December 23rd, 2021
It’s the middle of 2021 👀 (I know, I know) and business seems to be speeding forward as quickly as it was shut down last year. Doug Burke, President/CEO of Aux and InNetwork, wanted to take a moment to update our readership on company news, progress, goals and more. Take a read below to see what’s been going on with us over the past 6 months.
The Tale of Two Seasons: A Look Back at the First Half of 2021
The year started in the shadow of the COVID pandemic with most of us still having a COVID hangover…and the hope the year would be better than 2020. With the introduction of vaccines, our environment began to look very different. I will share with you how our year progressed with Aux and InNetwork.
We have a great team, and I appreciate how they came together during the pandemic. Our team went home in March 2020 to begin working from home and quickly adjusted and adapted to their new environment. But we are excited starting July 1st we will begin to return to the office in a hybrid approach, blending the flexibility of working from home while being able to interact and collaborate with our peers in the office.
Marketing & Business Development
We added a new member to the management team by hiring Alan Bergstrom as our new Vice President, who started in January. He and his team have developed innovated branding awareness and sales campaigns leading to greater sales opportunities. Learn more about Alan here.
IT Security Enhancements
The changing world is requiring Aux to accelerate enhancements to our IT infrastructure due to the pandemic and but also to try and stay ahead of the cyber criminals. More infrastructure was moved to the cloud, modified virus protection software and implemented a new system monitoring intrusion tool.
Cuery Data Analytics
The platform development continues adding functionality every 2-3 weeks with the roll out of new sprints. The platform is developing into one of the premier data analytic solutions for credit unions providing a single source of truth for their data needs. The analytics journey is always moving forward and so is Cuery. We are proud of our recent introduction of the initial phase of a predictive tool to assist staff in recommending the next best product for each member. We are also thankful for the wonderful partnership we have with our newest Cuery client, WyHy FCU.
The team continues to deliver the quality services credit unions have come to know: tests, marketing reviews, policy reviews and training. The team is focused in 2021 investigating ways to enhance the service offerings, developing partnerships and trying to stay ahead of the changes coming out of DC.
The accounting service is one of if not the premier outsourced credit union accounting service in the country. Business development has been busy adding new clients which necessitated increasing the size and skill sets of the staff to meet the growing needs and demands. The team is currently developing a new CFO consulting services group to meet the demands of credit unions that have the day to day accounting down, but need a higher level CFO perspective.
The first half of 2021 was a blend of the two seasons, but we are even more excited about the second half of the year and the innovation and product development our team will be delivering to our credit unions.
InNetwork is our sister Shared Branching CUSO, led by Rosemary Paddock. COVID hit the network hard with an average decrease in transactions of 37%, but by May the transactions had begun to stabilize into a new norm down about 30% from 2020. In January, the network had 415 locations available to conduct members transactions with 63 remaining closed. By the end of June there should be only 13 locations closed.
Rosemary and her team have been working with an advisory committee to assist us in reviewing network pricing and general cooperative philosophies. CO-OP updated the national pricing starting a couple years ago to based on two guidelines: 1) To adequately compensate acquiring credit unions for servicing guest members 2) Attempt to rebalance the acquirer vs. issuer credit unions through premium based pricing for credit unions that are issuer only or primarily an issuer. InNetwork is investigating a similar methodology.
InNetwork is working with other like-minded shared branching state networks to find solutions based on greater economies of scale.