ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

In Case You Missed It – 10.25.23

There are credit union monsters running amok! Monstrous mortgage payments, brainless budgeting, dreadful data sharing, hairy hacks and scary scams. For all things creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky, here’s what we noticed, in case you missed it:

We’re Haunting the ICUL convention this week!

Stop by our booth at the Indiana Credit Union League’s Annual Meeting & Convention today and tomorrow! Everyone’s invited to chat with us about how to envision, buy, build, and future-proof your website. Just look for the big green monster!

Monster mortgage payments are running amok!

Think home prices are high in your neighborhood? Visual Capitalist shows you what it takes to be a homeowner in 50 different cities, and it’s frightening! You would need to make $374K annually to pay the $8720 monthly mortgage payments for the average home ($1.6M) in San Jose CA. Even San Francisco has lower monthly payments ($6584/month for a $1.2M median priced home). Meanwhile, you “only” have to make $69K/year to afford a $265K average home in Indianapolis, while in Pittsburgh you can make $50K/year and pay off their $175K average home. Of course that doesn’t include down payments. I don’t know about you, but I doubt I’ll be buying a new house anytime soon.

Even a brain-starved zombie could figure this one out.

Turns out, bigger marketing budgets bring more growth. Seems like a no-brainer to us marketers, but this large-scale deep-dive study of smaller community banks posted by the fine folks at The Financial Brand bears this out. Quotable quotes include: “The sustained strength in spending for the top 25% suggests the leaders on the marketing team have a good working relationship with the rest of the executive team,..” and “cuts there (marketing) sometimes resemble a fisherman who economizes by using bare hooks to save money on bait.”

The dreadful deep dark mystery of data sharing

As if credit union CEOs and CTOs don’t have enough spooky specters haunting their dreams lately, there’s a new proposed rule from the CFPB (story from our friends at CU Collaborate) that could mandate that consumers have easy, free access to export their data from financial institutions, which would theoretically increase competition and make it easier to switch providers. Of course, there are serious concerns with this, including security nightmares and substantial expense, and the minor fact that such a thing doesn’t really exist yet… Most of all, there are a lot of unanswered questions, and so far CUs and banks are on the same page in opposing the rule, or at least saying it “needs work”. A lot of work.

Keeping tabs on those hairy hacks and scary scams

There are lots of places to keep an ear to the ground for a 30,000 foot view of the security world (don’t you just love mixed and mangled metaphors?). Two websites and e-newsletters we find valuable for learning about the dark side of technology are Krebs on Security and Bruce Schneier’s “Schneier on Security”, complete with weekly squid news and occasional “Crypto-Gram” emails.

Scary super skeletons super spendy

You’ve probably already noticed, but those gigantic 12 foot tall super skeletons are suddenly absolutely everywhere this year. I’ve seen houses with three our four or more out front reenacting spooky scenes. What I didn’t know until today was that these things cost about $300. Each. That’s a mighty big investment in big plastic bones. Halloween is big business, for sure — US spending could top $12.2 billion this year. Yep, that’s billion, with a “B”.

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