NEW YORK, N.Y.-For at least one credit union, Christmas came early this year, when Liberty Savings FCU won the $100,000 Extreme Technology Makeover sponsored by Credit Union Journal and Horsetail Technologies.
But all others must hope they have made Santa's Nice List these holidays. Below, IT execs from credit unions around the U.S. share what's on their Christmas List as part of Credit Union Journal's 11th Annual Holiday Wish List.
Biometrics and Magic Wands
The $109-million Pioneer West Virginia Federal Credit Union has a handful of wishes originating from disparate departments. Collector Carolyn Justice said a "Dual screen would make my job a lot easier, because I have to jump back and forth to view things when updating other systems with information." Chief Information Officer Brain Sloan is wishing for biometric member identification software, while Chief Financial Officer Dan McGowan said "any technological gadget and/or magic wand that will keep our ATM network up and running 24/7."
Virtual Desktops and Geoclustering
In Palo Alto, Calif., Stanford Federal Credit Union's SVP and chief information officer, Jim Phillips, said that in partnership with CDW the $1-billion SFCU is hoping to build on 2012 by creating a best practice, top-tier technology environment. Phillips noted the 2013 wish list is in five parts: 1) Refreshing SFCU's physical and virtual desktop environments and replacing one -third of our desktops. 2) Optimizing and expanding our 3PAR storage environments for Geoclustering. 3) Continuing to deploy Cisco chat and video tools internally and externally, leveraging Unified Contact Center. 4) Working with CDW to revise and expand our virtual call center environment, building on our Cisco UCS projects from last year. 5) Reviewing our network topology to improve resiliency and performance with Oracle RAC, 3PAR clustering and VMware high availability deployments.
Intergrading Core Processing
In Vernon Hills, Ill., Baxter Credit Union's CIO that with increased competition in the industry, coupled with a rapidly changing technology landscape, credit unions must deliver new offerings to members faster, less expensively and across multiple delivery channels simultaneously.
"My wish is a much improved integration capability that will quickly and inexpensively integrate our core processors, our third party vendors and our CUSOs," said Jeff Johnson, before adding, "CUFX (www.cufxstandards.com) is one critical component of this wish, and we need all the cores, all the CUSOs, all the third-party vendors, and all the credit unions to align and make this wish a reality."
Seamless Mobile Payments
Senior Vice President of Information Technology Heather Moshier explained that the $5.8-billion San Diego Credit Union's holiday wish list is primarily focused on the payments arena, especially mobile. "Members are looking to their credit unions to deliver low-cost products and services. Having the ability to offer a seamless mobile payments strategy will be a great benefit to all. I wish for mobile payment standards and more players to support this payment channel."
While Moshier was unsure if mobile payment standards will be implemented in 2013, it remains a "big" wish for SDCU. "I do know that the industry is focused on mobile payment strategiesl," said Moshier. "The CUNA Councils are collaborating on a payments committee in 2013. I'm looking forward to this new committee's progress and the upcoming changes to payments we will see in the next year."
In Minnesota, the $1.3-billion Affinity Plus FCU's chief operations officer, Keith Malbrue, is wishing for "a cheap, secure, easy to use, innovative, web-based tool that will grow with us and allow us to communicate, monitor, report and manage our entire business from multiple stakeholder points of views. These include board of directors, supervisory committee executive team, examiners (NCUA, internal and external), management team, partners and vendors, staff and competitors.
"I would also love to have this information be as real-time as is possible and be ported to our business dashboards with full drill-down capabilities," continued Malbrue. "We've put in the right infrastructure over the last couple of years that will allow us to have this in place by the second quarter of 2013. Now we need to pull it all together and make it real."
Remote Deposit Capture
For this year's holiday wish list, the $485-million Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union in Anchorage is hopeful Santa will help it with two projects: Implementation of the latest Remote Deposit Capture service and the possibility of marketing its Loan Enhancement System (loan review) software. "The reasons are clear, add to our ever-growing list of services and seek new avenues of income. Achieving a little notoriety here in Alaska wouldn't be so bad either," said AVP of Central Operations Kathy Beelmann.
"We are definitely on our way to securing a Remote Deposit Capture service for 2013 and I will be the credit union's personal Prospector to dig up interest in our exclusive Loan Enhancement System," Bellman continued. "The patent is pending, however, now's the time to share the wealth we reap from today's technology. We are climbing mountains and we won't stop until we get to the top."