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ABCUl 2021 recap
Featured Industry News

ABCUL Conference 2021 – Recap

Zoe Cannon


We recently attended the Association of British Credit Unions’ (ABCUL) 2021 virtual conference, where we had the opportunity to share knowledge with our colleagues and credit union customers.

Read on to find out more about the useful findings we learnt at ABCUL.

Data Protection and GDPR

We joined Bernard Cogan from CUNA Mutual for some fantastic insights on how credit unions can better protect their data.

Since new GDPR laws were introduced for credit unions in May 2018, credit unions have continued to explore the best way to hold their member data under strict, and sometimes restrictive, secure systems while providing accessibility and streamlined processes.


Credit unions and Brexit

Following Brexit, EU GDPR no longer applies to the UK. It has instead been incorporated into UK data protection law and is now UK GDPR, which means credit unions will still need to adhere to the core principles and obligations of previous rules.

If your credit union operates in the European Community, offering goods and services to individuals, EU GDPR still applies to your organisation.


Protecting data

Identifying an internal Data Protection Officer allows an individual within an organisation to take responsibility for ensuring compliance with UK and possibly EU GDPR regulations.

However, it is the responsibility of all staff, from the board of directors to the customer team, to ensure that they are aware of the organisation’s obligations.


Data breaches

The session identified the top five causes of data breaches in the UK:

  1. Weak protection: In 2016, 60 percent of breaches classified as a “hack” were in-part caused by weak or stolen passwords.
  2. Malware: Accessing unsecure sites or opening emails with inadequate security can result in viruses that put data at risk.
  3. Social engineering: Using people within the organisation to assist with hacks.
  4. Insider threats: Staff misusing their access for personal gain.
  5. Physical attacks: People breaking into the premises to steal personal information stored in physical files.

Sercle’s Strategic Advisor Bill Hall advised in the session’s presentation that he believes that the largest threat to data protection in credit unions is allowing third party vendors access to a system without the adequate checks. He recommends a risk assessment carried out by a trusted provider to ensure no breaches on the vendor’s side, as it could be a gateway to a cyber attack.


The solution

Introducing a data mapping exercise within your organisation is the best way to identify strengths and weaknesses in your current system.

  1. Identify the personal data your organisation stores, where it is stored and in which format.
  2. Review your obligations in protecting the data, and identify steps you can take to improve or ensure that your organisation is consistent with the protection.
  3. Assign an individual Data Protection Officer to ensure ongoing compliance with current and new legislation.
  4. Communicate the protective measures taken with your organisation and members to create trust and confidence.


Live demos

Our team was on hand to provide live demos of our innovative technologies we use to empower credit unions.

Sercle App, powered by Nivo

Sercle App, powered by Nivo, is a secure one-stop community hub for credit unions and their members to communicate and stay connected – especially while face-to-face services are off the table.

The app is customer centric in every sense, offering 24/7 accessibility and automation on loan applications, balance enquiries and withdrawal requests. This allows credit union teams to leave the filing in the past where it belongs as documents can be securely gathered through the software.

To learn more about how the Sercle App can drive credit union growth and direct new members into responsible lending, growing your member base and loan book, download our brochure here.


Open Banking, powered by Credit Kudos

Open Banking, powered by Credit Kudos, entirely removes the need for gathering documentation every single time a member makes a lending request. Instead, it’s already there for you, and it calculates the risk up to the minute you make the data request!

The software delivers real-time insights into a member’s finance history, from how they manage their money to their everyday spending, in order to calculate their affordability to take on a new loan.

The decision-making tools are automated, so you’ll be able to give members an instant decision. An added bonus is the secure banking standard digital signatures for documentation. And scanning of documents all in a secure further streamline the process, with no wait for posting documents and allowing time for processing.

Using innovative technology to securely grow membership base while reducing costs and manual intervention allows staff to concentrate on membership services.

To learn more about how Open Banking can improve your member experience, download our brochure here.


Intuitive data analytics

A common conversation topic at ABCUL 2021 was the use of data analytics in processing member requests.

To support the growing use of analytics in the development of a more intuitive approach to lending and risk, Sercle has partnered with CUFA Lending Analytics. CUFA works seamlessly with Sercle Platform to help credit unions to provide measured, secure and affordable lending to their members.

Download our brochure on credit union data analytics here.


Empowering credit unions with technology

The events of the past year during the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted how essential technology is to connect with new and existing customers when in-person service is no longer available.

We spoke to our 130 credit union partners across the UK to learn more about the challenge Covid-19 brought, their changing perceptions of technology and the lessons they’ve learned and produced a white paper to analyse their insights and provide a solution.

Download our free white paper to find out more.