Corporate Connection is our quarterly e-magazine that features information on our latest happenings and hottest services. If you want an insider look at what’s going on at Vizo Financial, Corporate Connection is a must-read! Check it out now!
by Jaime E.S. Agostino, marketing & business development director, Vizo Financial
Take a minute to close your eyes and think back to your childhood. Think about the toys and puzzles and things you used to play with as a child. You may be envisioning Slinkys, Etch-a-Sketches, Cabbage Patch Kids and Lite-Brites, amongst other things. But what about the challenge of Where’s Waldo? You know, the search-and-find puzzles where you had to look for a little figure wearing a red and white striped shirt and hat in two pages full of chaos? That was always one of my favorites, which is why I came up with this brilliant idea, I knew I had to share it with the rest of the marketing team.
I sent an email out explaining what I wanted to do and how excited I was, and before long, the entire team was on board with this fun little idea. By now, you can probably guess where I’m going with this, but just in case, here’s what it is: Vizo Financial is doing our own spin on Where’s Waldo? and we’re calling it Where’s Jaime?!
It’ll work like this:
We’ll hide graphics of me, Jaime Agostino, the marketing and business development director for Vizo Financial, in disguises throughout our various media and communications. I could be masquerading and in any of the following places:
And the best part is, unlike the simple feeling of victory when finding Waldo, you have the chance to win prizes if you find me! If you feel so inclined, try your hand at finding me and email the marketing team at firstname.lastname@example.org with the location of the Jaime graphic along with the hashtag connected to the graphic. With your entry, we will put your name into a drawing for a prize for the first quarter, and the winner will be announced at the beginning of the second quarter on April 3, 2023. Check out the full terms and conditions so you have all the details before you enter.
Just so you know, I won’t stay in the same place for too long, so each time you find me with a new hashtag, we’ll enter your name in the drawing. That means multiple chances to win! However, all entries must be submitted by the end of the day on March 31, 2023, in order to be counted for the first quarter’s sweepstakes.
We know that you probably know what Waldo looks like, but to help you get started, here’s a little help on what Jaime looks like:
Now that you’ve seen what I look like and an example of where I can be hiding, you can begin your search because here at Vizo Financial, everyone’s wondering, Where’s Jaime?
Time for a riddle! What two things do all credit unions have in common? Insert Jeopardy music here…
And the answer is…
With these fundamental commonalities, it only makes sense that we embrace our cooperative philosophy and come together in a single place. That place is CUaxis.
Built by a partnership between Vizo Financial, MY CU Services and CU*Answers, CUaxis is a community for common core users to unite, provide support and help one another succeed. At the very core of our movement, after all, our values of cooperation and people helping people matter most.
In this place, core services, payments, loans and investments, technology and knowledge stand side by side. Professionals with years of experience lend a helping hand. There’s a never-ending outpouring of encouragement and inspiration to keep credit unions moving forward.
Our goal is to make credit union bonds stronger and harness the power of our values to take our movement to incredible heights. Let’s work together, share together and bring collaboration center stage…together.
Considering that a reliable core solution is essential to credit union operations, CUaxis is happy to offer the CU*BASE system through CU*Answers. It’s state-of-the-art, robust and completely turnkey so that each credit union can achieve their own specific goals. Whether you want to utilize it as a self-processing system or an application service provider, both delivery methods offer a credit union or a group of credit unions the ability to be shared processors…collaboration at its finest, which is what we’re all about.
And with over 350 institutions and various asset sizes already using the platform, it’s hard to deny the benefits: member information databases, presentation resources, effective processing capabilities, built-in marketing tools and a user-friendly interface for your staff. Better yet, we’ve got lots of options to customize your use of the core system for your specific needs and discounts through CUaxis that you won’t find anywhere else.
The CUaxis community doesn’t stop at core, either. In fact, we offer a ton of additional resources that can enhance the collective core experience – and beyond.
There’s no time like the present and no place like CUaxis to get the kind of core-centric education you need. Webinars, conferences, workshops, blogs, discussion forums and more await you in our community of collaboration!
Core processing is complex, but training doesn’t have to be. Here, we’ve got all the information you need to know to learn the CU*BASE system in a series of step-by-step videos. Watch in small doses or do big chunks of training all at once. The beauty of CUaxis is that the resources are always right here for you, so you can train on your time!
Knowledge is power! The CUaxis blog helps credit unions stay informed and get inspired.
There’s no better place for CUaxis members to discuss topics related to the CU*BASE core processing system and all things core-related.
If you need more reasons why you should join the CUaxis community, well, we have them! We’re happy to help you gain greater insight about this incredible place where building a core connection is just the beginning of the journey. Contact us at email@example.com to learn more!
Phishing and fraud and data breaches…oh my! The world of cyberattacks has become as busy and consistent as a traffic jam during rush hour, but that doesn’t mean your credit union has to fall victim. You just have to find the right partners and solutions to help keep your cyber defenses up. Enter Vizo Financial’s newest cybersecurity services through DefenseStorm!
With credit unions becoming more reliant on technology and cyberspace for all areas of operations, we are increasingly susceptible to cyber threats. That’s why we’ve joined forces with DefenseStorm to offer a suite of solutions to elevate your credit union’s cybersecurity program and provide assistance in two areas of cyber risk: fraud and overall security.
Thanks to our partnership, your credit union has access to DefenseStorm’s signature CyberSecurity and CyberFraud services. Here’s a little bit more about each.
This solution is inclusive of your entire cybersecurity framework, and proactively monitors and detects threats. It offers multiple avenues of protection, including:
CyberFraud gives your credit union the ability to decrease fraud threats and provide better protection for your institution, your bottom line, your reputation and, of course, your members. Some features of CyberFraud include:
If you’re wondering what sets DefenseStorm solutions apart from other cybersecurity services, you don’t have to look far.
Don’t take our word for it…check out these testimonials!
“DefenseStorm works for us because they understand our industry, the flow of data through multiple providers and our compliance needs. Plus, DefenseStorm is award-winning and affordable.”
– Jerry King, president and CEO, DEXSTA FCU
“We couldn’t do in days what DefenseStorm does for us in minutes. The benefits of being able to satisfy our examiners and auditors when they ask us questions, and being able to feed that back to the board, that’s the ROI.”
– Carlos Vasquez, vice president of information technology, Canvas CU
So, what do you say…are you ready to ramp up your cybersecurity defenses with DefenseStorm through Vizo Financial? If so, reach out to your corporate account manager at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Who’s ready for the FedNow Service this year?
As excited as we all are to welcome this new instant payments solution and share the benefits with our members, it’s a lot to prepare for.
Like many credit unions, you’re probably trying to piece together all of the information you need to get started once the FedNow Service officially goes live – how you can connect to the service, what options you have for instant payments, what technologies you need to put in place and so on.
Here’s what the page covers:
Head on over to the page now to check out this hub of knowledge and learn more about the next big thing in instant payments!
Education, member appreciation, time spent with peers and opportunities for growth are top of mind for Vizo Financial in 2023. We’ve got several occasions for you to take advantage of all these things coming up over the next 12 months, and we’re happy to share our complete event schedule with you!
As a reminder, you can get all the different event details on our Upcoming Events page. You’ll also want to check back throughout the year, as we may add events to this list. Maybe even bookmark the page!
Now, without further ado…here’s the lineup for 2023:
February 15-16, 2023
February 26, 2023
The Henley Park Hotel – Washington, D.C.
Financial Strategies Workshops
March 15, 2023 - Hershey, Pa.
March 29, 2023 - Richmond, Va.
April 5, 2023 - Charlotte, N.C.
April 26, 2023 - Pittsburgh, Pa.
Risk Management Conference
April 20-21, 2023
The Hotel Hershey – Hershey, Pa.
May 4, 2023 - Hershey, Pa.
May 11, 2023 - Richmond, Va.
May 25, 2023 - Charlotte, N.C.
June 1, 2023 - Pittsburgh, Pa.
June 21, 2023
Small Credit Union Workshop
August 9-10, 2023
August 23-24, 2023
September 13-15, 2023
The Omni Grove Park Inn – Asheville, N.C.
CUaxis Community Annual Forum
September 26, 2023
October 25-26, 2023
In addition to the many events we’ll be hosting this year, we’ll also be participating in several credit union tradeshows. Be sure to look us up and stop by to spend some time with us. We’ll send emails throughout the year telling you which shows we’ll be attending and where you can find us.
We’ve already got two tradeshows on the books for February and March – make note of these and we’ll look forward to seeing you!
Carolinas Credit Union League LAUNCH 2023
February 9-10, 2023
Attending: Jill Bennett and Ashley Aubele
CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference
February 26 – March 2, 2023
Attending: Joe Reiner, Ashley Aubele, Ty Snavely and Jaime Agostino
Vizo Financial will be hosting the following events for credit unions. Please register for any of our events on the Upcoming Events page of our website.
February 15-16, 2023 - Virtual Event
It may be cold outside, but the technology available to credit unions is definitely heating up! And Vizo Financial will have all the hottest companies and solutions for you to become acquainted with at our Winter TechCon on February 15-16, 2023.
From digitized member journeys on the front lines to human resources technology on the back end, we’re welcoming 15 forward-thinking firms that are pioneering the way for financial institution innovation. You’re invited to come meet these organizations, see demonstrations of their revolutionary solutions and ask questions of the experts.
Don’t get left out in the cold – join us for our Winter TechCon event!
Please note that this event is educational in nature and it is the responsibility of the credit union to follow their due diligence process if they elect to work with any of the featured companies.
February 26, 2023 - The Henley Park Hotel – Washington, D.C.
Adorn yourselves with purple, gold and green beads because it’s time to jazz it up for Vizo Financial’s annual GAC reception – Mardi-Gras style! Join us on February 26, 2023, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., for the annual reception at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. during CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference. We’ll be dancing to live music, wearing our best Mardi-Gras attire, eating scrumptious food and having lots of fun with our fellow industry peers. Our reception is a can’t miss stop on your GAC journey!
March 15, 2023 - Hershey, Pa.
March 29, 2023 - Richmond, Va.
April 5, 2023 - Charlotte, N.C.
April 26, 2023 - Pittsburgh, Pa.
The last three years have held a pandemic, record inflation, a crisis in Ukraine and a rise in interest rates, so what does 2023 hold for the economy? That’s a question on a lot of people’s minds. While we can’t be certain what’s in store for 2023, we do know that planning, preparing and education are vital in helping us achieve our financial goals for the year. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us in Hershey, Pa., Richmond, Va., Charlotte, N.C. or Pittsburgh, Pa., for Vizo Financial’s 2023 Financial Strategies Workshops!
These one-day workshops will offer expert-led sessions on asset liability management (ALM), investments, the economy and more, along with the opportunity to earn four (4) CPE credits and network with fellow credit union professionals. Choose the location and date that works best for you and plan to join us as we discuss financial strategies for 2023. We hope to see you there!
April 20-21, 2023 - The Hotel Hershey – Hershey, Pa.
Credit unions are one of many players in the risk-riddled financial arena. You might think of our industry as a game of chess, where your opponents’ next moves are unknown and can catch you off guard at any time. But unlike the lonely pawns on the game board, credit unions are certainly not alone when it comes to combatting risks.
Vizo Financial’s annual Risk Management Conference is back, and with it, the education and strategies credit unions need to effectively address their risks. From cybersecurity to payment risk and everything in between – including our famed tabletop exercise – we’re covering the spectrum of risk from one end to the other.
Join us on April 20-21, 2023, at The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pa., for two days of knowledge, insights and information that will give your credit union the tactical edge to help overcome the riskiest aspects of your business – checkmate and all!
By Jessica Caballero, senior product manager – compliance, DefenseStorm
If you’ve ever been involved with a risk assessment, you know just how painful it can be. Ranks right up there with audit in terms of not being fun. For those of you who like hot peppers, it’s akin to the Ghost Pepper at the top of the Scoville scale. Once the assessment is done, you probably feel like filing it away and not looking at it until the following year, just to avoid triggering painful memories! Unfortunately, in the real world, new threats don’t conveniently occur on an annual schedule.
Without complete and continual application of your assessments, however, your institution can develop blind spots to new and emerging risks. But what if your risk assessments didn’t have to be so painful? Let’s look at your Information Security Risk Assessment (ISRA) as an example. Imagine a new reality where the risk assessment process is fully integrated into your cyber monitoring solution, providing a continuous opportunity to identify and measure risks. Sounds pretty good, right? Getting there is possible but does require us to first reframe how we think about risk assessments and consider some new, fresh approaches:
Assessing risk should not be a one-and-done event you do every January and forget about until the new year. Risk is not static. Your risk assessment shouldn’t be either. Realistically, we identify and respond to new and emerging risks on a daily basis. As such, we should be adopting a continuous cycle of maintaining up-to-date risk and internal control registers. This continuous approach can be leaps and bounds more effective than the one-and-done approach that leaves you with a laundry list of remediation items once a year. By the time you get around to some of the items on that list, they may not even be relevant anymore, which means you’re wasting precious resources based on an outdated assessment. The continuous approach provides proactive, timely insights into areas that need improvement. This lends to dynamic planning which allows for better budgeting, better resource allocation and a continuously up-to-date roadmap for maturing your program and improving your security posture.
Enterprise risk management is a regulatory focal point for a reason. Viewing everything in silos is not effective. Maintaining up-to-date, integrated registers can break down silos and help you identify and manage interconnectedness and interdependencies across the organization. Consider this scenario: information technology, information security, vendor management and fraud all reference the same control in their respective risk assessments. A control can be used in multiple areas of the institution and for varying reasons, but it is ultimately the same control. Is it identified as such? Does that one control have one single profile that is leveraged by various departments, or is it being looked at like four different controls? Integrated registers across multiple risk assessments allow you to maintain one single profile for a control. That single internal control profile can then be assigned to multiple risks and be evidenced from multiple different systems. This enables accurate scoring of control effectiveness. That accurate score can then be considered consistently when assessing the quality of controls for different risks.
Putting your best foot forward never hurt anyone. When presenting your risk assessments to audiences – whether it is the examiners or the board – ensure the document highlights where you shine. Set the tone for the reader by highlighting mature, well-designed and effective control systems. Consider highlighting areas where significant improvement has occurred, and a tangible impact was made. A risk assessment does not have to be all gloom and doom – “look at all these scary things that could happen” – it can be a success story of how far you have come or a testament to the incredible design and implementation of controls.
And we’re not talking about the happy hour everyone attends to celebrate a completed risk assessment. You do all this work for something! That something is not just to check a box. This exercise has purpose and value. Take the results and mature your program. Make it stronger and even more impenetrable. Did you identify gaps in controls? Were you able to better communicate the need for additional investment in certain areas? That’s GREAT! You now have actionable insights into your program to arm you in conversations with executives or the board around needing additional headcount or new technology. That’s a WIN!
Risk assessments are a critical component of the risk management cycle. Would you ignore a blind spot while driving? Or do you check multiple different angles to make sure you’re safe before change lanes? Conducting risk assessments are the same. Of course you want to know if there is an unidentified risk and be able to identify gaps in your program in real time! Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to risk management, so make sure you have the processes and tools that allow you to do so. When you start seeing your risk assessment as something that greatly benefits your organization, it can provide immeasurable value. Another plus – your examiners will notice your new approach towards the risk assessment process. It will positively influence the way they view your institution’s risk culture and ultimately that management rating!
Vizo Financial continues to make a positive difference in our local communities, and we were proud to have participated in some wonderful events over the past year.
As we head into 2023 and continue to move forward with our community efforts, let's first take a look back at all the things we did in 2022!
Vizo Financial’s education sessions for the first quarter of 2023 are:
Jessica Lelii, director of education, Macha/PAR
January 24 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Let's get a jump on 2023! The ACH Network is constantly evolving and updating the Rules. Join us to hear what's happening in 2023 and the steps your organization needs to take to be prepared.
Jessica Lelii, director of education, Macha/PAR
February 8 at 2:00 p.m. ET
With so many options for faster payments, how do you choose what is the right option for you? In this session, we'll explore the myriad of new and emerging payment types/networks and discuss the steps your institution should take to keep up!
Erin Doan, diversity, equity and inclusion director, Vizo Financial
February 14 at 10:00 a.m. ET
"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has or ever will have...It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression." These are the wise words of Mister Rogers, an icon of kindness and acceptance and, of course, everybody’s favorite neighbor.
What Fred Rogers probably didn’t know was that his words would be so powerful to many, especially since the world has taken a greater interest in understanding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Since the addition of DEI as the credit union movement’s eighth cooperative principle, we have been committed to advancing this idea of inclusion, both within and outside of our institutions. Although we’ve made great strides already, the journey continues as we work to create a sense of belonging among the people we work with and the communities we serve.
Scott Wood, portfolio strategist, Vizo Financial
February 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Ok, we’ll say it…today’s economic landscape is a little complicated. What else would you expect when you mix together inflation, Fed policy, global unrest and the lingering effects of a pandemic? Despite the cocktail of uncertainties and logistics, Scott Wood, Vizo Financial’s portfolio strategist, is taking a wholistic look at the markets and the data to paint a picture of what the economy may have in store for credit unions, as well as their balance sheets.
Jessica Lelii, director of education, Macha/PAR
March 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET
The improper handling of Death Notification Entries (DNE), Government Reclamations and Garnishments can expose financial institutions to potential significant dollar losses. This session will cover the proper procedures for handling ACH Government Reclamations and the garnishment of accounts receiving federal government ACH benefit payments.
Mike Bechtel, information security analyst, Vizo Financial
March 28 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Remember the awe of looking into a kaleidoscope as a child? All the colors and shapes were mesmerizing. But when you look at it through a more risk-oriented lens, the spectrum really highlights the many threats to your credit union. You can see the various angles and disguises attackers use to try and breach your data in an attempt to make a profit. From ransomware to business email compromise, the number of incidents targeted at financial organizations of all sizes is happening at alarming rates. In this session, Mike Bechtel will discuss the wide spectrum threats to your credit union and how you can protect your information.
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