As with many other businesses, the hands of Credit Unions throughout Ireland were forced to adapt to a new way of working when the pandemic hit back in March. Transactions that took place in person on site, now had to be completed online. Staff that were previously public facing were now working from their remote set-up, navigating this new world. Although a lot of change took place, there is fewer industries that have adapted so well. Credit Unions have shown that with change comes opportunity. However, security remains an issue for many branches providing online services. ActionPoint welcomed a panel of industry experts for our virtual event ‘Credit Union 2021 – Sustaining Your Digital Journey’. Let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways.
Secure Remote Set-Up: A New Level of Efficiency
Caroline Long- CEO, Limerick District Credit Union (LCU)
Serving over 35 thousand members and managing 120 million euro in assets, Caroline Long and her team had a quick turnaround to keep their services accessible when lockdown restrictions were in place nationwide. Getting the team set up safely online and management set up remotely was an invaluable asset to keeping the branch running. Online tools have since proven to be the way forward for their Credit Union.
“A number of the management teams would have to travel here, there and everywhere for different meetings. We’re not doing that anymore; we’re doing those on Microsoft Teams. There’s an efficiency there when we’re working from our own desks. We have 28 staff and every Wednesday we would meet up for two hours for staff training session. Now those training sessions are taking place in their own offices and it’s freeing up at least 45 minutes that it takes to get back to the car, open the office and so on. We have also cut our management meetings by one hour as a result of using Microsoft Teams.”
Assessing potential threats
Edel Mee- Managing Director, IT Security People
Having access to online tools is one thing but making sure they are a secure and long-term option for your team is another. Edel Mee advises that an ad-hoc set up is not an option and ensuring your team are able to assess what is a security risk is essential.
“When a crisis happens, most people go online to look for information and that’s when attackers can leverage that. They still use the same methods, like phishing emails, send links with viruses or clickbait. When those types of things happen, it means there’s a lot more traffic online and a lot more potential for somebody to click on something and inadvertently cause an incident. You can also have internal threats that are accidental or on purpose. Possibly where somebody is remote working and something is set up very quickly. A piece of software is installed to get you over the hump, but nobody goes back to close off on security measures.”
Finian Nally- Head of Microsoft Solutions, ActionPoint
Having helped many organisations get on their feet in terms of a remote working solution, Finian has seen the digital transformation of multiple businesses over the past few months. Credit Unions have come a long way in terms of their own adoption of online tools and now we know where there may be room for improvement. It’s a time to appreciate how far Credit Unions have come and acknowledge what further advancements need to be made.
“Now we need to take a step back, we need to look at our plan and need to revaluate things and ask are we doing them properly. Are we risking burnout from our employees? Are we risking security breaches for the business? Now is the time to take stock and think, can we do this better?”
If you would like to accelerate your Credit Union’s digital transformation or would like some guidance on where to begin, click here.