Dear Members:

Our industry stands at the threshold of inevitable transformation as payments modernization reshapes the landscape. We believe wholeheartedly that what we are doing for credit unions to help them modernize their payment offerings via immediate payments is vital to their future success. Becoming a leader in the immediate payments landscape hasn’t always been easy for us. Growing our capabilities and industry knowledge and fine-tuning our approaches to education and implementation has taken time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And we’ve learned many lessons along the way.

Today, I'm excited to share some key insights we've gained as we've expanded our footprint in immediate payments. These invaluable lessons have paved the way for a thoughtful and strategic roadmap for 2024 and beyond.

Lesson 1: Taking advantage of technological advances to develop new capabilities and get around the burdens of legacy systems and older technologies is the right approach. This lesson has multi-faceted takeaways. New technologies can expand capabilities, and in today’s day and age, they can also future-proof efforts by ensuring flexibility and agility and realizing efficiency. Our technologies and the people who support them need to be responsive so we can repeat or change the results/product as necessary to meet the demands of an evolving marketplace. Going forward, we plan on making our technological path as open as possible to ensure our solutions can and more easily evolve instead of being restricted by cumbersome updates and rigid processes.

Lesson 2: Understand the power of partnerships. As important as it is to develop new capabilities, we learned that we don’t have to build everything from scratch or do everything on our own. Collaboration with like-minded partners is critical and boosts efficiency, expertise, and time to market.

Lesson 3: Continued growth takes investment. Because growth doesn’t happen overnight, investments of time and money must be ongoing. According to a recent report by Finastra (based on research gathered from 108 banks across the globe), “only 6% of banks are not planning to invest in payments technology, and those banks will certainly find themselves in a more challenging position over time.”

Lesson 4: Never stop learning and listening. Combining our industry and credit union knowledge with ongoing learning and listening is critical. Knowing what our members want and need is how we fulfill our mission and vision of helping credit unions succeed.

Like many other financial institutions, we have realized that the lessons we’ve learned from modernizing for immediate payments can and should be applied to the broader organization to help us with challenges and opportunities in other areas of our business. We will continue leveraging the lessons we’ve learned to drive efficiencies, create opportunities for automation and integration, enable agility, harness technologies that enhance our capabilities, and help us develop cost-effective solutions. Most importantly, we will continue this path to help the credit unions we serve compete and be seen as innovative financial partners by their members.



Melissa Ashley