We’ve got student loans and a new breed of scam. Millions of disease-fighting mosquitoes. A cost-of-living comparison, the rise of mobile banking and a whole lot of real-life experience. What’s on your bingo card? Here’s what we noticed, in case you missed it:
The great Student Loan debate
By now you probably have heard that President Biden’s policy will forgive $10K of student loan debt per student (or even more in some cases.) So that means CUs don’t need to bother with student loans, right? Not really. For one thing, the forgiveness process could take a while to roll out, and in the meantime your members have their student loans on their mind. Smells like a ripe opportunity. On the other hand, there are plenty of students who will continue to carry debt even after forgiveness. This means CUs should be right there, waiting to help members with that final hurdle.
… And the scams are already on their way
Announcing student loan forgiveness did have an immediate downside: people are already encountering a new breed of scam. Scammers are reportedly taking advantage of the hype and pushing their victims into quick action and up-front fees. Regardless of what happens with the new initiative, CUs can help their members by broadcasting updates from the Department of Education and sharing tips on how to spot scams.
They’re raising mosquitoes by the millions just to release them
When I’m outdoors, for some reason mosquitoes find me before before anyone else. So reading about this lab in Columbia breeding mosquitoes by the millions just to release them into the wild sounded like a very bad dream. But these mosquitoes are different. They carry a bacteria that keeps them from transmitting diseases such as Zika and yellow fever to humans. By releasing them to reproduce with wild mosquitoes, they spread the bacteria and protect millions of people from life-threatening diseases. Now if they could just get them to stop biting my legs…
Solving real problems requires real lived experience
There’s always something incredible to ponder when I get an email from Behavioral Scientist. This article really hit home – Lived Experience Makes the Work Better. Credit unions, along with all sorts of other organizations, are working hard to get better at inclusion on all levels. Without real, human lived experience to call on, you’re flying blind even with the best of intentions. And of course there are lots of lessons here for credit unions.
Mobile banking just passed online banking
Customers now prefer mobile banking to online banking according to Phoenix Synergistics. And based on trends, mobile hasn’t hit its peak yet. In 2021, mobile was the primary banking channel for only 22% of respondents. Now 35% pick mobile, while online banking dropped to second place at 24%. Not surprisingly, mobile looks to be stronger with younger members, while, somewhat surprisingly, online banking is strongest with the 65+ years segment.
And you thought NYC is an expensive place to live
Visual Capitalist did too. So they compared 578 cities around the world to what it cost to live in New York. They made NYC the baseline of 100 points, then adjusted the scores of the different cities by both the cost of living and purchasing power. So if a city has a cost of living index of 1.21, that means day-to-day expenses are 21% higher than New York’s. Purchasing power reflects the number of goods and services someone can buy, based on the average salary for that city. For example, Indianapolis (where we are based) has a lower cost of living by about a third (67.1), and our purchasing power is higher by 21% (121.5). But if I was living in NYC and found out that Honolulu costs about the same as the Big Apple, I’d certainly be thinking about moving.