three.”

A sampling of key takeaways from the April report includes:

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for March increased to 8.5% – a 1.2% seasonally adjusted increase and the fastest rate of inflation in 40 years. In March, the Fed increased interest rates by a quarter-point and there is market anticipation of back-to-back half-point increases for April and May.
  • Gasoline prices hit a 14-year high in March at $4.32 per gallon, a 49% increase from March 2021. While year-over-year Automated Fuel Dispenser (AFD) gas purchases were up 65% for credit and 43% for debit, the estimated quantity of gasoline purchased was up 10% on credit cards and down 4% on debit cards.
  • Consumer spending remains strong, with credit purchases up 22% and debit purchases up 1% year over year. Contributing to the markedly lower growth in debit was exceptional spend in 2021 that included the third economic stimulus payment. The Entertainment sector posted top growth rates for credit and debit purchases in March, with Gasoline and Travel rounding out the top three growth sectors for credit and debit purchases.
  • For debit cards, the growth in transactions exceeded the growth in purchase volume, resulting in the first decrease in debit card average purchase in the past two years. For March, the average debit purchase was $47.11, down 1.5% or $0.74 compared to March 2021. The March 2022 average credit card purchase was up 4.6% year over year, hitting a new PSCU Payments Index high at $74.46.
  • The credit card delinquency rate for March was 1.38%, which was 36 basis points lower than the pre-pandemic level of March 2019. The last month when the difference to the pre-COVID delinquency rate was 36 basis points was August 2020.

The full report is available for download here or can be shared as a PDF upon request. Additionally, feel free to subscribe here to receive updates when the PSCU Payments Index is published each month.

Let us know of any questions or additional needs, or if you’d like to coordinate an interview.