switching blogs

Maybe it is just me, but lately I’ve been a little unhappy with Blogger. Everything works perfect, they have great compatibility, but I just have been getting what I want to out of Blogger.

They are great for personal blogs, but I feel like I want a slightly more professional and cleaner site than what I have now. I’m not a programmer, but I can handle my own around html widgets and I understand java but I can’t work it.

I want a lot of flexibility. I use Feedburner to feed my RSS because they give me lots of options. I want to interact with Technorati, Digg, and del.icio.us as well. I don’t need to pay for a custom built one. If I did, I’d come visit Open Source CU!

So what do you guys think? Stay with Blogger and try to make it more professional? WordPress? Typepad?

User generated content @ FI’s

So we’re talking about making a product manual for our staff to have quick reference to all of our product info. Everyone is talking about “manual owners” and who will be responsible for updating it, making it work in conjunction with the other manuals, etc, when I blurt out “what if we did a wiki?” And everyone but about two people said, “What?”

After a brief explanation of what a wiki is, most people got a little defensive saying things like: “We can’t let everyone make changes” or “We’re in a highly-regulated industry. We don’t want people to have the wrong information.”

So how do you combat comments like that? Is it possible to have wiki-based manuals in an FI due to the strict regulations we face? Obviously some things are fixed verbiage dictated to us by regulations, but internal policies, product descriptions, etc aren’t so they seem fair game for a wiki.

We do all programing in dot net with SQL backends, so what wiki would work best in our situation? Can FI’s even do wiki’s internally?

Geni

Nothing too credit union related here, but Geni looks pretty cool. It brings a new aspect to social networking.

Simply put, Geni is a family tree that your family, extended family, etc fills in. Start with the branches you know, and then email Uncle Chuck and have him step in to fill out more. Then he’ll pass it on and have is mother-in-law fill some more in.

Take a peek when you have the chance.

custom cards (again)

A while back I posted about Garanti Bank offering some pretty sweet customized credit cards.

A co-worker recently emailed me back talking about this particular product again and I got a chance to re-read the original Springwise article. One of the visitors noted that First National Bank of Omaha is also offering such a card. Called "One of a Card Visa", it lets you pick your picture, reward types, etc from a pre-defined list.

If credit unions are listening for ways to turn control back over to your members, find a way to do this!

some interesting conversations

There are some interesting conversations going on over at Marketing ROI. Specifically, the article “Required Reading for Credit Union Execs” talks about CU’s using the “anti-bank” concept a little excessively.

As James Gardner says in his blog BankerVision, “Web companies that are anti-bank can be so with impunity only when their customers can identify readily with their values.”

Read the articles when you get a chance.

Epiphanies and IRA’s

A few months back while we were planning out our deposit strategy for 2007 and 2008, I just rattled an idea out of my head. No clue where it came from, but I just blurted it out.

Why does our IRA rate suck? (That wasn’t my idea, just my observation.)

The average life of one of our IRA’s is almost in the double digits! So why do we pay low rates on that money? If the average life of an IRA is almost 10 years, what rate would be put on a 10 year CD??

So we’ve developed my IRA idea into our Premier IRA: The Last IRA You’ll Need.

Internally, it will always be priced around our 5 year CD. We launched the product last month, but we haven’t start the promo machine until this month. Our current rate is 4.5% APY with no account minimums.

We’re running with the “Last IRA You’ll Need” because we’re targeting the large number of people who have small IRA’s spread out across a few institutions and want to help our members consolidate their IRA’s and not have to ladder CD’s and manage maturity dates. This way, they have one big account that is easier to manage and their funds are fully liquid! Plus, the NCUA insures it up to $250K now! And at 4.5% we’re way ahead of of our regional IRA savings market and we’re in market for 5 year CD’s.

We’re looking for ways to grow shares rather than promo CD’s and checking, checking, checking. We’ll see how it pans out.