UMe FCU Increases Real Estate Loan Growth 30% Over Three Years

By W.B. King

Originally published by the Credit Union Journal on March 24, 2015

BURBANK, Calif. — Three years ago Burbank Community Federal Credit Union rebranded itself as UMe Federal Credit Union. With a mobile-first product strategy, the $165 million CU has realized significant market gains, including a 30% jump in real estate lending.

“The fight for relevancy has to be constant and continuous,” said UMe FCU President/CEO Robert Einstein. “We need to be agile and provide great experiences in all facets of our business.”

Last month, Einstein participated in a webinar hosted by the Henderson, Nevada-based Bluepoint Solutions, an end-to-end payment processing and content management solutions firm. The purpose of the gathering, which included Callahan & Associates Industry Analyst Sam Taft, was to discuss challenges facing community financial institutions.

Remaining competitive requires adopting new technologies, which is often a challenge for a small credit union. “You need to prioritize where your investments are,” said Einstein. “Member-facing technologies and beta security and protection have the highest priority.”

Last year, UMe FCU, in conjunction with Bluepoint and Malauzai, successfully launched a mobile banking app that resulted in a 30% spike in mobile activity. To date, the CU has 6,817 online banking members with 2,964 using the mobile app.

During the webinar, Bluepoint Solutions Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Tilbury offered Accenture statistics showing that 94% of millennials — making up one-third of the U.S. population — are active users of online banking. He added that 72% are active with mobile banking and that 72% would likely bank with a non-financial services company. One reason for the latter is that 67% feel traditional and digital experiences from the financial institution are not always seamless.

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