Around 60% of CUSOs are Insurance based and almost all of them have the same thing in common: They are barely scratching the surface of their potential!
President of Insurance Strategies with Daggett Enterprises, Melanie Munsey, takes us “padawans” to school on the ways of the Insurance Force and explains how Credit Unions are being treated like “second class citizens” when it comes to many of their current protection product partnerships.
In this interview, you will learn how more income, control, and freedom await those that have the desire to creatively advocate for their membership and their CU/CUSO! Tune in to work SMARTER not HARDER and get back what you deserve!
Welcome back to Banking on Experience! In this episode, our new hosts, Jonathan Taylor (JT), CEO, CU SOL, and Joshua Barclay, Growth Marketing Manager at CRMNEXT welcome Melanie Munsey, President of Insurance Strategies for Daggett Enterprises to talk about how CU’s Deserve More.
You are about to read the highlights of this interview. If you would prefer to listen to this interview in its entirety, you can listen to the podcast here.
Melanie Munsey, the “Credit Union Aunt.”
Melanie has a deep history in the credit union space, starting out as a teller with a tiny credit union in the late 80s. After working in this people-focused business for years, she went back into the insurance business, ultimately working right next to that same credit union. Her successor at the credit union, Dan Daggett, eventually became CEO. She eventually came onboard as the President of the insurance Credit Union Service Organization.
What is a CUSO? It’s definitely not a vendor.
A CUSO is there to serve members the same as the credit union. This involves investing time to support all the products available to the credit union to better serve the membership. Her goal now is to help CUSOs get the support they need.
Bringing tooling in-house can be a scary for credit unions
Credit unions tend to be very conservative organizations. Since they’re protecting members’ funds, that’s generally a good thing. But it can make it challenging to cut out middlemen with an insurance CUSO. The key to this is gradually peeling back layers of intermediaries to make sure everyone is comfortable and that essential programs are protected. For Melanie, this process hasn’t been without mistakes. But she’s taking what she’s learned to help other CUSOs.
Leveraging the benefits of the CUSO toolkit
Melanie came out of retirement to join Daggett Enterprises to help credit unions better utilize all the tools available to them. This isn’t based on telling credit unions what they should do. Instead Melanie works with them to discover their needs, whether they want to join, expand, or start a CUSO. While 60% of CUSOs are insurance CUSOs, often credit unions haven’t updated them to better serve their members. Melanie is passionate about helping credit unions find a better way for their own CUSO to be an agent for them and drive growth.
Building new relationships for survival
It’s common for credit unions to have tight relationships with long-time vendors, who sometimes become seen as friends over time. But Melanie helps credit unions reexamine those relationships to see what’s best for their members. There are assuredly a lot of wonderful people that they work with, but examining new relationships can help credit unions offer features they need to survive in the broader financial landscape. Often credit unions want to offer things like overdraft protection for members, but with existing vendor relationships can’t find ways to replace that income readily.
Grasping On To Fintech
One of the big scary words for credit unions is fintech. Melanie has seen some credit unions struggle to adopt not just modern fintech concepts, but much older technical advancement. Whether its DocuSign or modern fintech partners, the bottom line is credit unions who are proactive will be the best poised to survive and continue serving their members.
CECL is coming. Is your CUSO prepared?
Melanie sees her work with Daggett Enterprise as helping CUSOs remove many of the moving pieces they have to keep track of in the rapidly changing financial world. This comes just as CECL compliance is coming down the pike on January 1, 2023. Melanie works with a trusted network of partners that she can unflinchingly recommend to credit unions, providing many options to let them find the best fit.
CUSOs are growing. But they need to
Right now, CUSOs are growing at an unprecedented rate. This might be great for the overall industry, but Melanie cautions that credit unions need to do their due diligence. Given the wide variety of business different credit unions specialize in, from indirect lending to mortgages, to more retail business, just copying what another credit union is doing isn’t going to cut it. The key to making CUSOs successful is understanding what a credit union’s goal is and finding the correct fit to support it.
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