by Brian Caldarelli, EVP, Chief Financial Officer, PSCU
As credit unions look to digitally transform and build effective foundations for sustained future success, collaboration and economies of scale are proven drivers of growth and innovation. Faced with an unprecedented global pandemic, how can credit unions with limited resources attain these growth drivers to propel them forward?
Leveraged by organizations of all sizes, in all industries, to help deploy services, technology and additional capabilities, shared services serve as an extension of organizations’ own resources. Some organizations employ shared services for specific disciplines like finance, human resources management and information technology, while others leverage shared services to innovate, minimize expenses or eliminate redundancies.
In our industry, shared services can play a valuable role in helping credit unions achieve their business goals. Simply put, shared service business models help credit unions solve problems and take advantage of opportunities—a role made more important than ever as we face the global COVID-19 pandemic. As credit unions look to the future, including the accelerated digitization of their internal processes and service delivery channel in line with the World Council’s Challenge 2025 initiative, the shared service model can help credit unions focus their often limited resources on activities that support business goals.
Meeting current member demands, including upgrading core systems, offering core services online, transitioning to mobile channels and integrating with the global payments ecosystem, requires resources and expertise. The cost of investment, maintenance and technical expertise is high for credit unions to successfully achieve digital transformation—intensified even further by the global COVID-19 pandemic. A shared service platform in which credit unions can share the expense of digital service delivery, access to the payments ecosystem and cybersecurity protection can be a critical component to success during these challenging times, as well as into the future.
An effective way to implement shared services is via a credit union service organization (CUSO). A cooperative CUSO is a true partner, delivering incremental benefits to its owners directly through scale in buying power, partnerships with industry leaders, and direct access to the services credit unions need to compete with banks and other financial services providers. CUSO owner credit unions are able to derive value from the organization’s deep pool of experience and expertise. At PSCU, this spans the spectrum of payments, risk management and fraud mitigation, digital banking, data analytics, strategic portfolio and marketing consulting, credit union operations and contact center management. Owners should rightfully expect their CUSO partner to help in lifting their performance across nearly all business disciplines and operations.
As an example, PSCU’s access to—and strong relationships with—industry-leading partners gives credit unions the opportunity for early adoption of new payments technology. EMV chip cards and digital wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay are leading technologies that involve the coordination of many moving parts—and multiple partners—that are being successfully delivered to credit unions by PSCU. This depth of resources alleviates the burden of managing dozens of endpoints for our credit unions, while providing them with access to services and expertise at a far less cost than hiring individual experts.
Today, partnerships with CUSOs empower credit unions everywhere to offer competitively priced and innovative products and services that make a real difference in members’ lives, as well as at life’s critical moments when member needs are the greatest. The value of this partnership goes beyond the dollars and is defined by the success of credit unions and their members—strength in numbers at work.
For more than 40 years, PSCU has exemplified the shared service model. As a U.S.-based cooperative CUSO, we specialize in proving our Owner credit unions with the technology, service, resources and scale they need to achieve their current and future goals. As an associate member of the World Council of Credit Unions, PSCU looks forward to collaborating with our industry colleagues to help digitally transform our industry and accelerate our collective future together.
Brian Caldarelli has served as executive vice president, chief financial officer at PSCU since July 2012. In this position, he is responsible for the overall financial strategy and strategic direction of the organization, as well as risk management, legal and corporate governance. Prior to joining PSCU, Caldarelli served as chief financial officer for the European division of Recall Corp., a global document management company, for four years. With more than 20 years of experience, including senior leadership roles with Bank of America and Acuity Brands, Caldarelli has established a reputation for building world-class teams and developing financial and business goals that support corporate strategy and growth objectives. For his achievements, the Tampa Bay Business Journal named him CFO of the Year in 2015. Caldarelli currently serves as a board member for the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions. He holds a B.B.A. in finance from Stetson University and an M.B.A. from Emory University.