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!
Break out the champagne and noisemakers! No, we’re not celebrating New Year’s – it’s even better than that: International Credit Union Day!
That means we’re celebrating you, we’re celebrating us, we’re celebrating our movement, our members and our communities. In fact, this day is for everyone who is touched in some way by a credit union.
Beginning in 1948, credit unions have come together annually on the third Thursday in October to commemorate the credit union movement’s history and achievements. This year, we celebrate 74 years of International Credit Union Day and the theme chosen, “Empower Your Financial Future with a Credit Union,” speaks to how there are still 1.4 billion people across the globe who are unbanked. Credit unions truly have the perfect business model to empower their financial future.
ICU Day 2022 is a celebration of the impact credit unions and other financial cooperatives have made, and continue to make, for their members. It is also a chance to be thankful for the lives and communities that have been improved by our movement.
Whether our members are affluent or less fortunate, from villages or cities, in communities at peace or in conflict, credit unions are present across cultures and languages, helping members turn hopes and dreams into reality. With access to a safe, convenient place to save their money and secure affordable loans, members from all walks of life can realize their dreams and create new opportunities for themselves, from starting micro-businesses to building homes and educating their children. Once again, “Empower Your Financial Future with a Credit Union” rings true!
Vizo Financial was created with the intention to serve you – our members. Since then, our goal has always been the same: to meet your financial and back-end processing needs and to provide you with opportunities that enable your institution and your members to succeed.
We also want to look beyond ourselves and our local communities to recognize credit unions and other financial cooperatives for the important role they play worldwide. Together, credit unions are helping members overcome incredible challenges, consistently carrying on the traditions set forth by our founders and exemplifying the values of thrift, self-sufficiency and democratic leadership.
With these things in mind, we’re getting ready to bring ICU Day to the forefront in our organization with games, education and storytelling. Most importantly, though, we’re sharing our appreciation for the 86,000+ credit unions in 118 countries over the world serving 375 million members.
Let ICU Day empower your credit union and all those you serve to keep telling stories and sharing the goodness of credit unions on this very special day. Follow our festivities on Twitter with the hashtag #ICUDay, and don’t forget to post yours as well! After all, the more we can spread understanding and awareness of the credit union movement, the more empowered we all become!
What do the holidays look like for you? Whether your memories center around a twinkling tree or a symbolic showing of candles, everyone has a different perspective when it comes to the holiday season…other than the fact that it’s a busy time filled with lots of festivities and joy, of course.
With the addition of the credit union movement’s eighth cooperative principle of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), the holiday season takes on a whole new meaning – one that not only promotes, but also celebrates all belief systems and traditions.
The holidays are fast approaching, to say the least, so now is the time to start preparing for the many celebrations that lie ahead and ensure that you approach each and every one with a standpoint of inclusivity reminiscent of our eighth cooperative principle.
Here are a few ways to bring the holiday spirit to life, DEI style!
Embrace all holidays celebrated by staff and members. While one employee may celebrate their Jewish heritage with eight days of Hanukkah festivities, another may share in all the celebrations associated with the Christian Christmas holiday. The truth is, there are many holidays that are represented at the very end and early beginning of each year – Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, Ōmisoka, Yule and more. Any number of these could be part of your employees’ and members’ holiday traditions – celebrate one, celebrate all!
Turn celebrations into learning opportunities. Not only do you promote DEI when you recognize everyone’s holiday beliefs, but it also provides an opportunity to learn about other religions, cultures and customs. Encourage staff to share the traditions associated with those holidays: What do they traditionally do with families and friends around these holidays? What foods do they eat? Is there a religious/spiritual practice at the center of the holiday that others can learn from? The holiday season provides an opportunity for us to learn more about each other. And learning about each other helps us understand each other more deeply – building relationships, as well as working and collaborating more effectively.
When it comes to parties, be mindful. Holiday parties are a quintessential workplace tradition in and of themselves. And with the pandemic, virtual celebrations have become more common. Regardless of how your staff attends, the important thing is to be mindful when choosing decorations, food options, games and activities, etc. Don’t exclusively use one holiday’s color schemes over another, or force everyone to participate in gift exchanges, as they may not align with everyone’s beliefs. If you’re having food and drinks, make sure to take dietary restrictions and preferences into account. For example, a Christmas ham may not appeal to everyone, so provide alternatives or even consider separating certain offerings. Those little pieces of inclusivity make all the difference.
Incorporate “concern for community” into your celebrations. The holidays are a special time for everyone. Regardless of which one(s) each person celebrates, the holidays are generally characterized by giving to others, being kind, spending special moments with loved ones and so on. And while the backgrounds are all different, you can unite everyone in holiday celebrations by incorporating one of our movement’s cornerstones – concern for community. Center your celebrations around doing good for others in the community, whether that means gathering winter attire for those in need or making a meal for a local shelter. Donations and volunteer opportunities give a spark of holiday cheer to all who participate, no matter which religion or holiday a person identifies with.
It's true that DEI in the workplace is necessary all year long, but the holidays are a special time that create a need for special considerations. Show your employees and members that their beliefs matter, especially during this extraordinary time of year. As American essayist, Hamilton Wright Mabies, once said, “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
Ready or not, here it comes! The FedNow Service is getting ready to make its big debut in 2023 and take instant payments mainstream. It’s exciting for credit unions looking to offer another modern and convenient payment option for members that also runs directly through the nation’s central bank – the Federal Reserve.
It’s going to be a wonderful, but big, change in how payments exist on a much more widespread scale than we’ve ever seen before. And in that mindset, credit unions should be researching, planning and making preparations for the big day when the FedNow Service finally goes live.
As your Corporate, we want to help make the launch of the FedNow Service, everything leading up to it and everything that comes after as smooth as possible for our membership. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of some resources we think credit unions should check out.
This website is home to many educational resources about the FedNow Service. From videos to guides and everything in between, there are tons of places to find more information about the impending instant payments service. Explore the resources on your own or follow a path that has been curated especially for you based on your institution type, specific areas of interest in the service and more. Here are a few places you’ll definitely want to check out within the FedNow Explorer:
Our tip: FedNow Explorer has a lot of great videos to help you visualize the FedNow Service and the impact it will have on your credit union, as well as your members. Do yourself a favor and watch as many as you can!
If you want to go directly to the source behind the FedNow Service, head over to the Federal Reserve’s website! They have a page dedicated to the FedNow Service that’s packed with FAQs, blog posts, instant payment education, product sheets, press releases and more.
Our tip: Many of the resources on this page also link to FedNow Explorer, so check them both out for optimum knowledge building!
As a participant in the FedNow Service Showcase and advocate of instant payment solutions for credit unions, we’ll be sharing more information before, during and after the launch of the FedNow Service. We currently have two blog posts about the FedNow Service that can provide some insight into the instant payment solution. We’ll announce more as they’re available, so check back frequently or join our Vizo Financial Plugged In notification list to receive updates on our latest blog, forum and podcast!
Our tip: On the blog homepage, click Search in the top menu and enter “FedNow” in the Search bar. This will help you find the articles quickly because nobody wants to be stuck scrolling all day, right?
We’re hosting an upcoming webinar in November to help credit unions learn more about the FedNow Service and what they can do to prepare for the launch. The webinar, Is Your Organization Ready for the FedNow Service in 2023?, will be led by a representative from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on November 1 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Use the link above to learn more about the webinar and to register!
Our tip: Write down any questions you have so you can ask them during the webinar. The speaker is from the Federal Reserve, after all, and will be a great source of information for your inquiries!
The FedNow Service is going to do great things for both consumers and credit unions in the realm of simplified and instant payments. To get the very best out of this innovative payment solution, we encourage your credit union to stay informed and knowledgeable and keep the FedNow Service top of mind.
Every credit union’s liquidity needs are so varied – there is no one set way to achieve those goals. Some institutions may require a large deposit to reach their liquidity sweet spot, while others may be able to be more selective about their investors and certificate parameters.
The good – and perhaps, surprising – news is that regardless of what your ideal path to liquidity looks like, SimpliCD has a solution.
SimpliCD is a brokerage management system for credit unions offered through Primary Financial. Through SimpliCD, institutions like yours can both purchase and issue certificates of deposit. Vizo Financial has had a long-standing partnership with SimpliCD to help our members find the most valuable liquidity solutions.
When it comes to issuance, though, SimpliCD has two paths to choose from. Which one works for you?
If what you’re looking for in a liquidity solution is more of a say in who has access to your certificates, as well as flexibility and convenience, SimpliCD’s in-house custodial program is a good fit. Benefits of issuing through the custodial program include:
On the contrary, if your institution qualifies as a low-income, or is simply searching for a large deposit from an even larger pool of investors, SimpliCD’s DTC program might just be what you’re looking for. Check out these advantages of the DTC path:
Deciding which path is right for your credit union shouldn’t be difficult. It sounds cliché, but try the old-fashioned approach of making a list. Determine your specific liquidity needs – how much you need, efficiencies you’re looking to gain, desired investor types, etc. – and compare to SimpliCD’s programs.
Regardless of whether you take the custodial or the DTC path, know that SimpliCD is the place to be for issuance and overall liquidity management. No matter how you slice it, SimpliCD sure brings simplicity to your liquidity journey!
For more information about issuing through SimpliCD, please contact your corporate account manager at email@example.com.
Vizo Financial will be closed on the following dates in 2023 in honor of the federal holidays listed below.
These closings are in accordance with the Federal Reserve Bank’s 2023 holiday closing schedule. You can also find this information posted on the Holiday Closings page of our website.
Please note that since New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday in 2023, we will be closed the following Monday. Also, since Veterans Day falls on a Saturday in 2023, we will be open the preceding Friday.
New Year’s Day (observation)
Monday, January 2
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, January 16
Monday, February 20
Monday, May 29
Monday, June 19
Tuesday, July 4
Monday, September 4
Monday, October 9
Thursday, November 23
Monday, December 25
By John Cuneo, information security director, Vizo Financial
Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger might strike fear in the hearts of horror fanatics this time of year, but the real villains are much more elusive and certainly more persistent. Bad actors, hackers, those who exploit your credit union and your members’ data are the real monsters, and they’re present every single day of the year.
With this being the spookiest time of year, it makes sense that October is also National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In the risk world, it’s definitely a big deal because cybersecurity is growing exponentially – especially since we’re now operating in a more mobile society with so many remote connections.
But even in 2004, when National Cybersecurity Awareness Month got its start, the governing bodies of cybersecurity were looking ahead to the future. They predicted an increasing need for cybersecurity and education around the subject so that businesses and consumers, alike, could better recognize and understand not just how to implement proactive cybersecurity strategies, but also how cybercriminals operate.
So, together, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which is a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) joined forces to bring us this celebratory month which we still observe 18 years later – perhaps even in a greater capacity than ever before.
In 2022, specifically, the theme of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is “See Yourself in Cyber.” It’s meant to shine a light on the human element of cybersecurity and the role people play in protecting their online presence as well as any cyber assets. According to CISA, “this year’s campaign theme demonstrates that while cybersecurity may seem like a complex subject, ultimately, it’s really all about people.”
But what does the human element of cybersecurity entail? Is it those of us who work in cybersecurity in a professional sense? Is it your average Joe paying his bills online? Is it your small business member who runs an e-commerce store on the internet? It’s all of us…every single person who interacts with other entities in a cyber capacity.
For credit unions, the 2022 Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme calls upon your IT and information security professionals all the way to tellers and loan officers. It touches pretty much everyone who works within your institution because credit unions operate a majority (if not all) functions electronically, online or in the cloud. Your members, whether they’re individuals or business members, also pertain to your credit union. Cybersecurity touches every level of your organization, and there are so many places attackers could weasel their way into your systems and networks.
The best thing to do to address how people view and actively participate in cybersecurity is through education. Learning about cyber attacks and what they may look like (phishing attempts, malicious advertisements, password hacking, etc.), as well as cybercriminal tactics, is a good place to start for employees and members alike. It’s also something your tech-forward staff should continuously pursue. There’s a reason this month is called National Cybersecurity Awareness month – awareness is the best thing any of us can be when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting our information.
As financial institutions, credit unions are major players in the cyber realm, and our participation in National Cybersecurity Month is a wonderful learning opportunity. Engage your internal staff, your board and your members in some of the month’s celebrations by putting cybersecurity front and center. Here are just a few ideas:
You can even become a Cybersecurity Awareness Month partner with CISA. There are plenty of tools and resources available to you to help promote the message of cybersecurity awareness. All you have to do is ask!
Spooky season, who? Don’t let horror movie villains and grotesque decorations fool you – some of the scariest things most of us will ever encounter are cybercriminals looking to steal our data for whatever their malicious purposes may be. Pass on the popcorn and celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month instead. What we learn this month can be beneficial to credit unions as we continue to expand our operations within the cyberspace.
Vizo Financial continues to make a positive difference in our local communities. Here’s what we’ve been doing over the past few months:
Vizo Financial acted as a Victory Lane sponsor for the 2022 Run to Victory 5k/10k/fun run event to benefit Victory Junction. This year’s event offered both in-person and virtual participation options to help raise money for Victory Junction, a NASCAR-themed camp located in Randleman, N.C., that serves children dealing with serious medical conditions and chronic illnesses. Their mission is to enrich the lives of children with serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, at no cost to children or their families. Vizo Financial also organized a team of staff who participated in the walk/run/roll event. In all, the 2022 Run to Victory raised $101,641!
Vizo Financial staff volunteered at two Financial Reality Fairs hosted by Belco Community Credit Union in October. The first was on October 6 at Big Springs High School in Newville, Pa., and the second will be held on October 20 at Greenwood High School in Millerstown, Pa. Financial Reality Fairs are an interactive financial education experience for students. This hands-on experience allows students to identify their career choice and starting salaries, then complete a budget sheet requiring them to live within their monthly salary while paying for basics such as housing, utilities, transportation, clothing and food. Additional expenditures such as entertainment and travel are factored in as well. It’s always a good time introducing students to credit unions and helping them dive deeper into financial literacy.
Vizo Financial just held our Day of Service on October 10, 2022. Staff had the opportunity to volunteer at one of several events being offered at each campus. Following a morning of volunteer activities and camaraderie, staff enjoyed some lunch and reflection on our efforts to demonstrate the credit union movement’s cooperative principle of “concern for community.” Organizations we supported during this year’s Day of Service included:
International Credit Union Day will be here on October 20! This year's theme is "Empower Your Financial Future with a Credit Union." To celebrate our movement, we will be sharing stories from our recent Day of Service, engaging in credit union education and games and, of course, sharing our favorite stories of how credit unions have made an impact in our everyday lives. We hope you feel empowered to share your ICU Day celebrations with the world as well – we’ll be looking for them on Twitter with hashtag, #ICUDay!
Vizo Financial is making a financial donation towards the CrossState Credit Union Foundation’s WalletPalooza fundraising event. Staff will have an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to win a wallet filled with a variety of gift cards. The drawing will be held in December 2022. The CrossState Credit Union Foundation changes people’s lives by promoting financial education, professional development, disaster relief and credit union relevance.
The 28th annual Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals Radiothon to benefit Duke Children’s in North Carolina will be held on December 13-14, 2022. Vizo Financial will be a Spirit of Hope sponsor again this year. Last year, the CMN Radiothon raised $642,990 for Duke Children’s!
Vizo Financial’s education sessions for the fourth quarter of 2022 are:
Joe Bertotto, chief culture officer, Vizo Financial
October 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Over the last 38 years, authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have been researching the art and science of leadership by interviewing managers on their personal best leadership experience. Based on data from over 7,000 interviews, they have developed a framework which leaders can use as an operating system to create a positive work environment and engage their teams. This operating system is comprised of five practices:
The application of these five practices is filled with nuance and details. Join Vizo Financial’s chief culture officer, Joe Bertotto, a certified coach in The Leadership Challenge Feedback Assessment (LPI 360), as he provides useful insight in how to get the most of these practices as you lead your team.
Joni Everhart Hopkins, vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
November 1 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Will your organization be ready to capitalize on instant payments when the FedNow Service arrives in 2023? This service will enable financial institutions and other service providers to offer innovative instant payments solutions that support a broad range of transaction types and use cases for businesses and consumers alike. Join Joni Hopkins, vice president of Federal Reserve Financial Services, to learn about the FedNow functionality, use case opportunities and research on U.S. instant payments demand. Plus, learn about resources available today to help your organization embrace instant payments transformation with an actionable strategy for FedNow Service implementation.
Mark Clarke, business continuity administrator, Vizo Financial
November 2 at 2:00 p.m. ET
A tabletop exercise is a walk-through of emergency procedures with your credit union’s key personnel about what could happen in a real-life incident. This live tabletop will test your credit union’s plans with a “mock” real-world example. How will your team handle the situation? Are you prepared?
Fred Eisel, chief investment officer, Vizo Financial
November 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET
The Fed has been very aggressive in tightening monetary policy, by increasing overnight rates to close to three percent and beginning to allow their balance sheet to shrink. The markets continue to debate how far the Fed will go in trying to control inflation, and if their aggressive stance puts the U.S. economy in a recession. Join Fred as he provides an update on the current economy and what to expect in 2023 with regard to rates, the Fed and the overall economy.
Cindy Hagan, compliance and fraud risk director, Vizo Financial
November 17 at 2:00 p.m. ET
They say age is just a number. But for scammers, age is an opportunity to prey upon a person’s vulnerabilities. That’s why older individuals are most at risk for financial exploitation, and it costs millions (yes, millions) of dollars per year in losses for these individuals. You may be wondering what your credit union can do to help your members fight back against elder financial abuse. That’s what this session is all about! Cindy will walk you through common signs, schemes and suspects to help your staff and your members armor up against elder financial abuse.
Jessica Lelii, assistant director of education, Macha/PAR
November 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET
International ACH Transactions (IAT) have specific handling requirements which are mandated by the Nacha Operating Rules and OFAC. This session will give you step-by-step procedures on how to handle your IAT entries, focusing on suspect and return entries. Proper handling of IATs can save your financial institution time and money along with minimizing your risk.
Mike Umscheid, president / CEO, ARCSys
December 6 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Are you counting down to the official implementation of the new CECL rule? It may be right around the corner, and you may have already poured a lot of time and research into your preparations, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still more to learn. Like anything else, CECL is bound to evolve and make accommodations for a financial future that we have yet to experience. What your credit union can do to be ready for any changes that come about is to educate your staff on and incorporate best practices for CECL. Join us as we discuss some of the most useful best practices you can implement now and use to your advantage as CECL transforms in the future.
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.
October 18-19, 2022 - Virtual Event
Well, it’s clear that Vizo Financial’s 2022 Payments Conference checks a lot of boxes! And with the landscape of payments changing at such a rapid pace, an educational event of this kind is one that will pay off for your credit union.
The virtual conference will be held on October 18-19, 2022. During these two days, attendees will be invited to participate in multiple education sessions on everything from instant payments and the FedNow Service to ACH and beyond.
December 8, 2022 - Virtual Event
What makes a leader? According to John C. Maxwell, “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” Vizo Financial’s 2022 Leadership Workshop is designed to help you find the way to effective leadership skills and workplace culture. That way, you can show it to your credit union team and make your institution a place of true servant leadership.
This highly interactive workshop will feature our chief culture officer, certified Gallup Strengths Coach and best-selling author, Joe Bertotto. He’s invested much of his life in learning the path to leadership and helping individuals such as yourself find the secrets to happy workplaces.
Join Joe and your peers for this event that will talk about leveraging employee strengths, embracing servant leadership, building an engaged workforce and more! Before the workshop begins, participants will receive a code to complete the CliftonStrengths assessment, as well as a copy of the book that will be used in the workshop. The workshop will be highly interactive so all attendees can put their new leadership skills to the test. It’s time to learn the way, go the way and show the way with the 2022 Leadership Workshop!
This virtual session will be held via Zoom. Participants are required to complete an assessment prior to the workshop, be on camera with audio for the virtual session and actively participate in the workshop activities.
Never miss an issue of Corporate Connection - sign up to get new issues sent directly to you!