Are you handling your members’ data correctly? Oftentimes when we think of compliance, forms immediately come to mind. We know the importance of maintaining compliance in that regard. One small misstep coupled with a surprise visit from a CFPB compliance officer, and you have trouble on your hands. That’s why our top priority is providing you with forms that are current and up to date with all state and federal regulations. It’s important.
But what about member data? Isn’t it just as important? After all, there are compliance aspects to the issue of data privacy, as well. Look at all of the data breaches that have happened over the past two years. While they were initiated on the retail side, credit unions still bear some of those costs.
After all, it is the credit or debit card information the thieves are after. In the past, lackluster cybersecurity by massive retailers has left credit unions picking up a portion of the bill. In keeping with their mission, they have always made members whole at the end of the day.
However, because of breaches like these and many others, members may be a bit standoffish when it comes to filling out loan applications or applying for credit cards from your credit union’s website. This is where homework and dialogue come into play.
The homework is for you to do. Do you know how your data processor uses your members’ information? Data mining is a huge business, after all. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry. Even obscure companies can be worth $3 billion. What does it mean? Information is money. Big money.
Getting access to it allows companies to pinpoint when and where a chosen consumer receives a message. It spans multiple media, and companies pay millions to get a slice. After the recent breaches by Target and Home Depot, consumers got edgy. This could be the reason why your members shy away from filling out online applications.
Doing your homework allows you to approach them with confidence. Look for ways to start a conversation about information privacy with your members. Make sure they understand how their data is used and why your online application process is secure. Your credit union doesn’t need penalties and fees enforced by the NCUA or CFPB. You can even mention our forms as a component. It dovetails beautifully with data access. You are keeping member information safe, while our forms and disclosures keep the application process secure. Starting a conversation could lead to lending growth. Just keep the conversation honest, and be sure to answer any questions your members may have. Assure them that while many companies look to purchase data, a credit union is not in the business of selling it.
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